Top 14 Best Foods to Try in the Pacific Northwest

15-11-2022 14 0 0 0 Báo lỗi

The Pacific Northwest offers a unique variety of microclimates unmatched anywhere else in the nation, ranging from Southern Oregon to the Canadian border, the islands and inlets of the Pacific Ocean to the parched potato fields of Idaho. With such diversity, the area offers great cuisine and regional specialties that have gained national renown. Some possibilities are seasonally limited and only accessible for brief periods in the spring or fall. Others are available all year long, appearing on shop shelves across the country or being provided for direct delivery from the supplier. And here are the best foods to try in the Pacific Northwest.

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Salmon candy

As much a part of the Pacific Northwest as its inhabitants are salmon. Pacific salmon, the first food of an indigenous people, has been a mainstay of the Northwest since long before the country was founded (source: Travel Oregon). Salmon is abundant in protein, beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, and a long list of vitamins and minerals, according to Healthline, and for good reason. And salmon from the Pacific Northwest is unquestionably the greatest in the world. According to the Oregon Encyclopedia, Oregon is home to six different species of Pacific salmon, including the Chinook (or king), coho, sockeye, chum, pink, and steelhead. Because of its strong fish flavor, sockeye salmon is sometimes regarded as the tastiest kind.


Let's say you like your salmon a little sweeter, saltier, and smokier. In such instances, salmon candy from the Pacific Northwest offers a distinctive flavor combination. It has a similar idea to teriyaki beef jerky or candied bacon. King salmon is the starting point for the candied bacon at Oregon's South Beach Fish Market. Before being slowly smoked over hickory, the fish is teriyaki brined, dusted with pepper, and then covered in a thick layer of brown sugar. The mixture gives the protein-rich fish a tasty sweet-savory-salty taste. Fortunately for us, vendors like South Beach Fish Market and Seattle's renowned Pike Place Fish Market ship nationally despite the fact that the dish is difficult to get beyond the Northwest.

Salmon candy
Salmon candy
Salmon candy
Salmon candy
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Dungeness crab

A native of the Pacific Northwest, the rich, sweet, and meaty Dungeness crab is a welcome addition to the table of any seafood enthusiast. According to Fathom Seafood, the term Dungeness is derived from the little fishing community of Dungeness Spit in Washington. According to The Seattle Times, the Washington Dungeness crab season got off to a roaring start this year, with crabbers hauling in more than 4.5 million pounds of the mollusk by the end of December. Since ocean acidification has led to limited crab harvests and a late start to the prior seasons, this catch was fantastic news for Washington's crabbing community and a welcome difference from previous years.


The crustacean is benefiting from better ocean conditions, the newspaper continues, with cold water from the north providing nutrients to its marine environment. Crabbers are grateful for these improved ocean conditions as the cost of a pound of Puget Sound Dungeness crab is at an all-time high. According to the Oregon Crab Commission, a Dungeness crab has a meat-to-shell ratio of roughly 25%. A two to three-pound crab, on the other hand, provides between half and three-quarters of a pound of selected, prepared-to-eat sweet and flavorful flesh. The perfect amount of gazpacho soup.

Dungeness crab
Dungeness crab
Dungeness crab
Dungeness crab
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Hazelnuts

The wonder nut might be the hazelnut. The Oregon Hazelnut Industry claims that it can treat both a persistent cough and the common cold. It is also one of the five holy foods that God gave to humanity. The official state nut of Oregon, sometimes referred to as a filbert, makes up nearly all of the commercial hazelnut market in the United States. A few years ago, research from Oregon State University revealed that Oregon accounted for 99% of the hazelnuts farmed for commercial purposes in America, with its northern neighbor providing the remaining 1%.


According to the study, mature trees may reach a height of 40 feet and have a lifespan of 50 years. This is excellent news for farmers in Oregon since mature orchards can yield up to 4,000 pounds of hazelnuts per acre. Hazelnuts are tasty morsels that are cholesterol-free and high in protein. According to WebMD, marble-sized nuts include vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are good for the heart. Oregonians eat them whole after peeling them and roasting them, or they can smash them and add them to salads or wilted greens. Even when freshly cracked from their shell, hazelnuts make a fantastic snack.

Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts
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Oregon berries

Untended wildflowers may be found in several states growing in fields and beside roads, and Oregon has berries. Wild berries flourish in the nutrient-rich soils of Oregon's Willamette Valley, a region with chilly nights, warm days, and water coming from melting snow off the Cascade Mountains, according to the Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission. Although the state produces a large variety of berries, including boysenberries, Loganberries, and black raspberries, the trailing blackberry is a wholly indigenous species.


And you can find them anywhere. According to Portland State University, the low trailing shrub thrives in open spaces as well as deep woods, fire scars, and beneath transmission lines. The abundance of berries in Oregon is not only found in the wild. Oregon accounts for 90% of all US-grown, cultivated, frozen blackberries marketed in the country. The sweet, juicy fruit is abundant in important health benefits whether you consume it fresh or frozen. Berries are said to contain antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, according to Healthline.com. Blackberries and raspberries both have more than five grams of fiber per cup, which can help with weight management and digestion.

Oregon berries
Oregon berries
Oregon berries
Oregon berries
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Rogue River blue cheese

At the 2019 World Cheese Awards in Bergamo, Italy, the prize-winning blue cheese was voted Best in the World and the Grand Champion Best Cheese in the World (via P.R. Newswire). The Best Organic Cheese Outside of the U.K. was awarded to The Medford Mail Tribune last year, adding two more accolades to its collection. and the International Cheese & Dairy Awards' Best U.S.A. Blue Cheese. The reason is obvious - Rogue River Blue is magnificent. The cheese is only made in the fall when the milk is at its best-using cows from the creamery's organic dairy farm near Grant's Pass, Oregon.


In order to achieve its sweet-salty flavor, the seasonal cheese is then matured for nine months in the creamery's caves. Each wheel is then manually wrapped in syrah grape leaves produced in Southern Oregon and then dipped in pear liqueur. It has a powerful flavor that combines a gentle fruit-filled sweetness with an earthy, truffle-like funkiness. It has a distinct taste that is unmatched by other blue cheeses. The consistency is nearly fudgy and melts in your mouth creamy. The cheese costs around $80 per pound, but it is totally worth it.

Rogue River blue cheese
Rogue River blue cheese
Rogue River blue cheese
Rogue River blue cheese
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Cougar Gold cheddar cheese

Foods that have been canned or preserved are necessary for any family pantry. In grocery shops all around America, the aisles are lined with fruits and vegetables, meats, soups, and sauces. Cheese is one item that is frequently not marketed in a can. With its renowned Cougar Gold cheddar cheese, Washington State University has been changing people's perceptions for almost 80 years. According to the school, the operational creamery inside the University got financing in the 1940s from the American Can business and the US government to demonstrate that canning cheese was the best method for preserving it. Because of how great the flavor was, it was adopted as the official cheese of the school creamery.


Under faculty supervision, W.S.U. students currently manage the creamery, which produces a range of tastes including dill and garlic cheddar, smoked cheddar, and sweet basil. The traditional favorite is still the original Cougar Gold. W.S.U. says that the 30-ounce tin cans will keep in your refrigerator unopened for a very long time and that the cheese has to be refrigerated. The number of tyrosine crystals that form in the cheese increases as it aged.

Cougar Gold cheddar cheese
Cougar Gold cheddar cheese
Cougar Gold cheddar cheese
Cougar Gold cheddar cheese
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Voodoo Doughnut bacon maple bar

When the first Voodoo Doughnut shop debuted in Old Town Portland in 2003, two friends transformed the breakfast delight into an eccentric tradition for the city. Willy Wonka meets Portland best characterizes the pink paradise, which is full of flavor-packed enchantment, according to Only in Your State. There wasn't a single doughnut store in downtown Portland when the pair started over 20 years ago. There are currently 13 sites scattered around Oregon, Texas, Colorado, California, and Florida, and there will be more soon.


The ability to push the limits has helped Voodoo stand apart from other American doughnut cafes. Voodoo is a firm that thinks and works outside the box, and Portland is a community that encourages those who do. The company lives by the city slogan, "Keep Portland Weird". Portland stands out due to its own culture and openness to people from different backgrounds (source: Living in Portland, Oregon). Voodoo stands apart from all other ice creams due to its constant innovation and evolution of flavor combinations. Many wild concepts for doughnuts are swiftly transformed into popular treats seen in doughnut shops all throughout the country, such as the bacon maple bar.


