Officially, Utah’s state snack food is Jell-O, which is why it’s sometimes referred to somewhat flippantly as the “Jell-O Belt”. But even if you’re not a fan of green Jell-O, the preferred flavor, there are other culinary reasons to put Utah’s food on your to-try list, from the “Utah scone”, a fried specialty unique to the state, to multi-cultural foods brought to the area by Greek, German, Czech, Southeast Asian and Hispanic immigrants. Despite the state’s associations singularly with the Mormon religion, its denizens are clearly a mixed bunch, so if you’re looking for variety its most easily found around Salt Lake City.
Venture beyond this developed urban area and find that though Utah is no agricultural powerhouse, it does produce a number of fresh fruits and vegetables up for purchase in seasonal farmers markets, from cherries, the state fruit, to Spanish sweet onions and sugar beets. During summer months, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, melons and a variety of vegetables flourish, the perfect addition to a picnic in Arches National Park (or any other scenic spot that takes your fancy). Honey is also a state speciality (they’re not called the Beehive State for nothing), and with a little looking you can find cheese from local dairies, fresh fruit jams and even artisan chocolates.
Pondering what beverage to pack along? Utah has some unique liquor laws, but there’s no cause to stay dry - it’s also home to a handful of microbreweries happy to pour icy cold ones within the dictates of the law. Moab Brewery in Moab, serves up brews like Scorpion Pale Ale and Lizard Ale, while Bohemian Brewery in Salt Lake City earned its reputation from lagers reminiscent of the brewers’ Czech-ered past (and they even sell cans, perfect to stash in your hiking pack). Also look for well-known beer makers like Wasatch and Squatters, award-winning brewers who share a brewery in the the capital city, depending on your beer likes and geographic location.