The Great Minnesota Get Together has come and gone once more and, as usual, the food did not disappoint. There were new offerings, like the sunnies in a boat and Spam breakfast sandwiches, and of course there were the classics like Sweet Martha’s cookies and roasted sweet corn.
But even with such an extensive listing of food, we couldn’t help wondering if the State Fair’s food repertoire could get any better. What follows are some concrete suggestions for new Fair foods.
Fried Chicken and Waffles
The sweet and salty combination is taken to a new level with fried chicken and waffles — tender chicken pieces battered and crispy fried, paired with sweet waffles and local syrup, and served on a stick (of course). Satisfying both the breakfast and lunch cravings and combining two things that kids love, fried chicken and waffles could prove to be the perfect Fair food.
Bánh Mì Sandwiches
The bánh mì, with its perfect combination of chewy baguette paired with tender meats and crisp vegetables, would make a great addition to the food list. Meat lovers and vegetarians alike would be satisfied with a variety of sandwich options. And although it would be impossible to offer this on a stick, wrapped in a single paper (recyclable of course), it makes a perfect grab-and-go food.
Finding refreshing beverages at the fair can be a challenge. Although there are some choices out there, including a few we love — maple soda and Summit quickly come to mind — generally your choices are limited to water, soda, or milk (cookies, anyone?). Bubble tea — fruit-flavored tea served with large tapioca-like pearls — would be a natural addition to the fair. Fruity, hydrating, and fun for all — who doesn’t love to slurp up the pearls through the comically wide straws?
Papaya Salad and Larb
While Asian food already makes the state fair roster, we propose a few Thai food options that go beyond the obvious chicken satay that would be perfect for the Fair — papaya salad and larb. Both the papaya salad, a savory mix of shredded papaya, chilies, vegetables, herbs, and peanuts, and the larb, a traditional dish of minced lean meat mixed with chilies and herbs, could be served in State Fair-appropriate edible lettuce wraps. Fun, fresh, and Fair worthy, for certain.
And, of course, there is the jucy lucy. But instead of one big burger filled with oozing cheese, our State Fair vision of this fine food entails a basket of three mini lucys, each with a different type of cheese — American, blue cheese, and pepperjack. Each would be two bites of jucy lucy perfection, if the right vendor is at the helm, of course. It would be a tough challenge to pull off the State Fair jucy lucy but we’re confident that The Nook or Matt’s could do it.