Best New State Fair Foods

November 6, 2010 1:11 PM

(Credit: CBS)

Let’s be honest, the Minnesota State Fair is all about one thing — the food. Whether it’s fresh, deep-fried or on-a-stick, it’s the array of fair food that brings people back each year.

And while there are certain items one must get every year (sweet corn, mini donuts, cheese curds and Sweet Martha’s Cookies are on my annual list), there’s also an opportunity to try new fare at the fair.

This year, there are more than 20 new food items showcased throughout the fairgrounds for folks to try out. And while, really, we could urge you to try all of them, we don’t want to be responsible for impending cardiac arrest or at the very least, massive food comas. So instead, we thought we’d narrow down a list of 10.

Now, this isn’t the be-all, end-all list by any means but think of it as a starting point for your fair feasting. And with 12 full days of State Fair fun, there’s plenty of opportunities to come back for a second helping.

turtlepuppies Best New State Fair Foods

Turtle Fudge Puppies

Price: $5
Location: Outside the west wall of the Food Building.

While the Fudge Puppies stand is offering two new puppies to try, we have to give the nudge to the Turtle. Starting with a Belgium waffle on-a-stick, the Turtle includes chocolate, caramel and nuts. Delish.

pigears Best New State Fair Foods

(Credit: CBS)

Fried Pig Ears

Price: $5
Location: Corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Liggett Street

Famous Dave’s takes thinly sliced pig ears and fries them up until they are a perfect crisp, then they serve them with a lime chipotle glaze. The texture is very similar to calamari and the taste is a crunchy, salty goodness.

deepfriedshortcake1 Best New State Fair Foods

(Credit: CBS)

Deep-Fried Shortcake

Price: $5, or $7 with ice cream
Location: Dan Patch Avenue at Underwood Street

Miss Strawberry Shortcake would probably gasp at the sight of her precious and sweet shortcake being deep fried to perfection but hey, she’s a cartoon, she’ll get over it. The crispy, yet doughy texture of the deep-fried shortcake adds a perfect backdrop to the sweet berries and cream, making this a perfect summer treat.

mashedonstick Best New State Fair Foods

(Credit: CBS)

Deep-Fried Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes On-A-Stick

Price: $5.50
Location: Liggett Street, south of Carnes Avenue

The title really says it all, here. Deep-fried? Check. Bacon? Check. Cheese? Check. Mashed Potatoes? Check. On-a-stick? Oh yes. After all of that, do you really need anything else? That’s what I thought.

koreanbbqtaco Best New State Fair Foods

Korean Moon BBQ Tacos

Price: $3 each
Location: Corner of Carnes Avenue and Chambers Street

These tacos are served a la street vendor-style, meaning with a lot of love and a quick preparation. Made with beef short ribs, spicy-sweet pork or chicken, the tacos truly speak for themselves with a mountain of flavor in every bite.

marshmallowsandwich Best New State Fair Foods

(Credit: CBS)

Grilled Marshmallow, Chocolate and Banana Sandwich

Price: $4
Location: Judson Avenue by the CHS Miracle of Birth Center

For a place known mostly by its coffee-creation pick-me-ups, they serve one heck of a sweet sandwich. Starting with a toasted marshmallow, this simple treat adds chocolate and banana into the mix over an open grill to create an ooey, gooey smore-like snack.

dannyboy1 Best New State Fair Foods

(Credit: CBS)

Danny Boy with Sweet Potato Tots

Price: $6
Location: Corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street

Throw out your conventional burger and replace it with this — a burger made with corned beef and covered in warm sauerkraut, held together by a thick slice of swiss cheese and thousand island dressing. Add on a batch of O’Gara’s new sweet potato tots and you’ve got the luck of the Irish on your side.

cubana1 Best New State Fair Foods

(Credit: CBS)

Cubana Torta

Price: $5
Location: Food Building

Not only are the tortas new at the State Fair but Manny’s Tortas is a brand new food vendor this year. The gourmet Mexican tortas are like a twist on your typical sandwich. Made on a french baguette, tortas include your choice of meat with lettuce, tomato, avocado, refried beans, jalapenos and a chipotle pepper mayo. Oh, and don’t forget the pineapple pina colada for $7.

chocolatetornado1 Best New State Fair Foods

Chocolate Tornado

Price: $5
Location: Food Building

Take a potato, cut it in a spiral and toss it on a stick and you’ve got a tornado potato. Now, add chocolate to the mix and you’ve got, oh-my-goodness delicious.

fruitsalsa Best New State Fair Foods

(Credit: CBS)

Fresh Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

Price: $4
Location: Carousel Park, east of the Grandstand Ramp

It’s not often that a new food item is offered that’s not deep-fried and battered, so it’s refreshing when something as fresh as this pops up. I actually make a similar recipe of this fruit salsa at home and while they have me beat on flavor, you truly can never go wrong with a berry salsa and cinnamon chips. It’s a great way to get some healthy fruit into your fair diet.

Honorable Mention (of sorts):

Deep-Fried Avocado

While the deep-fried avocado was listed as a new food item this year at Tejas, inside The Garden, the owners told us it didn’t quite make the cut. But they say look for this item — served with ranch dressing — on next year’s menu.

-Sara Boyd is a Web Producer at

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