The Art and Science of State Fair Foods

Illustration for article titled The Art and Science of State Fair Foods

I love the fair. The rides, the people, the all butter replica of Neil Armstrong's moon landing (I'm looking at you, Iowa). But most of all, I love the food. It's fried, fun, and totally unique. I have a piece up in Modern Farmer explaining how chefs come up with new state fair foods. (HINT: It involves a deep-fryer.)


So, fellow state fair aficionados, did you make it out to the fair this year (or will you)? And, more importantly, what did you eat? Tell us about a couple of the foods you sampled in the comments (pictures too please, for both illustration and vicarious tasting purposes).

I'll start: some liquid-nitrogen dipped caramel corn, a stickful of fried olives and cheese, and an ever-so-classic homemade caramel apple.


Image: Modern Farmer. Included are:

  • 1 — Traditional glazed donut grilled and served with a strawberry mint dipping sauce from Moe & Joe's
  • 2 — Homemade meatloaf deep fried on-a-stick with a red pepper wine glaze from Minnesota Wine Country.
  • 3 — The ultimate sweet-savory combo: chewy, caramelized bacon pieces paired with Ole’s sweet, smooth ricotta cheese filling in a fried, crunchy pastry shell from
    Ole's Cannoli.
  • 4 — Preferred Pickles' popular deep fried pickles dusted with powdered sugar and served with a side of chocolate for dipping.

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I have to say as a Brit it's rare to find interesting food at a fair, it's normally just a burger van and a sweet stall. I have to say though things are changing and now first job is to find out if there is a churros stall and AQUIRE. Mmmmmm, churros, with sugar and cinnamon.

I really wanted to try a corn dog when I was in NY, but didnt spot a seller. i also seriously regret not getting cannoli when I had the chance.

Good excuse to come back!