The Deep-Fried Minnesota State Fair

Danielle Oteri

by Danielle Oteri on September 4, 2009

I was the only rookie in a group of four experienced fried food eaters at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair. They knew how to get it done. Check out the food map, cross-reference the coupon book, and eat as a team. Never eat a full portion of one particular thing like this guy did. We did way better. Strategize, share, and make it all last as long as possible. I called it “tantric eating.”

While some things were better than others, I beseech you, has anything fried ever tasted bad? Here’s a rundown of the most creative deep fried concoctions:

  • Hot dog, covered in french fries: Pretty good, but would have been bland without the chipotle mayo.
  • IMG_1662

  • Corn dogs vs. pronto pups: This is the State Fair’s version of Pat’s vs. Geno’s. After a careful taste test, I still prefer a corn dog to the pronto pup (just slightly), which is coated in pancake batter and, of course, deep-fried.
  • Fudge puppies: a Belgian waffle (long, not round) covered in chocolate with sprinkles and whipped cream, on a stick. I strongly suggest that some industrious NYC foodie start selling these from a food truck ASAP!
  • Risotto balls from French Meadow: Much like the beloved Sicilian arancini, this was my second favorite food of the day. The outside was crispy, not greasy, and the inside filled with mushrooms and swiss cheese.
  • IMG_1664

  • Cheese curds: Fresh curds from the cheddar making process are battered and yes, deep-fried. The insides remain gooey and springy while the outside is crispy. Curds lose their freshness within 24 hours so it is only the lucky folks who live in cheese-making regions like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Upstate New York, and Ontario that get to enjoy this over-the-top treat. Being they were my number one food of the day, I ordered them twice.
  • The Mouse Trap Cheese Curds

    The Mouse Trap Cheese Curds

After nine hours, and a lot more eating than I listed here, we were popping Pepto and ready to call it a day. Still, there was so much we didn’t get to! The deep-fried candy bars, the deep-fried Oreos, the deep-fried spaghetti and meatballs on a stick, the chocolate covered bacon, the pot roast sundae…IMG_1831

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