State Fair

Minnesota State Fair

The Scarlet Pumpernickel: Winning a Red Ribbon for My State Fair Bread

The last time I entered a cooking contest was twenty-seven years ago.

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A Sampling of the “Land of 10,000 Beers” Exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair

It's a fine time to be a fan of locally crafted beer and to live in Minnesota. Of the nearly 50 Minnesotan breweries listed on, 26 have opened in the past two years alone (with several more slated to open in the next 18 months). Everywhere you go, people with a pint in their hand are voicing the same idea on the subject: “Can you believe how much new and delicious beer there is here?” This is inevitably followed by, “We're so lucky,” and then, the caveat, “But, wow, is it getting difficult to keep up.”


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Palestine's Family Jewel: Why in the World Would Someone Willingly Eat a Testicle?

One of the most highly publicized “new foods” for the 2012 MN State Fair are Holy Land’s lamb testicles otherwise known as lamb fries. Hearing about Holy Land’s latest contribution to the MN food culture piqued my interest. “How were fried testicles hailed as a delicacy and what in the world would the precious gems taste like?” I wondered. As with every meaningful interaction, I received my answers plus a greater respect and understanding of the impact one’s passion has on their work. Majdi Wadi, Holy Land CEO's intent is not simply to sell more food, but to share worldly experiences with his fellow Minnesotans, thereby bridging the gap between the us and them.


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Feeding Your Kids Fair Food

At a gathering that celebrates deep fried SPAM curds and advertises 40 “new foods” in 2012, the Minnesota State Fair is culinary overload at its most base level. Ever since I was a boy it’s the fair food that draws me back just as much as climbing on the tractors, visiting the animal barns, or seeing the crop art in the Ag/Hort building. Going off to college I stayed in Minneapolis and attended the UofM, which was a short bike ride from the fairgrounds, and I came to the realization that now on my own I was free to eat as much food at the fair as I wanted without the supervision of a mindful parent. Awesome!

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Minnesota Cooks (and Eats, State Fair Style)

Your must see places may be pig barns and Fine Arts buildings. Or perhaps you're more of the Butterfly House and Minnesota Wine Bar type. One of my State Fair must-do events each year is the day when local farmers and talented chefs get together to create their little vignettes of deliciousness known as Minnesota Cooks. Each segment features two local chefs who partner up with two local/regional farmers to highlight their wonderful ingredients...what could be better?

It may sound a little boring if you're not into cooking shows, but I assure you this isn't just about the chef presentations. If you have time next year and are looking for a good excuse to sit down and rest your legs, this is the place. Not only will you walk away with a better understanding of the farmers and their work, but there's also the added benefit of free samples!

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The Unofficial SGT Best and Worst Of The Fair

Imagine, if you can - six hours at the Minnesota State Fair without a single crispy, glistening Fresh French Fry or cheese curd; deprived of even one warm, melty Sweet Martha’s chocolate cookie; nary a sweet, cool lick of an ice cream cone from the long line at the Dairy Building. I know, impossible. But it was done, for you, readers. Armed with a friend, a pile of cash, and an empty stomach, I set off on a quest to skip the usual suspects and try some of the Fair’s most unique foods. Here is what we found… 


Hands-down Loser: Chocolate Covered Jalapeno from Andre’s Watermelon Fit for the trashFit for the trash

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Soda Love Shack: State Fair Find

As a small child, I can recall there being times when I would visit my grandparents and hear tales of fountain soda shops after school and all the amazing flavors and options that the "soda jerk" could prepare. Surely this was the place where kids would spend their allowance and gossip with their classmates. Granted there are still a few old-school, quality shops around town but not like the good ol' days....or so I will have to imagine.

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Eco-experience At The State Fair

I have a confession. Up until this year, I was terrible at state-fairing. I always went with grandiose plans to learn new things, experience the unknown and eat modestly. In the end, the cheese curds won, my digestion lost and I would end up in the poultry building in a sort of grease induced hallucination totally enchanted by the cacophony of bird noises.

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Healthful Fair Food? Yes!

The Minnesota State Fair opens today. Scores of visitors, including me, will flock to see animals, listen to music, admire crafts, and, perhaps most famously, eat food, much of it on a stick. Since State Fair visits are an annual treat, I give myself leeway for things like draft root beer, sugared mini donuts and fried cheese curds not normally on my menu.

This doesn't mean that I eat huge amounts of whatever I encounter at the fair. Moderation at the fair is different from moderation every day, but it's still possible. If there's a choice of sizes, I always order the small, and share it to have money and stomach space for more throughout the day. I can sample lots of different foods, some healthful, many not. Sharing is one of the benefits of going with friends and family.

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A Simple, Good and Tasty Guide to the Fair

The Minnesota State Fair can be a little overwhelming, and while we cannot offer any parking solutions, we can help guide your fair experience with some tips and advice. I have personally gone through way too much state fair information to try and distill those activities and events which may be of interest to the reader of Simple, Good and Tasty. As always, if you have anything to offer, please let us know!


Butter headsButter heads

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