Although bacon is a common ingredient in many cuisines nowadays, no one had combined the two tastes in a doughnut until it was invented. Bacon's taste will be enhanced by maple syrup, producing the ideal balance of sweetness and salt. Even Oregon's Rouge Brewery toasted the business by brewing a delicious, smokey bacon maple lager in its honor.

Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Bar
Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Bar
Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Bar
Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Bar
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Roasted wild mushrooms

Foragers of wild mushrooms love Oregon. The Oregon Coast, Cascade Mountains, and Willamette Valley are ideal places to locate eatable mushrooms, according to Travel Oregon. The settings are perfect because of the humid, rainy weather and densely forested areas. In the shadow of these trees, which serve as a mushroom nursery, mushrooms flourish on the forest floor. A thorough overview of the possibilities found in the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest is provided by iNaturalist. These include earthy chanterelles, morels, porcini, trumpet, oysters, and much more.


Each low-calorie, high-fiber mushroom mouthful is jam-packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, according to Healthline.com, providing a plethora of health advantages. Due to their porous nature and natural umami flavor, mushrooms may absorb flavors from the food they are served with. You could enjoy them roasted with salt, pepper, and olive oil or as the main component of the Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff.

Roasted wild mushrooms
Roasted wild mushrooms
Roasted wild mushrooms
Roasted wild mushrooms
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Walla Walla sweet onion rings

Washington State includes seven unique physiographic regions, according to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. The western Washington region, which is influenced by the Pacific, experiences significant yearly rainfall and mild temperatures. On the other side of the Cascade Mountains, in contrast, in far eastern Washington, the weather is dry and nearly desert-like. According to the website, the region grows more than 300 different fruits and vegetables, including crisp, sweet Walla Walla onions, in nutrient-rich, volcanic soil. Despite not being native to the state, Washington has adopted the onion, designating it as the state vegetable in 2007.


According to Sweet Onions.org, a small group of growers harvests 400 acres of sweet onions in the Walla Walla Valley every summer. According to The Seattle Times, the region's seasonal environment, which sees scorching summer days give way to cold evenings, and its low-sulfur soils are responsible for the onions' success. These elements result in a softball-sized mild-flavored Walla Walla onion that has exceptional crunch and uncommon sweetness. Burgerville, a local fast food restaurant, chooses to fry them instead of serving them raw, as many Washingtonians prefer to do. The sweet onion is cooked in a way that brings out its caramelized flavor while keeping the vegetable incredibly crunchy and crispy.

Walla Walla sweet onion rings
Walla Walla sweet onion rings
Walla Walla sweet onion rings
Walla Walla sweet onion rings
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Red delicious apple

Washington grows the most apples in the country, according to the Washington Apple Commission. Washington's 175,000 acres of orchards produce 10–12 billion apples annually, the largest agricultural output in the state. Nearly 200 years ago, apples were introduced to the state. According to History Link, the first apple seeds were sent by steamboat from London to Fort Vancouver, Washington, home of the British-owned Hudson Bay Company. The state's mild, the wet environment caused seedlings to thrive and flourish. By the 1940s, early pioneers had learned that farmers could ensure the kind of apple that would develop by grafting seedling branches onto rootstocks. After this discovery, Washington quickly established itself as a successful commercial apple-producing state.


By the 1960s, 80% of the state's apple crop was made up of the wildly popular Red Delicious and its relative, Golden Delicious (via History Link). The Washington Apple Commission continues, "The red fruit has a crisp texture and a consistent heart-shaped shape, offering the typical apple flavor". Although apples like Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Gala are now among the most popular types, the juicy, sweet Red Delicious will always be a favorite for snacking, baking, and giving to your favorite teachers.

