By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Deep-fried candy bars, spam sushi, alligator on a stick.

Would you eat those foods anywhere besides the Great Minnesota Get-Together? Probably not. So, why do we do it here?

We all have our reasons for the fair. For some it’s a zesty peanut butter and jelly sausage with cilantro. Jean Gass and her husband created this dish to draw people in. When she was younger, the food was a tradition.

“Got to have my donuts, got to have my milk, got to have my footlongs,” Gass said. “That kind of is special about the fair when you have those … little memories that you make.”

(credit: CBS)

Dennis Larson has been picking foods for the Minnesota State Fair for 20 years. He has a theory why people love fair food.

“Everything’s hot and fresh,” Larson said.

But while we can find hot-and-fresh food at any restaurant, Larson said it’s all about the novelty. At what food court could you find alligator on a stick? Larson says we like to talk about the weird foods

“The media darlings, as I call them,” he said.

But we stick with the oldies-but-goodies. Cookies, cheese curds, ice cream and French fries are the top sellers.

Larson says he gives the new, crazy foods a three-year test to determine if they will stick around. He says the one that has surprised him most is the aforementioned alligator on a stick — which has been around for 20 years.

Heather Brown