10 Foods Not to Miss at State Fairs This Summer
The foodstuffs at state fairs continue to reach new heights each year, as states do culinary battle, offering new and different walk-around treats, many of which involve the timeless art of deep-frying. These 10 items from state fairs throughout the country push the boundaries of fair fare. Take a summer pilgrimage from Alaska to Texas to taste them all.
Washington State Fair: Fisher Fair Scones
Each day during the Washington State Fair, thousands upon thousands of these flaky scones find their way into the mouths of fair-goers. Always accompanied by whipped butter and raspberry jam, the scones have been a mainstay of the proceedings for over a century. Get a couple right away to save time.
Minnesota State Fair: Kimchi n’ Curry Poutine
In a single bite (okay, maybe two), you can visit the culinary landscape of Korea, India, and Francophone Canada with this new arrival at the Minnesota State Fair. The dish consists of braised pork and potatoes and a poached egg topped with curry gravy, cheddar cheese, and kimchi.
Minnesota State Fair: Mac and Cheese Cupcake
Much has been said about the Fall of the Cupcake Empire, but no one told the folks in Minnesota, thank goodness. The mac and cheese on offer is surrounded by a warm breadcrumb crust, then sprinkled with more breadcrumbs. The final finial here is a tiny tower of Cheez Whiz. Voila!
Wisconsin State Fair: Maple Syrup-Black Pepper Bacon
There is perhaps no finer bit of culinary alchemy than that which is sweet and a bit spicy. One of the signature notes at the Wisconsin State Fair is this smoky, peppery bacon dipped in maple syrup, and then baked until caramelized. Don’t bother sharing: it’s already gone.
Iowa State Fair: Golden-Fried Peanut Butter & Jelly on A Stick
To satisfy your inner child—or an actual child—why not try this homage to that quotidian concoction of American childhood? It’s fried, it comes on a stick, and it would be perfect with a glass of cold milk. Clearly, it’s the best of all worlds.
Iowa State Fair: Corn in a Cup
Buttery corn on the cob is a staple of any good state fair, but…it’s messy. The Iowa State Fair solves that problem with “corn in a cup,” which is elevated by the addition of pork chorizo, butter, chayote cheese, lime juice, sour cream, mayo, and “magic dust.”
Alaska State Fair: Talkeetna Spinach Bread
This particular item has been a hit at the Alaska State Fair for over a decade. It’s made by slathering a piece of hearty toast with a mix of spinach, roasted garlic, and several cheeses, which is then broiled to warm, gooey perfection.
Oklahoma State Fair: Capt’n Crunch Chicken On-A-Stick
Who wants plain old fried chicken on a stick when you can have fried chicken coated in sweet breakfast cereal on a stick? Made with a Capt’n Crunch–enhanced batter, these crispy chicken strips can be eaten all day long.
Texas State Fair: Fried Taste of Autumn Pumpkin Pie
Can you hear the leaves falling? Well, you might be able to taste them in this medley of pumpkin, cream cheese, and pumpkin pie seasoning artfully arranged between a duo of ginger spice cookies. But wait—there’s more! The cookie sandwich is dipped in funnel cake and then rolled in ground cookies and more pumpkin pie seasoning.
Indiana State Fair: S’Mores Shake
No campfire required here, as the Indiana State Fair Dairy Bar does the work for you. The s’mores-flavored milkshake is redolent of warm summer nights, arts & crafts night, and other misty, maudlin overnight camp memories. Bonus: the shake comes garnished with an actual s’more.