Red Delicious apple
Red Delicious apple
Red Delicious apple
Red Delicious apple
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Rainier cherries

Cherries are sweet, plump, and juicy; they are ideal on their own or when combined with the traditional cherry pie of the summer. However, not all cherries are created equal, and the Pacific Northwest has a plentiful supply. According to Statista, Washington is now the state that sells the most delicious cherry fruit nationwide. 1000 cherry trees and bushes were transported from Iowa to Oregon in 1847, according to W.S.U. Magazine. The vivid red Bing cherry was created in Oregon in 1875. The tree is sterile, hence a pollinator tree is needed to fertilize the Bing tree's fruit. The Bing cherry and B.C. were crossed by Washington State University in the 1950s in an effort to find a remedy. natural cherry, the Van, and more are still included.


The fruit that resulted was given the name Rainier cherry in honor of the state's dominant volcano, Mount Rainier, because of its startling golden flesh. The golden fruit is more pricey than another cherry while being stunning in look and highly tasty, according to Washington Insiders. According to the website, Rainier cherries are quite sensitive. The fruit is more expensive than usual since it bruises readily, has a limited growing season, and is vulnerable to wind and rain damage. The deliciously sweet, juicy Rainier cherries are worth every cent, even with their expensive price.

Rainier cherries
Rainier cherries
Rainier cherries
Rainier cherries
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Idaho baked potatoes

In the United States, potatoes represent a $4 billion industry. According to the Agriculture Resource Center of America, potatoes were the country's top vegetable crop in 2020, having been grown on more than 1 million acres of cropland (AgMRC). Idaho, followed by Washington, is the state in the United States that produces the most potatoes. According to AgMRC, the combined production of the two states accounted for more than half of the nation's crop in 2019. The atmosphere in Idaho makes it the perfect spot to cultivate potatoes, according to the Idaho Potato Museum. The lengthy growth season for potatoes in Idaho's mineral-rich volcanic soils is a result of the state's scorching summer days and chilly nights.


Although there are other simple potato recipes, including fried, mashed, scalloped, and roasted varieties, the traditional baked potato is the preferred method to eat the state's main crop. According to the Idaho Potato Commission, the finest preparation is to delicately puncture a plump Idaho potato with a fork to let steam escape, then lightly spray it with oil, generously sprinkle it with salt, and bake it for an hour at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The finished potato will be fluffy, creamy, and crispy on the inside, ready for your preferred toppings.

Idaho baked potatoes
Idaho baked potatoes
Idaho baked potatoes
Idaho baked potatoes
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Finger steak

You must not have eaten a finger steak if you believed that Idaho was known for its potatoes. According to the Idaho Beef Council, the state's emblematic food is Idaho's take on chicken fried steak, a dish popular in the South, and it originated from the same place as the tater tot. According to the Idaho Beef Council, former U.S. Forest Service meat cutter turned chef Mylo Bybee was determined to use every last piece of beef. In the 1950s, he created the meal by deep-frying and battering beef scraps that had been sliced into strips. The crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, the meaty meal was even named the state's iconic dish by the Flavored Nation food festival.


Idahoans cook finger steak using full slices of beef, unlike chicken fried steak or other varieties of steak fingers. To maintain softness in the finger steaks, Idaho Beef Council is told by chef Josh Aaron of Boise's Westside Drive-In that the meat is chopped into strips against the grain. The fast food restaurant chain won the Idaho Statesman's award for best finger steak, so they must be doing something right.

Finger steak
Finger steak
Finger steak
Finger steak
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Fry sauce

Idaho's famous fry sauce fulfills the need for a zesty dipping sauce that goes well with the state's abundance of potatoes and finger steak nibbles. According to The Washington Post, variants of fry sauce come from Latin America, including those from Chile, Argentina, and Puerto Rico as well as Salt Lake City (the kind that is most comparable to Idaho's). Idahoans, on the other hand, claim the creamy pink sauce as their own. According to KCRW, many people won't eat a burger and fries without them. According to 103.5 Kiss FM in Boise, it is perhaps the most consumed condiment in the state.


The sauce is quite easy to prepare, according to The Recipe Critic, who combines mayonnaise and ketchup with paprika, onion or garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or spicy sauce, and a dab of salty pickle juice. A few years ago, Heinz started marketing Mayochup with a comparable flavor profile. Authentic fry sauce devotees criticized its arrival, yet it works well as a prepared alternative.

Fry sauce
Fry sauce
Fry sauce
Fry sauce


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