Lonely Planet Writer

Spam sushi anyone? The new food combos at this year’s Minnesota State Fair will blow your palate

If you’ve ever wished your donut had some bacon in it, your nachos could be deep-fried, or your sushi could include some SPAM, then it’s time to start planning a trip to the Minnesota State Fair. The fair has announced 32 new foods that will be available at the event, which draws in 1.8 million visitors each year.

Here’s a selection of what visitors can expect to see – and sample – this year.

SPAM® Sushi Grilled SPAM®, sushi rice, fried egg and wasabi rolled in nori (dried seaweed).
Image by Minnesota State Fair

Visitors will be able to try ‘SPAM Sushi’, which includes the canned meat grilled, paired with sushi rice, fried egg and wasabi rolled in nori.

Candied Bacon Donut Sliders Sliced glazed donut holes with thick candied bacon and a chocolate red wine ganache.
Image by Minnesota State Fair

If SPAM isn’t your thing, there will be ‘Candied Bacon Donut Sliders’, which will place thick candied bacon inside sliced glazed donut holes with a chocolate red wine ganache.

Carpe Diem A Taiyaki Image: Minnesota State Fair.

The ‘Carpe Diem’ will include combine a “Taiyaki (fish-shaped) buttermilk miso waffle cone filled with balsamic-roasted strawberry compote and topped with vanilla ice cream, graham cracker crumble and a fresh strawberry”.

Reuben Pickle Dog A dill pickle spear with sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing wrapped in a slice of corned beef.
Image by Minnesota State Fair

If you’re cutting out carbs, you can still enjoy a ‘Reuben Pickle Dog’ which combines a dill pickle spear with sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing wrapped up in a slice of corned beef.

Gumbo Frites A bed of crispy french fries topped with Ragin’s traditional New Orleans gumbo made with andouille sausage, chicken, bell peppers, onions, celery and a rich roux-based sauce, then finished off with cheese and green onions.
Image by Minnesota State Fair

‘Gumbo Frites’ bring together french fries with Ragin’s traditional New Orleans gumbo, which is made with andouille sausage, chicken, bell peppers, onions, celery, and covered in a rich sauce before it’s topped with cheese and green onions.

Deep Fried Nachos Supreme Pepper jack cheese cubes coated with a mixture of crushed seasoned tortilla chips and nacho cheese, then deep-fried, covered with taco meat, guacamole, more nacho cheese and sour cream, and served with jalapeños on the side. Also available traditional-style without the supreme toppings.
Image by Minnesota State Fair

The ‘Deep Fried Nachos Supreme’ will include pepper jack cheese cubes covered with a mix of crushed seasoned tortilla chips and nacho cheese. The cubes are then deep-fried, covered with taco meat, guacamole, more nacho cheese and sour cream, and if you like spicy food, they are served with jalapeños on the side.

Strawberry Donut Delight A fresh glazed donut sliced in half and filled with strawberries and whipped cream – like a shortcake sandwich!
Image by Minnesota State Fair

If you prefer sweets, there will be a ‘Strawberry Donut Delight’ that is made up of a fresh glazed donut sliced in half and filled with strawberries and whipped cream.

Iron Range Meat & Potatoes A hearty portion of seasoned beef with a layer of cheddar cheese, topped with mashed potatoes, baked, and drizzled with a wild rice gravy.
Image by Minnesota State Fair

Meat-lovers will be able to try ‘Iron Range Meat & Potatoes’ which is seasoned beef covered with a layer of cheese, then mashed potatoes, baked, and drizzled with wild rice gravy.

La La Palooza Sundae Bridgeman’s giant retro sundae is back! Eight scoops of ice cream (two each of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and butter brittle) covered with caramel, pineapple and strawberry toppings, plus nuts, cherries, sliced banana and whipped cream, all served in Bridgeman’s signature souvenir goblet.
Image by Minnesota State Fair

The ‘La La Palooza Sundae’ includes “eight scoops of ice cream (two each of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and butter brittle) covered with caramel, pineapple and strawberry toppings, plus nuts, cherries, sliced banana and whipped cream”.

Beer Brat Buddies Oktoberfest beer brat in a German pretzel bun with sauerkraut, chopped onions and a choice of mustards – a serving for two!
Image by Minnesota State Fair

If you’re looking for something more traditional, ‘Beer Brat Buddies’ include a Oktoberfest beer brat inside a German pretzel bun and topped with sauerkraut, chopped onions and a choice of mustards.

A huge highlight of each year’s state fair is the wide variety of food available, with more than 500 different foods available at 300 different concessions. But there is more to the Minnesota State Fair than extravagant – and often deep-fried – food. The fair includes a midway with more than 30 carnival rides and 50 skill games and naturally, there is a large agricultural component to the celebrations. This year the fair runs from 25 August until Labor Day on 5 September.