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Minnesota State Fair eats

By September 2, 2011September 4th, 2011Family, Food, Travel


Although the majority of our trip to Minnesota was bittersweet, we did manage to have a little fun in the Twin Cities last Sunday. It feels like forever since Neil and I last visited the State Fair, and for my little brother, even longer. The last time he went he was 10 years old. Madi had never been, so it was exciting to relive the memories and introduce someone new to one of our all-time favorite food events.

There is always so much to see at the fair, but I always like starting with the 4-H barns. I’m a sucker for baby animals.


Baby piglets born late the night before.


Baby chicks. This one was definitely posing for the camera.


This is the most adorable warning sign of all time.


After the 4-H barn, we started eyeing the food…


Neil made the first move…


…and got his favorite, the Pronto Pup.


My little brother Jared couldn’t pass up the mini-donuts. I think they call them “Tom’s Donuts”?


He got some fresh milk to wash it down at the Gopher Dairy Barn. When I say fresh, I mean that the cows were being milked next door. I hate being dairy sensitive.


We saw one of the dairy princesses getting her head carved out of butter.

We then checked out the bunnies:



And some extremely large horses…


And, well, um…


And alpacas!



I didn’t try it, but in retrospect I’m curious as to how this would work.



It was then time for our favorite, cheese curds. Fried mozzarella. So amazing, I can’t begin to describe. So good, yet so bad.


A little beer from the Leinie Bar to wash it down. Yum!


Madi, who has a lot of food allergies, was kind of sidelined by a lot of the food. But she finally threw caution to the wind and had a deep fried Twinkie. She is so adorable, she thought the stick would actually hold it up.


We then stopped for a cup of Swedish egg coffee, one of my dad’s favorite traditions. He used to wake us up at the crack of dawn to get the best parking spot and then he’d stop to get a cup of coffee from the little old church ladies.



Madi loves fries and she and Jared requested that I convey to you that they ordered a “medium” and this is what they got. Took all four of us to finish these off.


A little Summit Brewing sampler. They make very good beer, and we really loved their Oktoberfest.


At around 3pm the fair started getting really busy, so we decided to each grab one more snack and head back to the hotel.


Neil chose a fresh pretzel, one of his all-time favs. It inspired our own recipe for Pretzels and Beer Dip. Have you tried it?


I decided to throw caution to the wind and get a fresh chocolate malt. My aunt, who is currently battling cancer and unable to visit the fair, request I have one for her. How could I say no to that? Yum!

We then headed back to the hotel to recover:



Twas a successful day at the fair.

Edited to add: In case you’re interested, I mapped our route for the day on my Garmin watch!


  • This brings back memories of my visits to the Wisconsin State Fair as a kid…my favorite was always the giant cream puffs!

    What IS swedish egg coffee??

    • Jessica says:

      Natalie, Swedish egg coffee is an old scandanavian recipe that many of the immigrants to the upper midwest (MN, WI, etc) made for church events, get-togethers etc. It has egg brewed in, and then sometimes I guess part of the shell as well?

  • FishMama says:

    I have very fond memories of my grandma and I eating our way through the Fair. YUM!

  • Rachel says:

    I will definately have to join you next time!

  • Laura says:

    I had Hot Dish on a stick a couple years ago. If I remember correctly, it was 4 or 5 fried balls, some tater tots, some meatballish type things…and I can’t remember what else. I was there this Saturday for the show at the Grandstand and by the time we got out most of the food places were closed. Sad times. I did get some cheese curds and a s’more though! We really wanted to try the deep fried cookie dough on a stick…maybe next year.

  • Nick Klaus says:

    Oh, now I miss the state fair. I was just explaining to my gf about how important the fair is to Minnesotans, so between that conversation and this blog post, I’m just overcome with nostalgia.

    • Jessica says:

      It’s so true. More so than any other State Fair I’ve ever been to, Minnesota does the best at connecting to it’s roots, it’s past, and the history of Minnesota and it’s people. Minnesota to me represents true Americana, and I hope it always remains that way.

  • Melanie says:

    My sister lives in Minnesota and I’m always jealous when I see their food photos from the fair. This year it was the bucket of mini chocolate chip cookies and the bacon on a stick that had me drooling.

    • Jessica says:

      Oh the cookies! It’s so funny because they sell you an overflowing bucket of cookies and hand you the lid separately, and you have to eat almost a dozen before you can put the lid on. It’s brilliant!