September 24, 2010

Top 10 New Foods at the 2010 State Fairs

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via Endless Simmer by BS on 9/21/10

With all due respect to George Washington Carver, America's greatest food inventions have all originated in one place — the state fair. From cotton candy to corn dogs to deep-fried Coke, the enterprising folks at America's state and county fairs top themselves year after year. Some observers thought state fair cooks had hit their peak last year, when the Texas State Fair debuted Deep Fried Butter. But in 2010, they outdid themselves once again, proving that if it's edible, it's even better battered and fried. From coast to coast (but mostly in the middle) here are our top ten favorite finds:

10. Hash Brown Hot Dog  – San Diego County Fair

hash brown dog
Hot dogs with french fries is a pretty fantastic lunch, but boy it takes a lot of effort to transport all those individual fries from the plate to your mouth. If only we could get the hot dog and the potato to be one cohesive unit, preferably arranged on a stick. Thank you, San Diego. Thank you. (Photo: It's Holly)

9. Deep-Fried Cheddar-Bacon Mashed Potatoes…On a Stick  – Minnesota State Fair

potatoes
Sorry, San Diego — did you really think you could best the Midwest at spuds-on-a-stick? Here, Minnesota achieves the state fair trifecta — potatoes, pork and cheese — all deep fried, all on a stick. For more of Minnestoa's many, many state fair foods, check out Baking Junkie's heart-stopping food crawl through the MN State Fair. (Photo: Baking Junkie)

8. Garbage Burger – Indiana State Fair

garbage burger
It's the great state fair dilemma. Should pork be the basis of your dish — or a topping? In Indiana, this is not a problem. Behold the garbage burger — a deep-fried pork patty topped with a healthy serving of pulled pork. Why settle for one pig when you can have two? See more at The Hot Cookie. (Photo: Sarah Richcreek)

7.  Deep-Fried Frito Pie – Texas State Fair

frito pie
No other state takes this season as seriously as Texas, the good people who started the deep-fried everything movement with their corn dog in 1942 and haven't looked back since. Earlier this week, ES told you about frito pies — those delicious piles of chili-topped corn chips. One guess what Texas has gone and done to 'em. (Photo: Texas Fried Frito Pie)

6. Deep Fried Klondike Bar – San Diego State Fair

deep fried klondike bar
California continues its surprisingly strong showing by having the cojones to throw a chocolate-covered ice cream bar in the deep fryer. This one's more concept than execution, because not so surprisingly, it's a total disaster to eat. My Burning Kitchen has more. (Photo: My Burning Kitchen)

5.  Chocolate Tornado Potato – Minnesota State Fair

2010statefairchocochipsks

Minnesota strikes again on the potato front. Fair-goers thought they'd never see an improvement on last year's Tornado Potato — a whole potato, spiral-cut, placed on a stick and deep fried. But this year they've dipped the whole thing in chocolate. Amazing. The Heavy Table has even more on Minnesota-fried goodness. (Photo: Kate NG Sommers / Heavy Table)

4. Deep-Fried Cheesesteak on a Stick – Wisconsin State Fair

cheese steak
Sorry, Pennsylvania. Your iconic sandwich is great and all, but it took a state like Wisconsin to bring it to a whole 'nother level. By now you should know that level is what happens when you place something on a stick, batter it and fry it. (Photo: Cousins)

3. Sweet Potato Dog – San Diego County Fair

sweet potato dog
Because there's got to be at least one foodie at the fair who says, "don't you have another option besides just plain potatoes?" Why yes, we also batter that bad boy with sweet potatoes, thank you very much. This one doesn't look like it holds up in the oil quite as well as the hash brown dog, but they get points for trying. (Photo: It's Holly)

2. Corn Dog Pizza – Minnesota State Fair

corn dog pizza
I don't believe anything needs to be said about this item. (Photo: Northfielder)

1. Fried Beer – Texas State Fair

Deep-Fried-Beer
Yes, it's true. America has finally taken our two greatest loves and made them one. A ravioli-like pocket of pretzel-y dough is filled with good old fashioned beer. We don't know how it works, or whether it kills you immediately or just in the long term, but boy are we glad it exists. Try it this week at the official close of the fair season – the State Fair of Texas in Dallas. (Photo: Fried Beer)
Previously on ES:
Grease, Goats and Girth: The 2010 Iowa State Fair
Top 10 Food Finds at the 2009 Iowa State Fair
The 2009 Minnesota State Fair
Chicken-Fried Bacon

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