The Free Press, Mankato, MN

July 1, 2013

Eat, drink, but be wary

Why it matters: There are very few laws against creating bad food

The Mankato Free Press

---- — The Minnesota State Fair has become a magnet for daring food creators to an extent we think the State Patrol should be notified, or at least a nutritionist.

There’s food that could kill (for those with heart disease), and food that could thrill (for those with no inhibitions).

On Wednesday, the State Fair released its list of 47 new food vendors, bringing its total to 450 foods by 300 vendors. Exercise caution, especially if you have high cholesterol, low blood sugar or are otherwise concerned about what you put in your body.

At the same time, if you have no health risks and are feeling hungry, we say indulge. It’s only once a year.

Our preview:

Take two aspirin and call your cardiologist in the morning for the following “delicacies.”

Double Bacon Corndog — Bacon-wrapped hot dog dipped in a corndog batter blended with real bacon bits then deep fried.

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.

Big Andy — ¼-pound hamburger topped with Philly steak, sautéed onions, red and green peppers, and melted American-Swiss cheese.

Breakfast Sausage Corndog — Breakfast sausage link dipped in a pancake corndog batter, deep fried and served with a side of maple syrup.

Cajun Pork Rinds — Flash-fried pork skins dusted with Cajun seasonings and served with lemon and Alabama-White BBQ sauce.

Here are some things you could think about taking a risk on if you cholesterol is under 180 because they sound pretty good.

Craft Beer Battered Onion Rings — Thick-cut onions dipped in Indeed Daytripper, a local craft beer, then battered, deep fried and served with a spicy beer mustard.

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.

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.

Portobello Bites — Grilled sourdough toast brushed with creamy roasted garlic sauce, topped with aged romano and parmesan cheeses, and a slice of Portobello mushroom, served warm from the grill.

Wine Glazed Deep Fried Meatloaf — Homemade meatloaf deep fried on-a-stick with a red pepper wine glaze.

Lobster Macaroni & Cheese — Fresh lobster tossed into a creamy macaroni & cheese dish made-to-order and prepared right in front of you.

And finally, stuff that just doesn’t sound like it has a future. It’s weird fair fare. These offer shy and quiet Minnesotans a chance to say they’re daring, but it comes at a cost..

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.

Cocoa Cheese Bites — Wisconsin cheddar cheese nuggets breaded with cocoa puffs, fried and served with a chocolate dipping sauce.

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.

Love the nitrogen part. And bubbly feeling. Ouch.

Fried Pickles ‘n’ Chocolate — Preferred Pickles’ deep fried pickles dusted with powdered sugar and served with a side of chocolate for dipping.

Minnepumpkin Pie — An individual deep fried pumpkin pie with cinnamon and sugar-dusted flaky crust and served with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.


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.

Really not. But otherwise enjoy and visit the fair.