Top 10 New Foods at the 2012 State Fairs

Well, in regards to ridiculous overloads of novelty foods, it’s all downhill from here—state fair season is over for the year. We’ll have to wait for months before a stream of deep-fried, chocolate-covered, bacon-wrapped indulgences can once again make their appearance in our diets. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the most shocking new creations that made their debut onto the state fair food scene in 2012. Steel your arteries…

10. BIG Beef Rib – California State Fair

You’d think that a normal beef rib would contain enough animal flesh, but you would be wrong, and the California State Fair is here to prove it. They’ve jammed a giant 24-oz. steak ONTO a 17-inch beef rib bone. Why?! Because they can. (Photo:

9. Deep Fried Cotton Candy – Texas State Fair

We saw deep fried Kool-Aid and deep fried salsa at last year’s state fairs, so we should have known that cotton candy couldn’t be that far off. Pretty crazy, because it seems like the spun sugar would melt in the deep fryer. Life is full of mysteries. Not enough sweets for you? Don’t worry, this treat is served by a frozen yogurt purveyor, so feel free to use these giant balls of fried sugar as a topping on your froyo. (Photo: Cassie’s Frozen Yogurt)

8. Outlaw Stacker – Eastern Idaho State Fair

We all know that french fries are a great base for all kinds of toppings, and the Eastern Idaho State Fair really took that idea and ran with it. The Outlaw Stacker is a huge pile of fries smothered in gravy, bacon, and a fried egg. The name rings true—health and nutrition are truly outlawed in this dish. And we’re okay with that. (Photo: Eastern Idaho State Fair)

Read More

Grease, Goats and Girth: The Iowa State Fair

state fair

After the two-hour drive to Des Moines, Iowa, my taste buds were ready for the greasy foods on a stick and ridiculous fair concoctions that only the Iowa State Fair could deliver. My goal was to attend the fair on an empty stomach so I could report back to you, dear ESer, about how the delicious fried things on a stick tasted. But I have a confession to make: I WAS NOT HUNGRY. After a sweet and greasy fried twinkie that got me all sticky, my body said “no way are you eating any more of this shit.” No, the wasp drowning in the sugary residue around a funnel cake was not appetizing. And last time I checked, hot beef sundaes would make any normal person want to vomit. About eight bottles of water and 500 pictures later, I was exhausted, smelly, tired and grossed out. I never did find those chicken lips on a stick. I feel somewhat cheated.

It was a twilight zone of meat: pork, steak, chicken, turkey, bacon, sausage, meatballs, 1/2 lb tenderloins, hamburgers. And it seemed that every other person I saw was a walking example of what happens if one eats state fair food as one’s daily diet. The people watching just got better and better and more alarming as we made our way around the fair. (Picture the humans in the movie Wall-E.) I couldn’t snap my camera fast enough. In speaking with one seemingly regular gentleman, he asked me what I was doing with the big camera. I told him that I was photographing state fair food. He asked me, “are you taking pictures of all the freaks?” Yes, yes, I was. I couldn’t keep my shutter shut.

We were also lucky enough to catch a few of the animals left in their pens, including a gigantic pig that looked like a hippopotamus, sheep, goats, turkeys, ducks and cows. The smell, oh the smell, can only be described as hot and pungent. And most likely, very soon, these animals would be on a stick somewhere. Gross.

Pop a few antacids before you browse the selection of photos:

Read More

Oh My-lanta

iowa state fair-cotton candy girl

With anticipation similar to the release of the Emmy nominees, the Iowa State Fair food list has been released.  The red-headed step child of the food world, the Iowa State Fair offers adventurous food connoisseurs everything from the traditional funnel cake to chicken lips on a stick [insert disgusted sound].

Don’t live in Iowa? You are in luck this year (and every other year as well). Hot mess of sweaty people and grease: here I come. From the heart of the corn belt, the birthplace of a third of all American hogs, and most likely the origin of about half of your McDonald’s value meal, I will be filling my stomach and my camera with greasy goodness for your viewing pleasure. How will I stuff a deep fried ho-ho into my mouth in one bite? I have 33 days left to figure it out. Stay tuned. You are in for a real treat from America’s farm country. The slogan is “Non-Stop Fun”, but they must mean “Non-Stop Stomach Ache.”

Iowa Doesn’t Have Squat on Minnesota

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.


Exhibit 1

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…

Read More

Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week


– This week we brought you the Top 10 Food Finds at the Iowa State Fair and you responded loud and clear: Go North. Mike:

Planning on visiting the minnesota state fair?? anything you can imagine on a stick.

Nee Nee:

How about the Minnesota state fair delight “Spudzza!” A potato pizza fair booth that grew into a Grand Avenue icon. Where magic happens.


Were there also busts of Beauty Queens from each Iowa county whose faces had been carved in butter? (because if that wasn’t present, Iowa doesn’t have anything on Minnesota!)

OK, we get the point. Checking out Minnesota next. Although hoss riser makes a counter-argument:

why do these people keep yakking about the minnesota state fair, which is so obviously inferior? maybe michele bachmann will be there to announce that god has asked her to run for pope of crazytown. minnesota sux.

Leah has us looking towards the motherland:

I would like to inform my bacon loving friends that at the Wisconsin State Fair you can get Chocolate covered bacon on a stick….

Veriphos wraps it up with some good old fashioned coastal elitism:

Read More