Sunday, August 24, 2008

If it's on a it!

Our state fair is a great state fair. Ever since we decided to move to Minnesota I've been telling Matt about the state fair & how I couldn't wait to take him there this summer, the animals, the crop art, the people watching & the food, especially the food!
A sea of people
Our fair is known for the amount of different food items with 261 different food vendors & 69 of those feature food on-a-stick, the ultimate in convenience food. We're not just talking corn dogs (or pronto pups as they're called here), we're talking about things like spaghetti & meatballs or pizza on-a-stick. Matt & I thought we would share his first culinary adventure at the fair with all of you...
Yum Breakfast!
For most people the first stop when you arrive at the fair in the morning is Tom Thumb Donuts for a bag of sixteen mini donuts. They're warm, fresh from the fryer & coated in cinnamon sugar. Some people claim the Tom Thumb stand by the Old Mill Ride is the best.
Mac & Cheese on a Stick
Next stop was Axel's (yes, THAT Axel) to try two different foods on-a-stick. First, we tried the deep-fried mac & cheese on-a-stick. They were quite salty which made them taste a lot like cheese curds, not a bad thing at all. The inside was so soft & creamy.
Tater Tots on a Stick
Then it was the tater tots on-a-stick, hash brown potatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream & chives served with a spicy dipping sauce. Matt really liked these.
Deep Fried Pickle Chips
Next was deep-fried pickle chips with ranch dressing. Oh, were these amazing, probably the best thing we had all day! Who knew hot pickles could be so good.
Ruben Dog on a Stick
Then the thing Matt had been looking forward to most, rueben on-a-stick, a hot dog wrapped in sauerkraut then coated in rye breading & deep-fried served with a side of thousand island dressing. He said it was good but next time he'll try the corn beef & cabbage on-a-stick.
Deep Fried Snickers on a Stick
Time for a sweet & a deep-fried Snickers on-a-stick. Really yummy but really messy & a little dangerous with that hot caramel.
Big Fat Bacon on a Stick
Oh yeah, bring on the pork or more specifically the Big Fat Bacon on-a-stick. One-third pound of hand-cut bacon fried & caramelized with maple syrup. This booth was so busy they couldn't make the bacon fast enough! You could have the bacon with two different barbecue sauces or mustard.
Sparkling Apple Cider Float
By now we needed a little palate cleanser so we went for the sparkling apple cider float. Very refreshing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Finally the Cheese Curds
Finally, the king of the Minnesota fair foods, the deep-fried cheese curds. Salty, melty goodness!
There was so much more we wanted to try but our stomach were yelling surrender. I wanted to try a Pig Licker, bacon coated in chocolate & sprinkled with salt, but the demand was so high that Famous Dave's BBQ couldn't keep up. There were about 50 people waiting for the next batch while I was there.
Hotdish on a Stick
Next year I really need to leave room for the hotdish on-a-stick!
You can see more pictures of our day at the Fair here.
Thanks to Matt for being such a good sport & letting me take pictures of him eating all day!


Anne Coleman said...

How did you survive? My goodness, that's a lot of food. Good food...

Anonymous said...

OMG ~ bacon on a stick! Heavenly!!! Who knew you could put all these things on a stick? Great post!

Tara said...

Hi! Been reading your blog for a while, but this post has made me come out of lurkdom. I grew up in Minnesota and the one thing I miss the most is the fair! I absolutely LOVE the fair and oh my god, the food! I almost swooned when I saw Tom Thumb mini-donuts and fried pickles and cheese curds! Thanks for this walk down memory lane - the Arizona state fair is abysmal in comparison and it just renews my desire to head back to MN just for the fair!

Neen said...

I am so, so glad that you took your camera with you to the State Fair -- this post is amazing! I feel like it's total culture shock/immersion with the locals. Deep Fried Snickers On a Stick? Deep Fried PIckle Chips??? WOW! Thank you SO much for sharing this with us, and deep, heartfelt gratitude for Matt for playing Male Model to such decadent foodie fantasies. :)

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

Yay! Our NC state fair isn't until the fall. I can't wait! I've never seen bacon or reuben on-a-stick. Maybe my fair will have those, too. Well, I've got a recipe for some fried pickles if you (or others) want it. You can reminisce all year long!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Oh, I want to go to the fair! Your ribs look delicious also!

Anonymous said...

We just went to our county fair and it was good but NOTHING like this! I have never heard of some of these foods. I love the bacon on a stick idea. So simple... yet genius :)

Alexandra said...

I've been reading your blog for a couple weeks now. I was raised in Oregon and both of my parents are from the midwest - Iowa. For some reason, people in Oregon eat really healthy. People that visit us for perfectly normal midwestern style meals are shocked that we eat full fat ingredients. This led to a friend who claimed that if my family could fry butter and eat it, we would.

Your post explains it all. Deliciously fatty food is just a midwestern thing. Thank you for making me drool every day and try things like basil icing.

Shelby said...

This makes me anxious to get to our state fair this week! I'm travelling on Wednesday to go - I have no idea what to expect!

That bacon on a stick - oh my! Those donuts and cheese curds too....I'm drooling (at 4:30 am! lol but, hey, that could be breakfast food too eh?)

grace said...

what a trooper he is to try all those nasty, tasteless foods for the sake of the blog. ;) i'm officially jealous. fair food rules. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I love cheese curds and deep fried pickles. Two of my absolute favorites. Thanks so much for this post, it reminds me of my days covering county fairs as a younger journalist.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned the Minnesota State Fair and CHEESE CURDS!

Last year Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery sold 104,000 pounds of its famous 100% All Natural Premium Cheddar Cheese Curds made from farmer certified rBST free milk to the Minnesota State Fair – as well as state and county fairs nationwide.

Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery is located just across the Minnesota boarder and receives its quality rBST free milk from Minnesota and Wisconsin proud dairy farm families.

A former Governor of Wisconsin proclaimed this creamery the "Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin".
Their cheese curds are so famous they are asked for by name.

Interesting fact:
Ellsworth Cheese curds are white morsels.
They are the color of fresh quality milk - All Natural White!
Question: "Did you ever drink a glass of orange milk?"

Cheese Curds at the Minnesota State Fair. Can't Wait!


Otherwise you can purchase bags of their cheese curds in Minnesota in the DELI section of Cub Foods. They have a very simple 4-ingredient recipe on the back of their bags for battering their cheese curds in your own home – bringing the state fair into your kitchen. They also have all kinds of things listed on their web site – that you can do with cheese curds. They are also sold at 1100 A&W restaurants nationwide and at the Miller Park for the Brewer games. They are the absolute BEST!

So Yummy!

kat said...

I;m glad everyone enjoyed our little taste of the fair.

Alicia Foodycat said...

How in heaven's name do you get mac & cheese on a stick!? This is a beautiful post - so many wrong-but-right foods, fantastic!

Rebecca said...

yum. i love fried fair food. a good thing that the fair comes around just once a year.

doodle girl said...

oh my gosh, all of it looks amazing.

PP (Jeffery) said...

Thanks for trying the Deep Fried Pickles!! Hope you come back for more this year. :)

PP himself!!

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