It’s time yet again for our most hallowed annual tradition, the Minnesota State Fair. This year about two million of us will make the pilgrimage to St. Paul where we’ll mill around with our brother sisters in the late summer sun to cherish our favorite attractions. We’ll go and see the well behaved dogs doing tricks in exchange for treats. We’ll walk through the animal barns and see the handsomest goats, pigs, and fowl the Midwest can summon. We’ll go hoarse screaming on rides, pretend that our contributions to the Giant Sing Along are distinguishable, and be welcomed into the haunted house by the man dressed like Captain Jack Sparrow.Of course, admiring goats and receiving invitations from pirates are nearly impossible pursuits on an empty stomach. That’s why the State Fair has food — quite a lot of it, to be accurate. The State Fair will serve about half a million corn dogs this year, which, if laid end to end, would stretch from Minneapolis to St. Cloud. (It would be inadvisable to eat the corn dogs after trying this.) We will eat more than 150 tons of French fries, the same weight as a full-grown blue whale. We’ll also ravage about two and a half million cheese curds, which is a whole gosh danged lot. And these are just the old standbys!
The State Fair is no slouch when it comes to introducing new delicacies, either — we brought the world spaghetti-on-a-stick, after all. In keeping with that tradition of culinary innovation, here are just a few of the exciting new foods you can try at the State Fair this year.
Memphis Totchos, Snack House
Elvis Presley would have given the world enough had he only recorded his music, but in his benevolence The King also brought us one of the finest sandwiches ever created. The “Elvis Presley” is traditionally made with bacon, bananas, and peanut butter, and it’s delicious. Snack House is taking Elvis’ vision a step further this year by swapping the bread for Minnesotan-approved tater tots and substituting the peanut butter with a gooey, drizzly, peanutty sauce. We have nothing but a big hunk o’ love for this new arrival!
Double Dose of Pork Belly, RC’s BBQ
There are different definitions of infinity. Some say it’s the limit of a mother’s love for her child. Others say it’s the length, in hours, of an average visit to their in-laws’ house. We say it’s the amount of bacon that’s socially acceptable to eat in one sitting. RC’s BBQ shares our sentiment, and this year they’ll prove it with their Double Dose of Pork Belly, a 100% ground pork belly burger topped with even more crisp, smoked pork belly plus pepper jack cheese, coleslaw, and pickled onions all served on a toasted bun. Single pork belly? Smart. Double pork belly? Who is RC, Albert Einstein?
Bowl O’ Dough, Blue Moon Dine-In Theater
If your major qualm with chocolate chip cookies is that they have already been baked, then Blue Moon Dine-In Theater’s Bowl O’ Dough is for you. This decadent offering is available in four flavors: Brownie Batter Swirl, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, European Cookie Butter, and Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake with Blueberries. True to its cookie roots, the Bowl O’ Dough is served with a side of sea salt-flavored ice milk. This is what Santa Claus eats in the summer.
By David Scheller