clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Minnesota State Fair Is Back and So Are the Over-the-Top New Foods

The most outrageous new foods planned for the 2021 Great Minnesota Get Back Together

Food type circles coated in crumbs on Blue Barn wax paper inside a paper boat on a blue and white gingham tablecloth
Doughnut + biscuit + Buffalo chicken = whatever this is
The Blue Barn/Minnesota State Fair

The Great Minnesota Get Back Together is on the end-of-summer horizon and today, June 29, the fair announced its new fair foods list. As per the usual, there are decadent dishes, things-on-a-stick, and items that are so weird we might let someone else volunteer as tribute for trying them first. Below are just a few of the most oddball new fair foods for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair.

ChoriPop: Chorizo by Andy’s Garage

Now, we know that The Herbivorous Butcher makes the best pretend meat products around. And it’s probably easier to eat a meat approximation when touring the animal barns and looking over those fresh little pink baby piggies so full of optimism at the prospect of a long life. Fake-out chorizo is dipped in classic corndog batter, deep-fried, and served as God intended, on a stick. On the side, fairgoers can grab some avocado salsa or mole sauce, which sounds hard to eat, but might also be delicious?

This is The Herbivorous Butcher’s first year at the fair. Look for them at the Andy’s Garage/ Midtown Global Market booth inside the International Bazaar from August 26 through August 31 only.

Buffalo Chicken Doughscuit from The Blue Barn

Ever looked at a doughnut and thought, “This could use more hot sauce... and maybe chicken?” Apparently, that’s what is pouring out of the creative minds behind The Blue Barn right by the fair bus entrance. (These are the folks that gave the world the wholly unasked for but largely enjoyed malted milk ball and fried chicken with breakfast gravy combo.) This year, the entry into the breakfast-at-any-time foods is the unholy love child of biscuit and doughnut stuffed with chicken; the whole business gets a Buffalo seasoned sweet glaze before being topped with bacon.

A halved pineapple viewed from the side stuffed with a stomach-sized wad of white rice with teriyaki sauce, above which is glazed chicken, and the green top of the pineapple is still on
100% not built for walking around the fair
The Hanger/Minnesota State Fair

The Island Hopper at The Hanger

So, it’s not so much that this food is weird, it’s the delivery method that’s sus. For an event dominated by people in fanny backs, it seems odd to occupy both hands with a giant, sticky hollowed-out pineapple, but perhaps this is built for enjoying in the shade at this giant building up by where the dog shows are. Inside said fruit husk is charbroiled chicken tossed in tacky, sweet teriyaki sauce, steamed rice, and pineapple chunks, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds.

A red and white paper boat buckles under the weight of a folded waffle filled with mac and cheese, garnished with a jaunty little chicken drummy
It’s like the entire kids menu is crammed into just one dish
Nordic Waffles [Official]

Chicken & Macaroni Waffle Sandwich from Nordic Waffle

Bless their waffle-making hearts, the creative folks behind Nordic Waffle have proven, year after year, an ability to cram unimagined ingredients inside a folded waffle that really would be delicious enough just served on its own. This year brings on the carb-on-carb caloric festival of flavors with a Southern-fried chicken drummy and gooey macaroni and cheese. Then this hefty lily will be gilded with honey.

Two State Fair branded plastic cups are filled with ice and a light green liquid, garnished with a cucumber slice
For fair days when sweating on the outside isn’t enough
Farmers Union/Minnesota State Fair

Cucumber Jalapeño Limeade at The Farmer’s Union

In the midst of a historically hot summer, during the hottest days of the year, why not find a way to sweat from the inside out? Limeade mixed with Minnesota-grown cucumbers and a jalapeño syrup sounds refreshing and burning at the same time. It might be a great idea. Or a spicy-pepper spiked beverage on a day where the GI system is already being pushed to maximum overdrive might be a foray into the land of second-day regrets.

Wonton wrappers are stuffed with slices of rare tuna, avocado, and garnished with white and black sesame seeds
Travelers who love the North Shore likely know this dish, making its State Fair debut
New Scenic Cafe/Minnesota State Fair

Sashimi Tacos from New Scenic Cafe

The only weird thing here is that in the land of deep-fried on a stick this is a dish we’ve enjoyed at this slightly upscale, iconic Duluth restaurant. Crisp, refreshing, packed with flavor: we’re actually really excited for this mildly upscale entry from this new vendor located on the east side of Underwood Street between Lee and Randall avenues, just south of Little Farm Hands.

Minnesota State Fairgrounds

1265 Snelling Ave N, Falcon Heights, MN 55108 (651) 288-4400 Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Twin Cities newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world