The annual list of new foods at the Minnesota State Fair was released the other day and like usual, I am already anticipating various stops and noshing my way across the fairgrounds.
From Aug. 22 - Labor Day, Sept. 2, fair visitors will have the opportunity to sample 47 new foods at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Cheese curds, dairy shakes and Sweet Martha's Cookies are family favorites. So I will have to pace myself during the two or three visits I'll be making.
Overall, the fair has more than 450 foods available at 300 different food concessions. So if you leave hungry, who is to blame?
On the list of this year's new foods, hog farmers make an impact with all the bacon and pork featured. Look for:
-Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Shrimp On-A-Stick – Grilled shrimp wrapped in bacon and served on-a-stick. At The Shrimp Shack, Located on Underwood Street at Carnes Avenue
-Bourbon Wurst – Homemade specialty pork sausage seasoned with sage, caraway, nutmeg and infused with a distinctive and prestigious bourbon whiskey. At Sausage by Cynthia, Located on Judson Avenue, just off Nelson Street
-Breakfast Sausage Corndog – Breakfast sausage link dipped in a pancake corndog batter, deep fried and served with a side of maple syrup. At Hansen's Foods, Located on Judson Avenue, on the south side of the Horse Barn
-Cajun Pork Rinds – Flash-fried pork skins dusted with Cajun seasonings and served with lemon and Alabama-White BBQ sauce. At Famous Dave's, Located near the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Liggett Street
-Candied Bacon Cannoli – Chewy, caramelized bacon pieces paired with Ole's sweet, smooth ricotta cheese filling in a fried, crunchy pastry shell. At Ole's Cannoli, Located inside the front entrance of Heritage Square
-Porketta Pig Wings – Slow-roasted split pork shanks seasoned with Mancini's Iron Range-inspired seasoning.
At Mancini's Al Fresco (*New Food Vendor for 2013), Located on Carnes Avenue near Nelson Street
-North Woods BBQ Taco – BBQ pulled pork topped with bourbon syrup and fresh coleslaw, served on a house-made corncake then wrapped in a flour tortilla. At San Felipe Tacos, Located inside the Food Building, on the east side
-Pitchfork Sausage – A grilled sausage served on a specially designed pitchfork. Sausage flavor options include: mild sweet Italian sausage; Polish sausage; jalapeño cheese-infused hotdog; and a gluten-free sausage. A variety of condiment options include yellow mustard, spicy mustard, honey mustard, BBQ sauce, horse radish and hot & sour relish. At Pitchfork Sausage (*New Food Vendor for 2013), Located on the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Liggett Street
-Pork Belly Sliders – Thick-cut slices of pork belly bacon topped with red cabbage slaw and O'Gara's sauce, served on a bun. At O'Gara's at the Fair, Located on the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street
- Three Little Pigs Torta – Pork loin, black forest ham and applewood smoked bacon served on a toasted French bread roll with beans, tomatoes, onions, jalapeño peppers, chipotle mayo, lettuce, Swiss cheese and avocado. At Manny's Tortas, Located inside the Food Building on the east side
Dairy selections go not disappoint. Check out:
-Chocolate Chili Ice Cream – Homemade chocolate ice cream infused with a blend of dark chocolate and chili spices. The flavor is chocolate with a hint of heat in every bite. At R&R Ice Cream, Located on Randall Avenue at Underwood Street Mini Donut Batter Crunch Ice Cream
-Mini Donut Batter Crunch Ice Cream features a sweet cream base folded with mini donut batter and a hint of nutmeg in a sugar spice crunch. Made by Minnesota's own Izzy's Ice Cream. At Hamline Dining Hall, Located on Dan Patch Avenue near Visitors Plaza
-Peanut Butter & Jelly Malt – Real dairy soft-serve ice cream hand blended with milk, malted milk powder, Goertze's homemade peanut butter sauce and grape jelly. And Peanut Butter & Jelly Sundae – Real dairy soft-serve ice cream smothered in Goertze's homemade creamy peanut butter sauce, sweet grape jelly, a crispy peanut butter cookie and real whipped cream. At Goertze's Dairy Kone, Located on Cooper Street behind the Leinie Lodge Bandshell
Beef farmers can be proud of these offerings:
- Big Andy – ¼-pound hamburger topped with Philly steak, sautéed onions, red and green peppers, and melted American-Swiss cheese.
At Andys Grille, Located on Carnes Avenue near Chambers Street
-Dogs – A Kramarczuk all-beef wiener chopped into pieces and grilled until the skin turns crusty. Served original-style, chili dog-style or in a brat-style currywurst. At Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, Located on the corner of Chambers Street and Carnes Avenue
-Wine Glazed Deep Fried Meatloaf – Homemade meatloaf deep fried on-a-stick with a red pepper wine glaze. At Minnesota Wine Country, Located on Underwood Street across from the Agriculture Horticulture Building
-Comet Corn – A futuristic caramel corn made with liquid nitrogen. This icy-cold popcorn is crispy, crunchy, sweet and salty, and leaves a trail of comet dust when exhaled out of the nose and mouth, creating a tingly, bubbly feeling, say fair officials. At Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, Located on the corner of Chambers Street and Carnes Avenue
-Lobster Macaroni & Cheese – Fresh lobster tossed into a creamy macaroni & cheese dish made-to-order and prepared right in front of you. At Oodles of Noodles, Located inside the Food Building on the east wall
-Deep Fried Bread Pudding – Bite-size cubes of deep fried bread pudding served hot and drizzled with caramel sauce. At O'Gara's at the Fair, Located on the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street
And of lastly, to satisfy those chocolate cravings, I will walk by these booths to detect wafting chocolate aromas (and still stop and buy at least one offering, despite tummy overload):
-English Toffee Fudge Puppy – Chocolate-covered bits of English toffee baked in the middle of a fudge puppy (Belgian waffle on-a-stick) then dipped in chocolate and layered with whipped cream, a toffee sauce and more bits of chocolate-covered English toffee. At Granny's Kitchen Fudge Puppies, Located on the outside west wall of the Food Building
-Fried Pickles 'n' Chocolate – Preferred Pickles' deep fried pickles dusted with powdered sugar and served with a side of chocolate for dipping. At Preferred Pickles, Located on the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Liggett Street
-Cocoa Cheese Bites – Wisconsin cheddar cheese nuggets breaded with cocoa puffs, fried and served with a chocolate dipping sauce. At Axel's, Located on the outside southeast corner of the Food Building
Granted, I need to narrow down my own personal consumption list or I will not fit behind my vehicle's steering wheel for the ride home. For sure, I will try the popcorn, and something new in the bacon, dairy and chocolate categories.
After all those samplings, I will need to visit the All You Can Drink Milk booth, too, to cleanse my palate.
For more information on new foods visit mnstatefair.org