A week or so ago, BS shared with us the best the Iowa State Fair has to offer. Well, as many of the comments on BS’s post suggested, when you’re talking state fairs and you’re talking food, the Minnesota State Fair is really where it’s at.
Now I really am not one to toot Minnesota’s horn without cause.
I’m an East Coast gal (not born but bred), and I have a sufficiently obnoxious amount of regional and state pride. I attended undergrad in Saint Paul, Minnesota and I was routinely disappointed with a lot of its food: cheese, bagels, pizza, Chinese. I was lactose tolerant then and had to school those MNers about the travesty that is Wisconsin cheddar; the closest thing to a sharp Vermont Cabot was Canadian Black Diamond cheddar.
However, Minnesota has the State Fair food superiority on lock down.
Check out the video above by Minnesota Public Radio’s Curtis Gilbert. The dude only eats MN fair food and then visits a doctor to measure the presumptively deleterious effects on his health.
At the fair Gilbert gorged himself on scotch eggs on a stick, big fat bacon on a stick, deep fried gator, deep fried twinkies and pork chops among other foodstuffs (I hope he didn’t forget the fried cheese curds!)
Surprisingly Gilbert finds that binging on the fair food, for one day, actually brings his bad cholesterol level down…Could it be that MN State Fair food is actually good for us? Well the deep fried twinkies most certainly are.
More proof after the jump…
Princess Kay of the Milky Way is the Beauty Pageant held every year at the Minnesota State Fair. The Dairy Princesses from across the state are awarded the honor of having their likenesses carved in butter for all the fairgoers to admire.
As Wikipedia explains:
Since 1965, sculptures of the winning Princess Kay and other finalists have been carved, one per day, at the Minnesota State Fair. Recent butter sculptures have been carved out of a 90 pound block of Grade A butter, in a walk-in, glass-walled refrigerator. The butter carving booth is one of the most popular exhibits at the Fair. The carving of the butter sculpture takes 6-8 hours per finalist. Princesses take their butter sculpture home with them at the end of the Fair.
Oh the t-shirts! Does Iowa have t-shirts which proclaim “What’s the point of eating if it’s not on a stick?” In fact, maybe that should be the new ES motto! Minnesotans know that fairs are about one thing, and one thing only: packing on the fat so they can brave the nine long, wintry months ahead!
Perhaps the most powerful evidence of MN State Fair Superiority (especially for you rankings-types) are the sheer numbers of people who commit themselves to hours in a sweaty sea of humanity. In fact Minnesota has traditionally set the record for the most people to attend a state fair on one day. This year 114,439 people attended the Minnesota State Fair on opening day.
According to the DC Examiner:
The largest single day crowd: Saturday, September 2, 1995, when 225,249 fairgoers made there way through the turnstiles. On an average day at the fair, you are competing with 140,000 others for your chosen thing-on-a-stick….
The question as to the “largest state fair in the U.S.” seems to be continually at issue. Several sources say it “may be the largest,” but the closest thing we can say with any certainty, is that it IS the largest in terms of daily attendance (see above). The Texas State Fair, for example, has a greater overall attendance, but runs twice as long. They also don’t have near the number of stick-pierced foodstuffs. It has, however, been determined by a number of unnamed sources that the Minnesota State Fair is far and away the greatest.
So please BS, next time you direct ESers to check out a top ten food list featuring state fair foods, don’t you dare turn anywhere but the best frackin fair in the nation! Iowa Shm’iowa!
The MN State Fair is open through Labor day this year. Stop by and have a bloomin’ onion and some fried cheese curds for me!