Montana Local Foods

Guide to Montana Local Foods

Montana is filled with fabulous local foods, as the hunters and fishermen who inhabit this sparsely populated state well know. Know about tasty Montana treasures not listed here? Email me to tell me about it!

  • 01 of 07

    Montana Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables

    Corn at a Montana Market
    Sweet Corn at Farmers Market. Chuck Haney / Design Pics / Getty Images

    Montana's growing season is short indeed. This Guide to Montana's Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables will help you know what to expect when. Remember that besides great produce, Montana local eating can also look to grains (particularly wheat), beef, bison, lamb, and poultry at many markets, so keep a mind as wide open as the big sky.

  • 02 of 07

    Montana Farmers Markets

    Fresh Produce at a Montana Market
    Montana Farmers Market. Chuck Haney / Design Pics / Getty Images

    The Big Sky state has fewer than a million people but over 40 farmers markets to help people eat locally, Montana-grown food. Running seasons tend to be relatively short (but sweet)—from May or June into September, with a few going into October. A few smaller or satellite markets run only in July and August. This guide to Montana Farmers Markets will help you find a farmers market—and its season—near you in Montana.

  • 03 of 07

    Montana Specialties: Elk, Bison, and Pastured Beef

    American Bison
    American Bison. Photo © Paul E Tessier, used with permission from Getty Images

    Montana is famous for its quality red meats – beef, bison, elk – for good reason. Grass-fed, pastured beef and bison have plenty of plains to roam by those willing to raise them the old-fashioned way.

    Looking to give it a try? Montana free-range, grass-fed bison is available from Montana Bison. La Cense Ranch sells fully pastured, grass-fed beef out of Dillon, Montana.

  • 04 of 07

    Montana Specialties: Cherries

    Rainier Cherries
    Fresh Sweet Cherries. Bruce Block/Getty Images

    The Lapin and Rainier cherries of the Flathead Lakes region are famously delicious. Learn about cherries and great ways to use them with this Guide to Cherries. Look for them in July and early August. Buy them up, eat them out of hand, pit and freeze them, or even put them up as with these Brandied Cherries

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Montana Specialties: Huckleberries

    Fresh Huckleberries
    Huckleberries. Danita Delimont/Getty Images

    Huckleberries are teeny tiny deep purple-blue berries that are remarkably sweet. Find them in Montana, where they flourish in the cool foothills of the Rockies, in August and September.

    While they are sweeter and juicier than blueberries, with their own unique taste, huckleberries look a bit like blueberries and can be used in place of blueberries in recipes. Try huckleberries with cream, sprinkled on ice cream, or used in cakes, crisps, pancakes, jams, and sauces.

  • 06 of 07

    Montana Specialties: Trout

    Trout
    Martin Harvey

    The cold clear streams of Montana mountains are home to great trout fishing. Trout is wonderful grilled, broiled, or pan-fried.

  • 07 of 07

    Montana Dairies

    Dairy
    Arx0nt/Getty Images