Congressional Members in Washington Get a Taste of Utah Food

In celebration of Pioneer Day, Utah Senator Mike Lee brought Utah to Washington D.C.!

Congressional leaders tasted a sliver of Beehive State on Thursday during the 3rd annual “Flavors of Utah” event. The food tour is a tradition in the US Senate. Many states bring local delights to Capitol Hill to “highlight and celebrate their states unique history, culture, and commerce,” according to the Facebook event.

Pioneer Day is definitely unique to Utah, representative of our history, and a chunk of our culture. No other state celebrates July 24th better than Utah. So, of course, local favorites made their way to the nation’s capital to share a slice of independence pie. Literally.

Where it all began

In a Deseret News article, Dave Davis, president of the Utah Food Industry Association, said the idea was Mike Lee’s “brainchild.”

“It started many, many years ago with (Lee), a couple of interns and a bucket of homemade root beer,” Davis said.

Davis added Lee wanted to share Pioneer Day with his colleagues in Washington, so he invited them to celebrate with a glass of intern-brewed root beer.

“Now it’s developed into this great celebration. I like to call it the biggest Pioneer Day celebration east of the Mississippi,” Davis said.

A truck full of local products traveling to D.C. Photo credit: Steve Griffin, Deseret News

The event

A semi-tractor trailer traveled 30 hours to D.C. to deliver the Utah goodies. Attendees were able to sample products from 24 different companies based in the Beehive State.

The Deseret News spoke with local owners who were featured in the event. Co-owner of Pepperlane Jellies, Sandra Weese was ecstatic to have the opportunity to share her snacks.

“It’s really nice to be recognized for the work that we do and the passion that we have to create our products that people really enjoy,” said Weese.

Grant Kohler, the owner of Heber Valley Cheese, said he enjoys the ability to “showcase Utah and what we do.”

“It surprises people how big Utah is in artisan, really high-quality products,” Kohler said.

Event participants sampling Utah goods.  Photo credit: Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Here’s who make the trek up the hill

Rocky Mountain Pies
Heber Valley Cheese
Lower Foods
Taffy Town
Gusto Brazil
Creminelli Fine Meats
Harmons
Pepperlane
JulieAnn Caramels
Madbrook Donuts
Kodiak Cakes
Houwelings Tomatoes
Squatters
Apple Beer
Utah’s Own
Beehive Cheese
Chef Shamy Butter
Aggie Ice Cream
MTN OPS
Sweet Candy Company
Butcher’s Bunches
Lifetime Products
State Office of Tourism
Ski Utah

Did any of your favorite companies travel to D.C.?

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