State Politics

Lawmakers made time Tuesday to debate the merits of huckleberry pie

Huckleberry pie at a restaurant in East Glacier, Mont.
Huckleberry pie at a restaurant in East Glacier, Mont. Licensed through Creative Commons

An eastern Idaho fourth-grade class wants huckleberry pie to be designated as the official state dessert, and an Idaho House committee — despite some dissent — agreed to introduce the bill on Tuesday.

“I’m hoping this bill gets pie-partisan support, because any way you slice it, the huckleberry pie gives you a good filling,” Rep. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg, told the House State Affairs Committee.

The idea originated with Teri Hargraves’ fourth-grade class at Iona Elementary School, which advised lawmakers in a letter that Idaho would be ahead of Utah if it designated a state dessert, and proposed the “delicious” pie.

There was some grumbling from the committee.

“If you don’t like huckleberry pie, are the citizens of the state going to be compelled to eat this stuff?” asked committee Chair Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Iona. Other committee members wondered why the huckleberry shake or ice cream weren’t proposed instead, to support the state’s dairy industry.

Rep. Dustin Manwaring, R-Pocatello, moved to introduce the bill.

“I like huckleberries,” Manwaring said. “That’s already our state fruit, but I think we’ll have a good discussion on whether we should have a state dessert.”

The motion carried, but three members voted against it: Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens; Rep. Jason Monks, R-Nampa; and Loertscher.

“I’m not going to be able to support the motion,” Barbieri said. “We’re just encouraging further frivolousness.”