From finger-licking good fries and finger steaks to melt in your mouth hand-crafted chocolates, there’s certainly no shortage of good eats when you come to Idaho.  There are a few, however, that will help you earn your Idaho bragging rights. Take a look at the list below and see what you’re willing to try.

1. Basque Food

For beginners:  Croquetas

Delicious croquetas served up at the Basque Market in downtown Boise.

These bite-sized creations are a fried breadcrumb roll that can be filled with meat, cheese, fish, and potatoes. Be warned, once you sample these flavor packed snacks, you won’t be able to stop. Seriously.

For the adventurous spirit: Minea
This beef tongue is traditionally served in a tomato based sauce. Bar Gernika in downtown Boise hosts Beef Tongue Saturday and serves up the sumptuous dish until it’s gone. You don’t want to come late to this party.

For an all around good time: Paella
Paella is a rice dish that uses saffron, chicken, seafood, chorizo and other delicious seasonings to get your mouth watering. It’s cooked and served in a giant, shallow pan. Watching paella cook is like watching a movie, except you get smell-o-vision with this feature, and man oh man is it good! The cooking process is a social gathering, so head down to the Basque Market, grab a glass of wine or a Kalimoxto and watch this amazing creation come together. Insider tip: check out Paella on the Patio each Wednesday and Friday to get your lunchtime fill of this delicious dish.

Paella at the Basque Market.
Paella at the Basque Market.

2. Huckleberry….. Anything

huckleberry ice cream
Huckleberry ice cream dished up at Elevation 486.

The huckleberry holds the honor of being the state fruit but beyond that claim to fame, the tiny berry is packed with flavor. These tasty blue-black-purplish berries (which are related to the blueberry) are highly sought after since they take nearly two decades to mature. Idaho Huckleberry picking locations are so coveted in fact, many spots remain family secrets. When you visit Idaho, make sure to sample this delectable fruit in a syrup, chocolate, ice cream or fresh from the mountain.

3. Idaho Sturgeon Caviar

Raised near Hagerman by Fish Breeders of Idaho, these dinosaur-like fish, produce the phenomenal Idaho White Sturgeon Caviar known as The American Beluga. These giants are raised in the local spring water, which caviar enthusiasts say makes all the difference.

Sturgeon caviar produced in Idaho by Fish Processors, Inc. Photo Credit: Tod Ray.
Sturgeon caviar produced in Idaho by Fish Processors, Inc. Photo Credit: Tod Ray.

4. Ice Wine

This luscious wine comes with an icy edge. Ice wine is created with grapes that were allowed to freeze on the vine. The practice significantly concentrates the grape’s sugars and intensifies the flavor profile (YUM!).  Grab your own bottle of this sweet treat from Koenig Distillery and Winery or Ste. Chapelle.

Photo Credit: Ste. Chapelle Winery.
Photo Credit: Ste. Chapelle Winery.

5. Idaho Ice Cream Potato

Photo Credit: Chef Lou, Westside Drive In.

This Idaho dish may sound a little bizarre, but once you take your first bite, you’ll be hooked. For this tasty creation, vanilla ice cream is crafted into the shape of a potato, covered in cocoa and topped with whipped cream, making it look like a potato with a dollop of sour cream. You’ll spot these frozen treats at fairs and festivals in the warmer months, but if you’re looking to experience this Idaho inspired dessert any time, check out Westside Drive-In in Boise.

6. Habanero Pizza

Prepare to face the fire with this unique pizza creation at Flying Pie Pizzeria. The fresh Habanero peppers go on a single, double or triple Habanero pizza depending on the level of adventure you’re seeking. Keep in mind, you have to sign a waiver to eat the thing, but the experience is well worth it (but you may want to keep an Idaho brew handy to help control the heat). Habanero season only comes around in August, so plan accordingly. Flying Pie’s Habanero pizza was even featured on Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food”.

Tell us your favorite #Idaho foods at @VisitIdaho.

Andrea Rayburn

Published on December 24, 2015