Minnesota threw its first state fair in 1859, a year after it was granted statehood. It’s been nearly held every year since, and is the second largest fair in the United States.
Residents from across the Midwestern state flock to the fairgrounds, near St. Paul, for many reasons. There are concerts, baby animals, butter sculptures, rides, and games. But perhaps the biggest draw is the food.
“The Great Minnesota Get-Together” has a long tradition of serving strange and delectable foods, and vendors introduce wacky new dishes every year. This year’s offerings include Sriracha Dogs and Mac & Cheese Cupcakes — something for everyone (just don’t forget your heartburn meds).
The 2015 fair starts August 27th and goes until Labour Day. You’ll probably want to book a flight after checking out the insane eats being offered this year.
Buffalo'd Bones: Slow-smoked center cut St. Louis-style spare ribs, fried, tossed in buffalo sauce and served with blue cheese dressing and celery.
Burger Dog: A ground blend of hamburger, hot dog, bacon, cheese and a splash of jalapeño on a hot dog bun.
Butter Chicken Samosas: Pastries filled with chicken in a tomato curry sauce and served with a side of green chutney. Sweet Summer Vegetable Samosas with corn, peas and onions also are available.
Cannoli: This pastry filled with a sweetened ricotta cheese cream returns to the fair in full or mini sizes.
Chilled Bread Pudding: Custardy bread pudding baked and served chilled -- sundae-style -- with a warm glaze/dunking sauce and a choice of crunchy 'Moon Gravel' condiments.
Cowboy Bites: Sweet corn kernels, bacon, jalapeños and cream cheese blended into bite-size balls, breaded and fried, and served with ranch dipping sauce.
Cowboy Dave's Cluck & Moo: Smashed potatoes, roasted beef and grilled chicken covered with beef gravy, crispy onions and mustard BBQ sauce.
Grandma Deb's Snicker Bar Salad: Chopped Snickers® bars and Granny Smith apples tossed in vanilla pudding with whipped cream and drizzled with caramel sauce.
Island Slaw: Gluten-free island-style coleslaw with pineapple, mandarin oranges, sugar snap peas and spinach, all topped with teriyaki chicken, a light Sriracha glaze and macadamia nuts.
Italian Dessert Nachos: Cinnamon sugar cannoli chips smothered with sweet ricotta cheese filling, fruit, chocolate, nuts and candy toppings.
Kimchi 'n' Curry Poutine: Braised pork and potatoes smothered with curry gravy and cheddar cheese, then topped with kimchi and a poached egg.
Limerick Stix: A blend of pimento cheese and cayenne pepper coated in a corn meal mix, deep-fried and served with custom dipping sauce.
Mac & Cheese Cupcake: Mac & cheese nestled in a breadcrumb crust, then sprinkled with breadcrumbs and frosted with a dollop of Cheez Whiz.
The Margherita: Topped with oven-roasted tomatoes, cheese and basil. Grilled over an open flame for a crispy crust.
Maple Bacon Funnel Cake: A funnel cake infused with bacon pieces, then topped with sweet maple glaze and sprinkled with more bacon.
Meatloaf Hash: Blue Barn meatloaf, sautéed potatoes, peppers and onions topped with scrambled eggs and béarnaise sauce.
Minnesota BEE-NICE Gluten-Free Muffin: Minnesota-grown, pollinator-friendly blueberries, sweet corn and honey with a hint of chipotle in a gluten-free cornbread muffin.
Korean Bar-B-Q Beef Taco: Marinated beef glazed with spicy soy honey, layered with kimchi, topped with crispy rice noodles and served on two flour tortillas.
Minnesota Wild Rice Benedict Muffin: A wild rice English muffin cup with sliced ham and a soft-cooked egg, covered with hollandaise sauce.
Pretzel Croissant Sandwich: Gluten-free and nitrate-free grilled chicken breast and ham, Swiss cheese and fresh spinach smothered in honey mustard and chive aioli, grilled and served hot on a pretzel dough croissant or gluten-free toast.
