Ah, the marvels of engineering. The concept of food on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair consistently gets more exciting and mind-bending each year. Vendors have managed to get everything from hot dish to spaghetti on a stick. What's next?
Here are 10 stick foods worth devouring at the fair, courtesy of our over-the-top video series, Outta Control.
1. Tater tot hot dish: This treat from Ole and Lena's (Liggett Street between Carnes & Judson avenues) is pure Minnesota, skewered. The meatball-like offering is breaded, and the Lutheran binder, aka creamy canned soup, is served as a dipping sauce on the side.
2. Mashed potatoes:The fluffy, bacon-studded, fried balls of potato are winners when dipped into a side bowl of gravy. At Potato Man and Sweety (Liggett Street between Carnes & Judson avenues).
3. Scotch egg:It's breakfast in one compact, wooden-skewered package. A hard-boiled egg is enveloped in sausage, breaded and fried. Drizzle with your choice of sauces, including horseradish and honey mustard (though the best is maple syrup). From Scotch Eggs (Liggett Street between Carnes & Judson avenues).
4. Deep-fried fruit:Take the one healthy-ish food on the fairgrounds and totally State Fair-ify it. The cakelike breading surrounds a grab bag of grapes, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, strawberries, apples, pineapple, bananas, kiwi, peaches, cherries, pears and watermelon at Fried Fruit & Fried Olives (Nelson Street south of the grandstand).
5. Fried olives:Also from Fried Fruit & Fried Olives, get a mouthful of salty, briny goodness. A stick full of green olives comes stuffed with cream cheese and coated in a panko-like breading, served with a side of ranch dressing.
6. Cheese:A stick of yellow cheese (we wouldn't go so far as to call it Cheddar) is breaded in a sweet corn dog batter and dropped into bubbling oil. From Cheese on a Stick (Judson Avenue & Nelson Street).
7. Battered deep-fried Snickers:What's better than an already perfect candy bar? Coating it in a caky batter and soaking it in hot oil until it becomes a melty, chocolate-y gooey mess. We got Snickers, but choose among Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Nut Goodie, from Deep Fried Candy Bars (Carnes Avenue between Nelson & Underwood streets).
8. Spaghetti and meatballs:Just how do they do it? Spaghetti doesn't seem like it could feasibly wind up on a stick, but Oodles of Noodles (Food Building, east wall) chops it up and mixes it into its giant meatball. The skewered ball is served in a bowl of red sauce.
9. Giant egg roll:Vietnamese food comes to the fair with this supersized, crispy classic, stuffed full of pork, from Que Viet (Cooper Street outside the Merchandise Mart). Drizzle with egg roll sauce (fish sauce), sweet and sour and Sriracha.
10. Glo Cone: Best eaten at night. A heaping ball of pink cotton candy is served on a rave-worthy glow stick. At Cotton Candy (Dan Patch Avenue & Underwood Street).