(ABC4) – Warning: Newcomers to Utah – Whether you are visiting for the holidays or have chosen Beehive State as your new home – you may not be familiar with the unique regional cuisine that the State has to offer. From inventive dips, loaded burgers and special sweet treats, Utah food is definitely American – but with a little something extra.
The fried sauce might as well be Utah’s mascot. This signature condiment was designed by Salt Lake City chef Don Carlos Edwards, who transformed his popular barbecue restaurant to establish the first restaurant in the Arctic Circle in the 1950s. Since then, the sauce has widely extended its reach and is not only available, but expected, at any Beehive State burger restaurant. The tangy orange dip is traditionally made with a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise. However, many restaurants have their own special recipes for French fries sauce, and chefs flavor it with anything from garlic powder to Worcestershire sauce.
Funeral potatoes, a dish that combines potatoes with cheese, creamy soup, and crushed cornflakes, are classic Utah comfort food dishes. Hence its name, this dish has become synonymous with difficult times. In the local culture, potatoes are prepared for bereaved families following a funeral. Diners enjoy both the warmth of the pan and the warmth that comes from getting together with loved ones when needed.
Specialty soda stores
Stand aside, ordinary Dr. Pepper. Utah is crazy about soda, and we’ve taken the obsession to the next level with specialty sweet drink shops. Swig, originally from St. George in 2010, is often considered the king of soda stores, but other chains like Sodalicious and Fiiz have a similar line of custom drinks. Drinkers can choose from eclectic options like The Heartbreaker, a combination of Dr. Pepper, coconut, blackberry, and half and half, or the Shark Attack, which is a mix of Sprite, lemonade, and blue raspberry syrup topped with. of a gummy shark. Soda shops are often small, brightly colored buildings, and they can be spotted by their sky-high drive-thru lines that seem to be around at all hours – even when it doesn’t seem like a reasonable time to drink soda.
Burger lovers, come together. Utah is home to a plethora of delicious burger options, and any newcomer should be sure to try the signature pastrami burger. The dish is usually attributed to the local chain Crown Burgers, founded in 1978 by John & Rula Katzourakis and Nick Katsanevas. The restaurant serves over 100 dishes, including a mix of Greek cuisine and classic burger options, but they’re best known for their signature, the Crown Burger, which is a quarter-pound burger patty on a sesame seed bun with Thousand Island dressing, lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese and topped with a generous portion of pastrami. Other local burger restaurants took notes, making the pastrami burger a mainstay of Utah.
Ice cream shakes
Everyone loves a milkshake, but the Utahns have a discerning palate when it comes to this delicious treat. We probably won’t settle for a tasty drink that is easily drunk through a straw. Utah milkshakes are thick, creamy, and best eaten with a spoon. Iceberg Drive Inn, which was founded in Salt Lake City, is the mecca for these milkshakes. Nielsen’s Frozen Custard is another local favorite.
It’s no mystery that behind the nickname of our state – the state of the beehive – there is a lot of honey. Although Utah has been dubbed the Hive State to draw a parallel between the industrious nature of bees and the citizens of Utah, the state also has a surprisingly diverse bee population. According to Utah State University, our state is home to 25% of all bee species in North America, which translates into the variety of local honey options available. A getaway to a farmer’s market in the summer or a local grocery store in the winter will provide plenty of options for tasting Utah’s signature sweet syrup.
Dutch oven dinners
State birds, yes. State currencies, of course. State cooking pot, okay? Apparently, the official pot of the state of Utah is the Dutch Oven, a sturdy pot known for its ability to evenly cook a variety of dishes. Utah’s love for Dutch oven cooking dates back to the early days of the state, when pioneers used this method of food preparation when they first settled in the country. Now Utah’s rich camping culture has taken over the tradition.
When the Olympics were held in Utah in 2002, a special pin was made featuring a green Jell-O bowl emblazoned with the five Olympic rings. It might seem like a strange way to cheer on Team USA, but the decorative pin was designed not only to support Olympians, but also to pay homage to local culture. Jell-O’s love is generally attributed to Utah’s general love of candy, and the affinity for lime flavor in particular can be traced to a popular local recipe. Adventurous eaters can recreate this favorite by combining Lime Jell-O, crushed pineapple, cottage cheese and whipped cream.
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