Last year in Noshin’, I expressed a ton of JewFolk love for the Minnesota State Fair. With the 2011 Great Minnesota Get Together now upon us, I want to both reflect and look ahead to some good eats, great people watching, and all out fun.
First the reflection. I ended last year’s mid-fair report with a wish list for 2011. Here it is:
My top 5 goals for the 2011 fair:
1. check out a show at the Grandstand
2. go to a livestock show of some kind
3. not to fill up on French fries as soon as I get there
4. have a Pronto Pup/corn dog taste test
5. go on the Ye Old Mill ride
I will start out by saying that unless something miraculous happens (in the form of free tickets to Def Leppard & Heart and free babysitting), I will not be attending a show at the Grandstand. I will, however, be attending a free show at the International Bazaar. My Beatles-mad almost 4-year old will be joining me to see Rubber Soul. A livestock show is up for grabs based on the schedule. If something is going on while we’re there, I will certainly hold my nose in order to see one. As for the fries, I am not going to partake in French Fry madness as soon as we get to the Fairgrounds. I will certainly throw in some fries throughout the day of eating, but not at 9:30 in the morning. Since my son has become a huge fan of the corn dog, I will be conducting a taste test this year to get to the bottom of this annual debate. And finally, Ye Olde Mill will be on the agenda – especially since it went through a series of renovations just in time for my first ride.
And now the look ahead. The pre-fair news about new food items has not excited me at all. Only a few have peaked my interest (chocolate covered jalapeno, sausage lollypop, etc). So one of my missions will be to find some hidden gems (last year, I discovered Danielson and Daughters Onion Rings). Maybe I’ll go back to the well for a Gizmo. Who knows what I’ll actually eat this year – but with my iPhone 4, I’ll be able to take self-portraits of every last bite.
Perhaps what I’m looking forward to the most is a visit from some cousins who will be going to the Fair for the very first time. So after talking it up for so long, here’s my first chance to take some suburban New Yorkers on a Minnesota cultural adventure. Did I mention that he’s kosher? What a perfect challenge for me to undertake. So what, he’ll have to watch me eat some Big Fat Bacon and maybe that Gizmo I mentioned earlier. He’ll still be able to enjoy the cheese curds, Sweet Martha’s cookies, the fries, the onion rings, the corn, the fried pickles, and on and on.
So before I head out and start my dive into the culinary abyss known as the Minnesota State Fair, post your hidden gems for all to see. What are your state fair favorites?