Life…on a Stick?

Posted: July 19th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

This past week there was the Back to the 50’s Car show at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds. I was having an amazing time, but when I looked around, I thought to myself “gosh I wish it was time for the fair.”

This is nothing against the Car Show – but come on, guys the Minnesota State Fair just can’t be topped. All I want right now is some of that sweet corn and Sweet Martha’s cookies. Delectable’s that can’t be found, or topped, any where else.

But enough about cars and lets talk about food.  You haven’t tasted genuine American cuisine until you’ve eaten your supper on a stick.

Candied apples and corn dogs have long reigned as the most famous of all stick foods, and for good reason: Handles on hot dogs and caramel-soaked apples make it easy to eat and much less messy. But the Minnesota State Fair has raised the food-on-a-stick shtick to a veritable culinary art form

This year’s offerings include (but by no means are limited to): pizza on a stick; hot dish (as Midwestern casseroles are called) on a stick; alligator sausage on a stick; chocolate dipped nut roll on a stick; fried fruit on a stick; frozen key lime pie on a stick; salmon on a stick; and fried pickles on a stick.

The best thing I found to eat: walleye on a stick.

Walleye on a stick is an impaled 2-inch-wide rectangular fillet. Mild, sweet, lightly fried and falling into big juicy flakes, it proved to be one of the best things I would sample all day.

I tried corned beef and cabbage on a stick, which I wouldn’t recommend. The Reuben on a stick was marginally better: a thick dark rye crust (deep-fried, of course) enclosing bits of sauerkraut and pastrami. It was better with the Thousand Island dressing served on the side.

Not all the food at the fair was served with sticks, on picks or on toothpicks, and there were a few side trips during my stick stalking.  The deep-fried cheese curds — served by the basket, not on a stick — were another favorite.

The State Fair is a truly Minnesota experience and everyone, young and old, should come out to this fantastic get-together.

Aside from food, there is plenty to see for people of all ages.

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