Prime Rib To Go: Thinly sliced choice prime rib, sautéed peppers, onions and mushrooms (optional) in a soft bread cone with a side of au jus, horseradish or Parmesan garlic sauce.
Sara's Tipsy Pies: Five varieties, including State Fair Rhubarb Blue Hunny Do -- only at the State Fair: A blend of fresh local strawberry rhubarb and baby blueberries baked with Hunny Do Wheat Beer, a honey dew melon-flavored beer, and topped with a Hunny Do Tipsy Topping.
Sausage Sister's Sriracha Sliders: 'Great Balls of Fire' meatballs with Monterey Jack cheese at the center, served on a crusty slider bun with Sister's Sweet 'n' Hot Sriracha Sauce.
Seafood Slider: A lobster and seafood mix blended with mayo, red onion, garlic, celery, lemon juice and breadcrumbs, served hot on a Hawaiian roll with wine aioli.
Oslo Taco: Seared braised, peppercorn-rubbed pork, layered with Norwegian Jarlsburg cheese, pickled cabbage slaw, red onion, apple-smoked bacon and lingonberry relish sour cream, topped with pork cracklins and served on two flour tortillas.
Smokey's Breakfast Burger: Seasoned sausage and hamburger on a corn-dusted bun with applewood-smoked bacon, caramelised onions, melted provolone cheese, fried egg and a tomato slice.
Sriracha Balls: Two choices of filling breaded in panko, deep-fried and drizzled with Sriracha sauce: blend of shredded chicken, corn, tomatoes, egg and Sriracha; or Sriracha cream cheese with corn, tomatoes and egg.
The Spicy Salami: Topped with thin-sliced salami, cheese, oregano and red pepper flakes. Grilled over an open flame for a crispy crust.
Sriracha Dog: All-beef hot dog on a Sriracha cream cheese-smeared bun, topped with bacon bits and drizzled with Sriracha sauce.
Steak Apizzaiola: Cuts of Italian steak sautéed in au jus and served on a seasoned kaiser bun with caramelised onions, melted cheese and marinara sauce.
Stuffed Italian Meatloaf: On-a-Stick Italian meatloaf stuffed with Mozzarella and pepperoni, topped with marinara sauce and a Parmesan herb blend and served on-a-stick.
Sweet Potato Taco: Mashed sweet potatoes, black beans, sautéed onions and vinegar coleslaw wrapped in a flour tortilla.
Tikka On-a-Stikka: Chicken marinated in spices and yogurt, chargrilled and smothered in tikka sauce.
Totchos Tater tots smothered in cheddar cheese sauce with seasoned sour cream, bacon bits and green onions (chicken or taco-style beef optional). Gluten-free.
Up Nort Shoreman's Lunch: Battered northern pike in a fresh tomato sauce with potatoes and corn, finished with smoked pepper tartar sauce.
Walleye Stuffed Mushrooms: Jumbo mushroom caps stuffed with flavored cream cheese spread, walleye, three cheeses, red pepper, panko breadcrumbs and a special sauce.
Butter Queen Coffee Ice Cream: Chocolate espresso flakes blended into browned butter and coffee ice cream.
Chocolate-Dipped Cherry On-a-Spoon JonnyPop: Fresh tart cherries and cream, dipped in dark chocolate and served not on-a-stick but a spoon, inspired by Minneapolis' Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture.
Yucatan Taco: Seasoned chicken chorizo braised in tequila and red wine vinegar served with green cabbage carrot slaw, queso fresco, pickled red onion and cilantro sour cream on two flour tortillas.
Doo Wop Dip: Strawberry ice cream with real strawberries in a croissant, dipped in chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate.
Espresso Float: Iced espresso over vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream. Flavour choices include: chocolate, chocolate salted caramel, vanilla, hazelnut or almond.
Fire and Ice Kreme: Soft serve vanilla ice cream with Sriracha sauce and corn chip crunch, topped with whipped cream.
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