(State of Utah)
- Location: Western United States
- Capital: Salt Lake City
- Language(s): English
- Population: 2,834,353
- Total Area: 219,887 sq km
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Alcohol sale is controlled.
- Most Popular Drink(s): Soft drinks, beers
- Nickname: The Beehive State
- What You Must Do in Utah: Visit the Salt Lake Temple.
The state of Utah was named for the Ute, one of the Native American tribes that inhabited the region before the coming of the Mormons fleeing religious persecution. The name ‘Utah’ means the ‘people of the mountains’ in the native tongue. The state was admitted into the Union in 1896 as the 45th state in the nation. When I tried to find out what was responsible for the late entry of the state into the Union, I was faced with a most astonishing discovery: Mormons in the state had approved polygamy and were not too willing to let go of the practice. The story of how the state began is a fascinating one that reflects the determination and will of a group of religious individuals to survive against all odds. The state of Utah shares borders with Wyoming to the northeast, Idaho to the north, Colorado to the east, Arizona to the east and Nevada sits to the west. An interesting intersection is formed at the point where the state meets with Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. This unique meeting point is called the Four Corners and is made up of four right angles.
In the state of Utah, the Whites are in a clear majority, as they constitute 80% of the population. Many of the Whites have roots in European nations such as England, Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden and Norway), Germany, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy and Switzerland. Other groups include the Blacks (African Americans), American Indians (Native Indians), Asians and the Native Hawaiians (and other Pacific Islanders). When it comes to religion, Utah is in a class of its own as I noticed a trend not repeated in any other state in the country –around 60% of the state’s residents belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That makes Utah the state with the largest representation of Mormons in the United States.
The most popular dish in the state of Utah by far is jell-o. This dessert is made from fruits, gelatin and flavoring. Almost every Utahan has one fantastic story or the other to tell about the delicacy. It is so popular and beloved that it has been made the state’s official snack. Apart from jell-o, another dish that you need to try out in Utah is high in calories –funeral potatoes. This meal is made using cheese, frozen potatoes, cream, chicken soup and crushed cornflakes –it is really enticing and delicious. Mormon cuisine also incorporates pastrami burger (oh, you will love the meaty toppings!) and far from what many assume, Utah is a nice place to dine.
Utah may be a nice place to dine but to wine may pose some challenges. In a state where Mormon laws are dominant, sale of alcohol is understandably controlled and regulated. Utah laws stipulate that you can only buy alcohol from government-approved liquor stores and that usually means you will have to buy at higher rates. However, if you are a law-abiding citizen, you should not have too much trouble getting your booze!
The religious aura over the state of Utah has not stopped its inhabitants from enjoying themselves when it comes to sports. Basketball (give it to Utah Jazz!), baseball and football are hugely popular in the state.
- About 60% of Utahans are Mormons.
- The name Brigham Young is always synonymous with the state.
- The Salt Lake Temple is one of the most popular sites in the state.
- The Monument Valley is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).