Top 10 Food Finds at the Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair

This Sunday marked the conclusion of the 157th annual Iowa State Fair, known to downscale gourmands far and wide as the annual pinnacle of American eating. From cupcakes to astronauts, if it exists, you can bet the folks at the Iowa State Fair can grow it to an obscene size, deep-fry it and eat it off a stick, or of course, sculpt it out of butter.

10. The Butter Cow


A classic. Look at the detailed carving in that butter udder. Masterful work.

9. Frozen S’more on a Stick

frozen s'more on a stick

Mmmm…a new era for desserts on a stick. Genius.

8. Giant Gourds


Anyone else think there’s something really creepy about this photo?

7. Rodent Cake


Another creepy one! Who wants a rodent on top of their cake? And this was a blue ribbon winner! What did the losing cakes look like??

6. Mystery Cake


Oh right. This is what the losing cakes looked like. Can anyone even begin to explain what is going on here??? Are those jalapenos? Chocolate covered hot dogs? Deep fried garbage?

Next: Top 5 Food Finds at the Iowa State Fair

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  • Summer August 24, 2009  

    Oh, yes, the giant pumpkins are scary. They remind me very much of the people featured in TLC specials like “Half-Ton Teen,” who are always shown oozing across their beds covered only by a sheet, because they’re too fat to stand up or wear clothes. Terrifying. But not nearly so scary as that cake. WTF? Who DOES that to food? Betty Crocker would be rolling in her grave, if she was real (and dead).

  • Maids August 24, 2009  

    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!) ?

  • Maids August 24, 2009  

    God…. this almost makes me miss the midwest….

  • Mike August 24, 2009  

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

  • Mrs. L August 24, 2009  

    Almost makes me want to make a trip to my local state fair…almost…I think that Mystery Cake did me in (maybe those are pickles? shudder).

  • Nee Nee August 24, 2009  

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

    My parents did recently to express their delight at having their annual Viking meatball at the Montana state fair. Because who doesn’t need 1 lb. of fried beef, pork, and veal on a stick???

  • Amy August 24, 2009  

    Hey, I’ve been told canned chicken is really yummy. 🙂 In fact, my friend who has chickens was trying to get me to do it with her last summer when we snagged a pressure canner, but then her chickens wound up elsewhere. I don’t remember where. But she didn’t have extra chickens to use up somehow.

    I tell a terrible story, I know.

  • Unbelieveable Stuff August 25, 2009  

    yummie Food……

  • Jessie August 25, 2009  

    I know it’s bad for us but that snickers bar looks really good!

  • averagebetty August 25, 2009  

    Rodent Cake… LOL

  • Dean August 25, 2009  

    At the Minnesota State Fair it’s Walleye on a Stick. Only one source though – in the food building – but it’s well worth the quest.

  • hoss riser August 25, 2009  

    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 August 26, 2009  

    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 August 26, 2009  

    EEWW, people over there actually eat this shit, no wonder your all fat…

  • Sandy August 27, 2009  

    If your going to be rude, don’t say anything at all… Grow up.

  • Cajun Chef Ryan September 1, 2009  

    State fair food is so much fun and an adventure too! NC State Fair is coming up soon….

  • Mrs.B September 2, 2009  

    So if I understand correctly, any unhealthy thing, deep fried and stuck on a stick becomes instant iconic fair food? I don’t get the whole “state fair” thing anyway, but this fried food thing is just strange.

  • Joel November 4, 2009  

    What’s wrong with canned chicken? It’s the tuna of the land.

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  • Matt March 11, 2012  

    I am from Iowa and make it to the fair every year…best thing ever that no one seemed to know about…a corn brat…a bratwurst sausage on a stik fried in cornmeal batter like a corndog. tons of mustard and you are in heaven

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