The Deep-Fried Minnesota State Fair

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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  1. I think I may have found a rival to the fudge puppy (although it will always hold a special place in my heart). We went back yesterday and got a deep friend snickers bar. I had no idea it could taste so good. It is dipped in batter and then fried and the inside gets all melty and mixed together. It is chocolate, caramel, and peanut heaven on a stick!

  2. I would note that cheeseburger if I could remember the name of the stand, although I guess it’s a little magical to have found something so good, and then lost it just as quickly. The anonymous cheeseburger brigade. Band name anyone?

  3. OK, now we need to find another place that makes Danielle type the words “deep-fried” even MORE times than in this post. Can it be done? :)

  4. Oh, the cheeseburger…it was a wild rice burger from the food building..yummy…

    I think deep fried candy bar would be a good band name…

  5. Hey Danielle,

    We met Casey in Mexico and she told us about your post from the MN State Fair. As a native Minnesotan (but living in the Bay Area) I like to pilgrimage back when I can. We didn’t make it in 2009, but blogged about in in Aug 2008. We tried to eat as many things on a stick as possible, but only could take small bites as to not make ourselves sick. Also, Cheesecurds are also a must . . . only about 8 months away!


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