Ah, the marvels of engineering. Food on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair may have launched with the corn dog, but this concept has consistently gotten more exciting and mind-bending each year. Vendors have managed to get everything from hotdish to spaghetti on a stick. What will they come up with next?
Here are 10 stick foods worth devouring at the fair, brought to you by our over-the-top video series, Outta Control.
1. Tater tot hot dish on a stick: This treat from Ole and Lena’s (Liggett St. between Carnes & Judson avenues) is pure Minnesota, skewered. The meatball-like offering is breaded, and the Lutheran binder, aka creamy canned soup, is served as a dipping sauce on the side.
2. Mashed potatoes on a stick: The fluffy, bacon-studded, fried balls of potato are winners when dipped into a side bowl of gravy. At Potato Man and Sweety (Liggett St. between Carnes & Judson avenues).
3. Scotch egg on a stick: It’s breakfast in one compact, wooden-skewered package. A hard-boiled egg is enveloped in sausage, breaded and fried. Drizzle with your choice of sauces, including horseradish and honey mustard (though the best is maple syrup). From Scotch Eggs (Liggett St. between Carnes & Judson avenues).
4. Deep-fried fruit on a stick: Take the one healthy-ish food on the fairgrounds and totally state fair-ify it. The cake-like breading surrounds a grab bag of grapes, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, strawberries, apples, pineapple, bananas, kiwi, peaches, cherries, pears and watermelon at Fried Fruit & Fried Olives (Nelson St. south of the Grandstand).
5. Fried olives on a stick: Also from Fried Fruit & Fried Olives, get a mouthful of salty, briny goodness. A stick full of green olives comes stuffed with cream cheese and coated in a panko-like breading, served with a side of ranch.
6. Cheese on a stick: Just like it sounds, a stick of yellow cheese (we wouldn’t go so far as to call it cheddar) is breaded in a sweet corn dog batter and dropped into bubbling oil. From Cheese on a Stick (Judson Ave. & Nelson St.).
7. Battered deep-fried Snickers on a stick: What’s better than an already perfect candy bar? Coating it in a cakey batter and soaking it in hot oil until it becomes a melty, chocolate-y gooey mess. We got Snickers, but choose among Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Nut Goodie, from Deep Fried Candy Bars (Carnes Ave. between Nelson & Underwood streets).
8. Spaghetti and meatballs on a stick: Just how do they do it? Spaghetti doesn’t seem like it could feasibly wind up on a stick, but Oodles of Noodles (Food Building, east wall) chops it up and mixes it into its giant meatball. The skewered ball is served in a bowl of red sauce.
9. Giant egg roll on a stick: Vietnamese food comes to the state fair with this super-sized, crispy classic, stuffed full of pork, from Que Viet (Cooper St. outside the Merchandise Mart). Drizzle with egg roll sauce (fish sauce), sweet and sour and Sriracha.
10. Glo Cone: Best eaten at night. A heaping ball of pink cotton candy is served on a rave-worthy glow stick. At Cotton Candy (Dan Patch Ave. & Underwood St.).
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