Huckleberries 101

Everyone’s heard of Huckleberry Hound but unless you’re from around here, you’ve not see the Idaho state fruit. I did a search of this blog and found that I’d mentioned huckleberries a few times but never showed any pictures of them. So here you go,


When we first arrived here in Idaho, we’d hear all kinds of stories about huckleberries. How they were hard to find and how nobody would tell you where the best patches are. That when you go picking, bring a shotgun just in case you meet up with a bear trying to protect his favorite fruit. For some time I figured the huckleberries had a lot in common with “snipes” (if you haven’t gone snipe hunting, ask anyone who’s been to camp). It took months before I actually found these mythical berries for myself.

These sweet-tart berries are typically a little smaller than blueberries. You’re not likely to find them in stores (outside of the inland northwest) because nobody has figured out how to grow them on farms. So, if you want some, you have to head up a mountain beyond 2900+ feet and head into the woods to find them. If you want a part time summer job, you can sell these locally for $35 to $75 per gallon. In fact, when you head up some of the logging trails you’ll find cars parked along the way and even some campers for the serious pickers. If you find a good patch, you’re not supposed to tell anyone. Some folks really covet the locations of their favorite patches. From what I’ve seen though, if you have an ATV (note to my friends who need a reason to buy and ATV), you can pretty much find as many huckleberries as you simply by taking a little ride.

If there’s a regional food here, it’s not potatoes. It’s a variety of foods with huckleberries mixed in such as shakes, cakes, ice tea, pancake syrup, etc.

Bears love them and would not be inclined to share. It occurs to me that maybe bears are very much like brothers. I’m just sayin.

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