It’s summer. It’s August. Usually that means one thing. The “Great Minnesota Get-Together”. If you are completely unaware, or not from Uff-Da country, that means it’s our state fair. Happening usually the second-to-the-last week of August and ending on Labor day, everyone and their empty stomachs come along.
This year we wanted to do it big. So we both, respectively, withdrew a total of $200 dollars to take with us to cover not only parking and admission, but for the incredibly insane indulgence that would come along with attending such a great event.
With cloudy skies, money in our wallets, Sarah’s ever-increasing photographic abilities, and our appetites getting the best of us, we set out on a high caloric binge of all things greasy, fried, and most importantly, divine.
I began my feasting with, unexpectedly, a drink.
I don’t really know much about Vernor’s Original Ginger soda, but I know that I couldn’t really taste the ginger. It was sweet, lightly carbonated, and was definitely refreshing.
Legendary Sweet Martha’s cookies. Sold by the cones, or the collectible take-home bucket, these delicious freshly baked cookies are what people will wait in line for. It’s a state fair must. For just five dollars, this mountainous-monstrosity was a little much for my wife and I but if you are willing to share with a few friends, it’s for sure enough.
By the looks of this, it’s just another thing “on-a-stick”. That, is 100% correct. The MN state fair is known for things on a stick. Alligator, hot-dish, cheese, and even pickles all have been “sticked”. To put it simply; it’s a hundred times easier to walk around and stuff your face with a handle attached than it is to have to hold it with both hands. These are relatively new to the craze. Hysterically named “Puff Daddy On a Stick”, this item consists of Asian sausage wrapped in puff pastry that are strung together in sixes, then drizzled with a Thai peanut sauce. A little spicy, sweet and definitely savory, this is a nice change of pace from the norm.
Another must. The timeless funnel cake. Deep fried batter with a slew of toppings, this one is sure to please everyone. This year we picked apple pie-topping with a caramel sauce. Unbelievable.
Ah yes. Beer. I couldn’t go throughout the day without having a glass…or two. Finnegan’s Irish Amber, possibly one of my all-time favorites, and Summit Oktoberfest were the two beers that made their way into my bloodstream that day. These brews definitely went well with…
Chicken. Fried. Bacon. I never thought those words could even be put into a sentence, let alone ever be executed. Served with a cinnamon-maple syrup sauce, these are pure indulgence (hell, everything we ate was). Sweet and salty, this definitely went well with the brew I was drinking.
Okay, you are NOT a true Minne-snow-tan if you have never had SPAM at least once in your life. SPiced hAM (or Stuff Posing As Meat to you jokers out there) is made here locally at the Hormel plant in Austin. As if the product wasn’t ridiculous enough on its own, they took it to the next level and batter-fried them in little cubes. They taste great with a side ranch and BBQ sauce (we couldn’t choose just one dipping sauce, haha).
Deep Fried (Heaven) Oreo cookies. This is another must-eat. The cookie and filling become warm while the outer crust is soft and sweet. As if you couldn’t make Oreos worse right?
So I guess French-fries aren’t enough? Australian batter-fried potatoes make me forget about those pathetic shoe string wimps. It’s hard to determine what kind of batter they use, but it’s very similar to the poufy beer-battered kind. You have options here. Feeling cheesy? Go solo with the jalapeno-cheese sauce. Feeling saucy? Ranch these bad boys up. Feeling like a fatty?! GET THEM BOTH. If my heart stopped that day, these would be the blame. Just looking at the picture again makes me feel full.
We also saw the pigs, the cows, some art exhibits and did a little booth shopping, but the majority of the money we blew was on the overwhelming choices of food.
Overall, we had a blast and we are definitely going to do this again next year. Sure, I’ve been working out and trying to eat healthy, but this only happens once a year. Here’s a tip that we knew would help us save not only money, but room in our stomach’s: Share. Everything. This way everyone gets their money’s worth and therefore you share the experience together.