2013 Minnesota State Fair Highlights

August 24, 2013

The Minnesota State Fair, also known as the Celebration of Deep Fried Food on Stick, marks the culmination of summer for me and Mike.  Yes, it's mostly about the food, but we also like to gawk at the entries in the giant vegetable competition, admire the handicrafts and baked goods, and learn about the latest green technologies at the Eco Experience Building.  Here are some highlights from this year's visit to the State Fair:

Classic Food Favorites

  • My all time favorite State Fair Food is the Mouth Trap's cheese curds (Food Building).  The thin deep fried coating is crispy, not too greasy, and perfectly complements the oozing hot cheese.  This is the way cheese is meant to be eaten.
  • The soft serve at Dairy Goodness (Dairy Building) is the creamiest I've ever tasted.  You can get it in an ice cream cone, sundae, or malt.

New Food Discoveries

  • The frozen mocha on a stick at the Minnesota Farmer's Union (Dan Patch Ave. and Cosgrove St.) is a bit pricey for a moderately sized frozen treat, at $5.75.  However, it's worth it: the silky texture and the rich coffee flavor provided blissful relief from the 90 degree heat.
  • Mike's favorite food item this year was the Sausage Sister and Me's Twisted Sister (Food Building): a porketta sausage wrapped in breadstick dough and served with marinara sauce.  Porketta is an Italian heavily seasoned pork roast, brought to Minnesota's Iron Range by Italian immigrants.  Not only was the porketta bursting with the flavor of oregano, the breadstick exterior was perfectly seasoned with rosemary and Parmesan cheese.
  • Although it's not technically a food, the Holy Land Deli's lemonade (International Bazaar), was a refreshing icy explosion of fresh mint and freshly squeezed lemons.

Other Fun Stuff

  • Learn your blood type at the Memorial Blood Center booth (Dan Patch Ave. and Cooper Ave.).
  • Admire the creativity and immeasurable patience behind the entries in the crop art competition (Agriculture Building).  Each work is made up of thousands of carefully placed tiny seeds.
  • For the quintessential Minnesota experience, try the Hot Dish on a Stick at Ole and Lena's Hotdish on a Stick (Liggett St. and Carnes Ave.): meat balls and tater tots threaded onto a stick, deep fried, and served with a cream of mushroom dipping sauce.
State Fair
Clockwise from upper left: Holy Land Deli lemonade; Sausage Sister and Me's Twisted Sister; crop art; more crop art; Ole and Lena's Hotdish on a Stick; Minnesota Farmer's Union mocha on a stick