There is one thing every single person I have spoken to in Minnesota agrees on – that I must visit the state fair.
Locals say it’s an event rich with tradition, and attending is a rite of passage for all Minnesotans and their visitors. It boats livestock exhibits, prize winning produce, food and entertainment.
But the thing that intrigued me most was the phenomenon locals describe as food on a stick.
So, I set out on a fact finding mission to experience this bizarre culinary tradition. Within minutes of arriving at the fair, I realised nothing was off limits. Cleary vendors believe that every conceivable item of food has the potential to be deep fried and skewered – from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, to a giant pickle.
Where does one start? The options are endless.
You can get anything from steak on a stick:
To a corn dog:
To this indecipherable food:
It was everything I imagined, and more.
But why on earth does a Gummy Bear need to be on a stick?
And sometimes it wasn’t even food, politicians were also cashing in on the craze.
There were a few (rare) exceptions to the obsession with food on a stick. But these foodstuffs also share some similar qualities.
It was either enormous.
Or vendors were of the mindset that everything must be packed into an huge bucket. (Not that I’m complaining about the cookies, they were delicious.)
Take the humble Australian potato cake. Back home, this would be purchased as a single serve, without any topping.
Not at the Minnesota State Fair! There, about eight are packed into a bucket and smothered in sauce, or cheese, or both. We obviously lack imagination down under.
Locals are proud of their annual fair, and rightly so. There’s plenty to keep you entertained.
And when it comes to food - Minnesotans certainly have a great sense of humour.
I’m already looking forward to my next deep fried pickle!