Top 10 New Foods at the 2010 State Fairs

With all due respect to George Washington Carver, America’s greatest food inventions have all originated in one place — the state fair. From cotton candy to corn dogs to deep-fried Coke, the enterprising folks at America’s state and county fairs top themselves year after year. Some observers thought state fair cooks had hit their peak last year, when the Texas State Fair debuted Deep Fried Butter. But in 2010, they outdid themselves once again, proving that if it’s edible, it’s even better battered and fried. From coast to coast (but mostly in the middle) here are our top ten favorite finds:

10. Hash Brown Hot Dog  – San Diego County Fair

hash brown dog

Hot dogs with french fries is a pretty fantastic lunch, but boy it takes a lot of effort to transport all those individual fries from the plate to your mouth. If only we could get the hot dog and the potato to be one cohesive unit, preferably arranged on a stick. Thank you, San Diego. Thank you. (Photo: It’s Holly)

9. Deep-Fried Cheddar-Bacon Mashed Potatoes…On a Stick  – Minnesota State Fair


Sorry, San Diego — did you really think you could best the Midwest at spuds-on-a-stick? Here, Minnesota achieves the state fair trifecta — potatoes, pork and cheese — all deep fried, all on a stick. For more of Minnesota’s many, many state fair foods, check out Baking Junkie’s heart-stopping food crawl through the MN State Fair. (Photo: Baking Junkie)

8. Garbage Burger – Indiana State Fair

garbage burger

It’s the great state fair dilemma. Should pork be the basis of your dish — or a topping? In Indiana, this is not a problem. Behold the garbage burger — a deep-fried pork patty topped with a healthy serving of pulled pork. Why settle for one pig when you can have two? See more at The Hot Cookie. (Photo: Sarah Richcreek)

7.  Deep-Fried Frito Pie – Texas State Fair

frito pie

No other state takes this season as seriously as Texas, the good people who started the deep-fried everything movement with their corn dog in 1942 and haven’t looked back since. Earlier this week, ES told you about frito pies — those delicious piles of chili-topped corn chips. One guess what Texas has gone and done to ’em. (Photo: Texas Fried Frito Pie)

6. Deep Fried Klondike Bar – San Diego State Fair

deep fried klondike bar

California continues its surprisingly strong showing by having the cojones to throw a chocolate-covered ice cream bar in the deep fryer. This one’s more concept than execution, because not so surprisingly, it’s a total disaster to eat. My Burning Kitchen has more. (Photo: My Burning Kitchen)

Next: Top 5 New Foods at the 2010 State Fairs

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  • erica September 21, 2010  

    i will dream of hash brown hot dogs tonight

  • Melamine September 22, 2010  

    Looks great! Makes me hungry just looking at it.

  • Borracho September 22, 2010  

    One of the most intriguing dishes I have seen is fried pie. I didn’t attend any fairs this year but I may have a mission for next summer.

  • morgansher September 22, 2010  

    Damn! I can feel my arteries just snapping shut right now… and the temptation to go to the fair this weekend, cos it’s state fair time in NM, conveniently enough.

  • Pingback: So Good Blog/News Round-Up 9/23/10 | So Good September 23, 2010  
  • b1g September 23, 2010  

    Mmmmm… Beer… Say, can I get cheese on that? 😀


  • Laura September 23, 2010  

    I like how this was ranked a lot. Anything that can potentially be made in a gourmet food truck in Brooklyn shouldn’t really “win”, because it will likely garner more fame on Grub Street this time next year. So, sorry “fancy” hash and sweet potato dogs, and mashed potatoes on a stick, fried beer is soo #1. Though Chocolate Tornado Potato is an amazing snack food name!! (Also, oddly enough, would make for a great euphemism for diarrhea). That could have stood to be bumped up.

  • scott September 23, 2010  

    There were only 5 state fairs this year?

  • Peggy September 24, 2010  

    Those hot dog varieties look amazing!

  • Marie September 24, 2010  

    How can you eat this heavy fried, unhealthy, ugly and disgusting “food”?

