I was originally asked to write something about the most non-kosher foods at the Fair – but after making my first (of three) trips, I realized it would be more appropriate to list the most non-Jewish foods. Because let’s be real – more of us don’t follow the laws than those of us who do.
Let’s get this out of the way – if you’re by-the-book kosher, the Minnesota State Fair won’t be that much fun for you. I imagine the smells alone might cause one to question his/her belief system. So save yourself the heartbreak. But, if you’re kosher-lite, you have plenty of non-meat options that will satisfy.
With that said, here are my top 5 least Jewy foods at the 2014 Great Minnesota Get Together. [Editor’s note: If you’re wondering where the bacon-wrapped turkey leg is on this list, even treyf-loving Jeff admitted that he, “Couldn’t do it.”]
1. The Weisswurst @ Sausage by Cynthia
It’s German. I got chills just ordering it. But that Cynthia really knows how to pack veal, pork, cream, chives, onions, and egg into a pork casing. Get it with kraut and spicy brown mustard and eat it behind a tree before someone from shul sees you.
It’s a winner or should I say viener? I give it a 4.5 out 5. Could have used a pinch more pepper.
2. The Pickle Dog
Each of the three ingredients is extremely Jewy – pickles, pastrami, and cream cheese. All staples for this Jew. But wrapped up together it’s a bizarre combination for us MOTs. The truth is it isn’t that bad, but not something I would seek. I have been told that the pickle dog or variants of it is a common Minnesota appetizer. Interesting. The pastrami is not like the pastrami you get at a Jewish deli. It’s more like the pastrami you get on a cheap platter of cold cuts from the supermarket. I give it a 2 out of 5. Not the worst thing I’ve ever eaten.
3. Big Fat Bacon
Duh. The novelty has worn off for me, but I will always give them credit for telling it like it is. It’s bacon. It’s fatty. It’s on a stick and it’s dipped in syrup. 3 out of 5.
They’re French. We know how “friendly” the French were to us a few decades ago and we see what is happening there right now. I had the simple butter and sugar with a sprinkle of cinnamon. 5 out of 5 taste-wise, but I get less shpilkes from the lefse.
Only on the list because my very own mother engrained in me that Jews don’t drink beer. I have spent the better part of the last 20 years trying to prove her wrong. The fair has become a hot spot for beer – from the standard to the ridiculous. My personal favorite so far is the Bent Paddle Cold Press Black Ale. Basically the perfect combination of two of my favorite things: cold press coffee and rich, dark stout. Unfortunately it’s only served as part of a 4-pack sampler – but for $8, it’s well worth it. This one was so good that I don’t even remember the others. 5 out of 5
So there you have it, my Top 5 least Jewy foods at this year’s fair. But keep in mind, I have two more trips to go, so I might have to write an update. Happy eating and drinking!