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Why is Idaho's state fruit the huckleberry?

It's an Idaho staple, and is found in everything from pies to vodka - but what makes this finicky berry so Idaho?

BOISE, Idaho — Thanks to an idea from a group of North Idaho fourth graders, the huckleberry was officially adopted as Idaho's state fruit by the state legislature in 2000.

We'll just go ahead and say it: huckleberries are a little finicky, but worth the wait.

With a short window for picking, which starts in July and ends in August, and only available in specific regions (between 4,000 and 6,000 feet), huckleberry crops can take up to 15 years to fully mature.

That could be why they haven't successfully been grown commercially.

Every year, cities across the state celebrate the fruit with multi-day festivals, including the 'Huckleberry Jam' at Tamarack and 'Huckleberry Festivals' in Donnelly and Wallace.

But before you put huckleberry picking on your calendar, beware. Bears love huckleberries even more than we do. It's one of their main sources of nutrition in the summer months.

Their flexible lips make picking these berries faster than any person can pick them with their hands.

So whether it's in a pie, muddled in a Moscow mule, or pulled directly from the vine and popped in your mouth, remember, huckleberries are #soidaho.

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