  • Samuel September 24, 2010  

    Wow, each one is more disgusting than the last.

  • Mama Taney September 24, 2010  

    Those make me sick to my stomach. I would be impressed if I weren’t so nauseated.

  • Alan September 24, 2010  

    Just for clarification, san Diego doesn’t have a State Fair, just a County one. Sacramento hosts the California State Fair.

  • Kelly Gold September 25, 2010  

    This post is amazing! Not to be forgotten might be the Kentucky State Fair’s Krispy Kream Hamburger:

  • Katie Collins September 25, 2010  

    And American’s are becoming fatter everyday why ??

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  • Janice September 29, 2010  

    I know this may sound crazy but I have a diabetic student who is going to the State Fair of Texas next week. I want to provide her with a carb count of State Fair food so she can enjoy some unusual tastes. Does anyone know where I can get a list of the food served there with carb counts? Thanks

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  • AC October 3, 2010  

    yuck. America, grow up. being fat, dumb and stupid is no way to go through life.

  • Charlotte October 5, 2010  

    Really AWESOME fried foods…especially the mashed potatoes on a stick…can it GET any better?

    As a chocoholic I just don’t think that chocolate and potatoes go well together…guess I am just abby normal that way!

    Excellent post!

  • UpChuck.Liberals October 5, 2010  

    My cardiologist just called. Told me I’m dead. Then obviously I’m in heaven with this stuff.

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  • Mark October 5, 2010  

    @Janice: That really made me laugh… Carb counts at the State Fair. Bwaah ahahha.

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  • FireThunder October 7, 2010  

    I had chicken fried bacon at the Minnesota State Fair. That was pretty incredible.

  • Jeffrey October 17, 2010  

    I think if we had these for sale everywhere we would then consider McDonalds health food and we would be much bigger than ever! McDonalds would have to make the decision to add ice cream to their quarter pounders and deep fry them. Sales of salads would continue to decrease as it has been.

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  • ash December 28, 2010  

    you guys who are saying “no wonder americans are getting fatter” are missing the point. you eat this stuff at the state fair. you may only eat a deep fried klondike bar once or twice a year- so what if its got 3000 calories? nothing listed in this top ten list would be considered every day eats by anybody. eating something completely over the top is the experience- it’s like any other form of entertainment.

  • Anne December 30, 2010  

    I love the juxtaposition of this article with the South Beach Diet ad. What a hoot!

  • Ann January 1, 2011  

    TO Anne – LOL today is the 1st day of 2011 – YOU helped make my day with your post regarding the juxtaposition of the South Beach Ad — to perfect !

  • Steve Collins January 2, 2011  

    Deep fried beer? Who thinks up these things? On the positive side, when the oil can no longer be used to cook use it to fuel your diesel. But, seriously, I’d probably have a hard time passing some of these things up.

  • Bob Elliott January 2, 2011  

    I like the list, but I’m not too sure about Texas “inventing” the Corn Dog. The first time one appeared was as a Krusty Korn Dog Baker in 1929, and nowhere near Texas. The first one to appear on a State Fairgrounds was in Minnesota in 1941. Texas, as I have found in my experiences, tends to claim inventing everything, are has rarely invented anything.

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  • loss November 13, 2013  

    Sure, if you eat a lot of hamburgers, you’ll get fat, but
    if you eat a lot of broccoli, you’re going to lose weight.
    Work or any other reasons can deprive you of your opportunity to have dinner in necessary time but when you want weight reduction not to transform into torture it is vital
    to sacrifice, namely to find an possiblity to eat in this time interval.
    Add a twist of lime or lemon for flavor enhancement.
    Now select some recipes you could easily prepare so that you will always have healthy foods available.

    If by chance, they aren’t sweet enough to suit your needs, you’ll find healthier natural sweeteners available such as honey that you could add to make sure they
    are taste sweeter.

  • Josiah December 6, 2013  

    I’m surprised the deep fried Klondike bar is so melted. I’ve had deep fried ice cream at Mexican restaurants that stayed quite frozen.

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