It’s no secret that I’m a berry gal—strawberries first, then blueberries, with raspberries and blackberries tying for third. So when I was in Montana last week and saw roadside signs for huckleberry everything—ice cream, pie, pancakes, jam, beer, you name it—I knew I had to try some. Of course, we were in Montana to go backpacking and camping in Glacier National Park, not to go on one of my food-focused benders, so I was more than willing to let the berry thing go. But as it turns out, huckleberry eating was in the cards.
August is late for huck season, but we were able to spot a few purple globes hanging on plants along the trail. I didn’t get to eat a whole lot of them, but I tasted enough to get a sense for why they’re a beloved fruit with a loyal human—and bear—following. (Luckily I didn’t have to wrestle a bear for a berry, although we saw about five black bears and one grizzly.) Think of a blueberry with a tart kick, and that’s just about what a huckleberry tastes like.
On the last day, minutes before our airport shuttle came to pick us up, we were able to snag a piece of huckleberry pie. It was good, but I think Marshall’s strawberry-rhubarb pie from My Pie is still the pie to beat.
Maybe I’ll have to do another taste test….