Chips are down at the State Fair

  • Article by: BILL WARD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 28, 2012 - 12:00 AM

America's most popular cookie will not be part of the State Fair competition this year, because -- well, it's too popular.

Don't spend time perfecting your chocolate chip cookie recipe for the State Fair; the category has been eliminated.

Photo: Rick Nelson, Star Tribune file

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Reid Plumbo of Vadnais Heights had been honing his chocolate chip cookie recipe for the Minnesota State Fair competition and said his concoctions had "become more consistent in size and shape."

Turns out he needn't have bothered. There will be no chocolate chip cookie contest at this year's fair.

When Plumbo couldn't find registration info at the fair website, he e-mailed the competition staff and was told that because of an overwhelming number of entries, the fair staff had eliminated the category in hopes that participants would make other cookies.

Translation, in Plumbo's view: "They have canceled the contest at the fair due to popular demand."

Chocolate chip is indeed America's most popular cookie, comprising about half of the country's home-baked offerings, according to the Kitchen Project. For at least a quarter century, buckets of Sweet Martha chocolate chip cookies have been a State Fair staple. (Contest cookies are not sold, so this turn of events cannot be deemed a dastardly Sweet Martha conspiracy.)

The competition staff declined to comment and deferred to State Fair marketing guru Brienna Schuette. She noted that contests for best chocolate drop and oatmeal with chocolate chip cookies remain.

"The specific chocolate chip cookie lot has been retired, at least temporarily," Schuette said via e-mail. "I spoke with our creative activities superintendent, who explained that the number of chocolate chip cookies was immense [100 last year]. In an effort to 'spread the wealth,' if you will, among all cookie categories, they are experimenting this year ... and hoping that entrants will try new types of cookies."

And that, as they say, is the way the cookie contest crumbled.

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