Monday, August 30, 2010

The Great Minnesota Get Together


Every year during the last week of summer millions of Minnesotans gather at the mid way point between Minneapolis and St. Paul to stuff their faces, buy random crap and gawk at farm animals. Sounds awful doesn't it? Well, IT'S NOT! The Minnesota State Fair is epic.

Starting in 1859, the fair runs for twelve days with the last day being Labor Day. The total number of people who attend the fair is upwards of 1,600,000 people, which is the largest state fair in the country by daily attendance, though not by total attendance as the Texas State Fair runs for almost twice as long. The fair is home to livestock, such as cattle, horses, sheep, and llamas, which are all on show and compete in various competitions. A personal favorite, the Birthing Center, allows fair goers to witness live births and take a peek at some of the cutest newborn animals ever! The piglets are my favorite! No fear all you thrill seekers, the "Midway" houses dozens of rides, fun houses and games...just make sure you haven't eaten too much before you explore this part of the fair. The Minnesota State Fair also hosts a varied and talented array of live entertainment with 70 bands on 5 stages. The most popular is the Grandstand where Tim McGraw played on Saturday night and Carrie Underwood will be tomorrow (tickets sold out in about 10 minutes otherwise I would be there! Still bummed about that). The most famous and popular aspect of the fair is the food. With over 270 food stands, there is something for every one. Most famous are all the deep fried and on-a-stick items, and we're not just talking about corn dogs. Every year something new comes out which is on a stick and every year it seems to be more creative. Most recently candy bars, macaroni and cheese, hot dish, fresh fruit and bologna have been deep fried and thrown on a stick! 

Yesterday, J and I battled the 89 degree heat and made our annual trip to the fair! We met up with my dad, step-mom and little sister...I highly recommend going to the fair with a group because you can all split and share the amazing food. The fair is spendy and with so many yummy things to eat sharing saves you some cash and lets you try everything want. Here's what we enjoyed yesterday....

Australian Battered Potatoes
sliced potatoes, battered and deep fried then topped with cheese and ranch dressing
As you can see, we demolished these really fast! Soooo yummy! One of my must-haves at the fair
Scotch Egg on-a-stick
hard boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried
This is my dad's favorite! They have a bunch of different sauces you can choose dad uses horseradish but I prefer maple syrup. 

Tater Tot Hot Dish on-a-stick
Tater tots and meatballs deep fried with cream of mushroom dipping sauce
This was our first year trying this and I loved it! The mushroom sauce was super good and I LOVE tater tots! 
Nitro Ice Cream
Ice cream made on site with the use of liquid nitrogen
 This was just an accidental find...we went in to the food building and they were giving out's the best ice cream I've ever had. It's so smooth and creamy and soooo delicious!

Cheese Curds
Battered deep fried cheese curds
I would think this has to be one of the most popular item at the fair, a definite must have
Honey Sticks
I always love to go and visit the MN Honey Producers Association. They have honey in a variety of forms including liquid, spun, creamed, comb and whipped. Here I'm posing in front of some award winning honey eating a Peach Honey stick! 
 Cheese on-a-stick
Cheddar cheese battered and seep fried on-a-stick
This is my #1 must have item at the fair. It's my absolute favorite. A classic. It's basically a corn dog but with cheese instead of a hot dog....amazing! Sooo yummy! 
Walleye Cakes
These were also new for us this year, but after all the rave reviews we had to try them. They didn't disappoint!  The cakes were made with walleye and wild rice and served with a sweet honey mustard sauce. Delicious!

Corn on the Cobb
This another one of my must haves. This corn is to die for! It's grilled, dipped in butter and salted to perfection! 
Sweet Martha's Chocolate Chip Cookies
I know for a fact that these cookies are the most popular thing at the fair because last year alone Sweet Martha brought in 2 million dollars! In 12 days!  They are pretty amazing cookies, served warm! 
 Summit on-a-stick
3, 7oz cups of Summit including  Pale Ale, Oktoberfest and Horizon Red Ale
 Deep Fried Candy Bar on-a-stick
Batter dipped, deep fried candy bars on-a-stick (Snickers, Milky Way, Three Musketeers, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups)
BB and I shared some deep fried Reeses Peanut Butter cups! They're so rich but soooo good!

Deep Fried Pickles
Crumb coated deep fried pickle slices with optional cajun style or cream cheese served with Ranch Dressing
These are J's favorite fair food! We actually got two of them yesterday because he loves them so much. We got the sampler platter because you get a couple traditional, a couple cajuns and a couple cream chesses. So yummy!

It was an amazing day at the fair, and now all of us Minnesotans are ready for fall.


Café Bellini said...

That's a what ice cream? never heard of it! Oh my, I used to love corn dogs and I really want one of those cheese sticks now!

Brittany said...

DROOLING! I want to take Aidyn SO bad. Maybe we'll try and aim for next sunday or monday! I LOVE the state fair. My dads friend owns the walleye stand. In college he offered me a job, I would have made over 1000 dollars in a few days! They are so busy.. but I hear its fairly miserable!

Caroline said...

I just gained 10 lbs! The food looks delish. I had cheese curds a few years ago at the Wisconsin State Fair. They were interesting!! Glad you had a blast!

Carolyn @ life, love & puppy prints said...

AAAAAAAAAANNNNNNDDDDDDDDDD I am hungry again. I want more pickles and more deep fried candy. Please and thank you. :)

Lindsey said...

oh my gosh - all of this food looks delish! the tater tot hot dish on a stick looks amazing! thank you for tempting me with all of this food!

Miss K said...

Looks delicious! Our state fair comes this weekend and I can't wait to go! The food is the best reason to ever attend a fair!

JoJo said...

Thanks for the weight gain warning. I think I gained about five pounds!!

Kelly said...

Omigosh, omigosh! Thanks for the FUN and YUMMY review of the food you guys got! We're going to the fair either on Sunday or Monday... and my recap will probably look a lot like yours ;-) Last year we sooo wanted to find the Australian Potatoes but couldn't find them. It all looks sooo delish! Can't wait ;-)