MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Mancini’s is known for steak, but it’s their gelato that’s winning fans at the Minnesota State Fair.

Sarah Williams starts with milk, cream and sugar – creating gelato right on site.

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She adds Italian flavorings to make flavors like caramel apple. St. Paul’s Summit Beer goes into the oatmeal stout gelato.

“They finalized all the recipes before the fair … and then we had to kind of multiply everything to get to fair-size,” Williams said.

Mini-donut gelato starts with five liters of base, a precise measure of crostada and biscotti flavorings, plus cinnamon.

It takes seven minutes to turn the liquid into gelato, gently folding it over — not whipping it like you do to make ice cream.

They decorate it with cinnamon sugar and real mini donuts.


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Minnesota-grown potatoes are the raw beginning for every bucket of Fresh French Fries at the fair.

Nick Wozniak says they use four different fryers, with four different temperatures.

“It’s starting at about 300 degrees, and the temperatures progressively move up as you get to the end of the last fryer,” Wozniak said. “What that really does is cooks the potato from the inside out.”

Wozniak says you always want to keep the fries moving. And when they float, you know they’re done.

Fresh French Fries gets a special variety of potato — the Kennebec — from Hayes Farm in Big Lake.

They have two stands: one near the Midway and another just up the road.

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And Mancini’s is in the former location of the Pizza Palace, where they had gelato for years. By adding homemade gelato, it’s a nice nod to the heritage of their location.

Jason DeRusha