What to Eat in Wyoming

by Carlye Cunniff
( May 10th, 2015 )

Wyoming

A vacation in Wyoming is a quintessential American experience—the big sky, Yellowstone, the Tetons all come to mind. But, what are you going to eat when you’re out exploring the open road. Wyoming doesn’t necessarily bring to mind gourmet foods, local sourcing or decadent foodie experiences, but perhaps it should. In fact, Yellowstone (Wyoming’s iconic National Park) started designing delightful dining experiences to help tourists feel more at home as they braved the wild. According to Leslie Quinn, an Interpretive Specialist at Yellowstone National Park, the original park lodges featured fine dining experiences so tourists would feel safe surrounded by the parks wilderness. Wyoming is also no stranger to inviting hungry tourists to stay. Though the state is the least populous of the United States, it saw 10.1 million overnight visitors in 2014. If you’re wondering what to eat in Wyoming,  read on, and start making your summer road trip plans!

Meeteetse Chocolatier. Full disclosure, I have a soft spot for Wyoming. I spent a summer living and working in Yellowstone and remember it fondly. Meeteetse is pretty close by the park, a quick drive from Cody (where I spent a lot of time). Although I think Wyoming can do no wrong, the chocolate from Meeteetse Chocolatier doesn’t need my bias to bulk up what it’s offering. This little shop was started by Tim Kellogg, a self-described cowboy chocolatier. As the story goes, Tim started selling chocolate casually to raise funds for a new Bronc saddle. The chocolatier now sends chocolates all over the world, though they are all still made in the the Big Horn Mountain Basin.

Meeteeste Chocolate

These chocolates are probably my favorite thing about Wyoming fare. They are rich and full of interesting flavor. These bad boys are perfectly melty in the center, and just taste real. Huckleberry and Wyoming Whiskey are my favorites of the bunch, but the iconic Devil’s Tower truffle did me in as well. Other reasons to make the trip?  Meeteetse Chocolatier creates decadent and unique chocolates and desserts in an environmental and ethical manner, working to become a zero waste business through aggressive recycling and using organic ingredients. If that doesn’t sell you, Tim still balances his chocolate business while working as a cowboy. Yes, a chocolate making cowboy. Dream on ladies.

Durham Ranch Bison. I’m sure you’ve heard that bison is comparatively good for you – the nutrient return on number of calories, cholesterol and fat is much better than eating beef, not to mention how good bison tastes. If you’ve never had it, it’s slightly sweeter than beef, and tastes richer. Durham Ranch also takes advantage of the animals independent tendencies –  they are not handled very much and graze on the grass all day long.

Durham Ranch prides itself on sustainable farming practice – a long standing, family tradition. This is not a factory farm, in fact, Durham Ranch uses Holistic farming practices to return the land to it’s original splendor. They even have Allan Savory’s TED talk on their website.

All that good-for-the-world karma certainly pays off, bison is a wonderful burger, and these little sliders do hit the spot.

Do you have a favorite spot to eat in Wyoming? If so, let us know in the comments below!

Thank you to The Wyoming Office of Tourism for providing these Western treats for me to sample. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Easy Corn Tortillas

by Carlye Cunniff
( May 5th, 2015 )

Easy Corn Tortillas

I know Cinco de Mayo was yesterday, but I eat tortillas all the time. I’m also going to be honest, tortillas are really, really easy to make. I have seen about one hundred recipes that make them harder than they need to be, but I’m not going to. I used to think tortillas would take time, and effort and would just be so tricky, but I was mercifully incorrect! Tortillas are a simple, delicious food that can be made from scratch in about 5 minutes. They make any dinner/lunch/breakfast taste way better, and they are super cheap. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, here is my recipe for easy corn tortillas, so you can enjoy them all year round.

Ingredients:

1 Cup corn flour. I used Maseca Masa because it’s easy to find and it’s relatively inexpensive. This is just a dry flour, not  a fancy masa mix.

1/2 Cup water.

Pinch of salt.

Parchment paper.

1 Teaspoon olive oil.

Directions:

Mix corn flour, water and salt in a large bowl. I like to start with the proportions listed above, then add more water as necessary. For the best tortillas, you’ll want a slightly sticky dough that easily forms into balls. I combine everything with a wooden spoon.

Tortilla dough.

Roll a handful sized scoop of dough into a rough ball shape.

Place the ball between two pieces of parchment paper. I like to give it an initial smoosh here to start the circular shape I’m going for. Roll the dough with a rolling pin or wine bottle.

Though you’re trying for a circular shape, a perfect circle is not going to happen. Don’t worry, the unevenness gives your tortillas character.

You should roll your tortilla to about 1/8 inch in thickness. Anything thinner will be hard to get off the parchment paper, but thicker will take too long to cook (and won’t be very much like a tortilla).

Heat up a tiny amount of olive oil in a skillet. I like to cook with a very hot skillet for these, because I prefer a very brown tortilla (borderline carcinogenic). If you have more refined taste buds, by all means go medium heat.

Cook your tortilla, about 2 minutes per side (closer to 1 minute if you’re me). Make sure to get a handle on the whole thing before you flip it, they are easy to break!

Fry your tortilla

After the first tortilla I don’t use any oil – my cast iron skillet can handle the tortilla process well without it.

Enjoy! Let your tortillas cool and top them however you want. I make mine with chorizo and eggs (especially as a Cinco de Mayo treat). You can do black beans, grilled meat, fish tacos, or even cut them up and broil them with some extra salt for chips.

What’s your favorite use for homemade tortillas? Let us know in the comments below!

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Food Knolling – 6 of the Best Pictures

by Carlye Cunniff
( May 4th, 2015 )

Knolling is the wonderful process of arranging things neatly. At first blush, this may sound like something you need to do this weekend (ahem, my house is currently a stye) but it’s much more exciting than that. Knolling usually involves related objects, and they have to be neatly arranged in 90 degree angles. I learned about knolling from my designer friends (you guessed it!).  After discovering knolling, I, (admittedly) have to suppress the urge to knoll everything. My most recent power knolls? My backpack, the contents of my glovebox, and my dog’s toys (yes, the dog was included).

So, how is this possibly related to food? The glorious people of the world knoll food! And take photos! For those of you who may be new to the knolling phenomenon, I’ve curated a list of Food Knolling – 10 of the best pictures for your perusal. Enjoy. Even better, if you’ve knolled anything recently, post it in the comments!

1. This beautiful array of knolled sandwiches, from MessyNessyChic.

Sandwich Knolling

2. This wonderful knoll of fruits, from krasivo-sil-net. 

 

Fruit Knolling

 

3. The beautiful images from Jimmy Grants, if only all restaurants showed us their plates, deconstructed!

Jimmy Grants Restaurant Knoll

4. Refinery29 even used a grid!

Salad on a grid.

5. Devon Hosford made a beautiful recipe on Behance, and knolled all the ingredients.

 

Chicken Stew Knolled

 

6. Emilie Blincoe takes beautiful photos, and so much food knolling. You all know how much I love pickles, especially organized pickles.

Knolled pickles. Emilie Blincoe.

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