Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Iowa State Fair Guide: 10 foods to try
Welcome back, babes! As promised, I'm back with another Iowa State Fair Guide post. In case you couldn't tell, this one is dedicated to food, because if we're being honest, that's pretty much the main attraction here. The Iowa State Fair is famous for putting anything and everything on a stick. From the normal corndog to the weirder caprese salad — it's all there. Here I've put together a list of 10 foods, both old and new, everyone should try (or at least consider trying) at the State Fair. Be sure to let me know your top picks in the comments below!
1. Chocolate Marshmallow Malt Fair Square. The Fair Square stand has only been around a couple years, and it was an instant favorite for me. It's one of the more "normal" offerings in terms of Iowa State Fair foods, but they are sooo yummy. Not to mention reasonably priced, which is always a bonus — even though everyone knows the fair is a place for splurging, both in money and calories ;)
2. Corndog. Not original by any means, but I personally feel that corndogs taste better at the Iowa State Fair. And hey, it wouldn't be a fair without one, yeah? Plus, new this year is a gluten-free corndog. Don't ask me how, but they've done it.
3. Golden Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly on a Stick. Honestly, my mouth is watering just thinking about this. One time when I worked at a restaurant I used the flat grill to make a grilled PB&J, and it was the best thing ever. I can only imagine how amazing it would be fried. (Like I said, calories don't count at the fair!)
4. Deep Fried Nacho Balls. These are described as "seasoned ground beef, jalapeños and cheddar cheese rolled in a Nacho Cheese Dorito crust. Deep fried and served with nacho cheese dipping sauce." I'm torn between thinking this sounds incredible and disgusting, but either way, where else would you find something like that?
5. Fresh-squeezed lemonade. Temps at fair time are usually in the billions (or, like, 90s), so a large cup of lemonade is the perfect way to stay cool. Plus, it's deliciously sweet and tangy and made for summertime.
6. Bucket of Chocolate Chip Cookies. This has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember visiting the State Fair. These mini chocolate chip cookies come in a couple sizes, up to a bucket, and you'll see people roaming around, carrying a bucket and just eating dozens of cookies (...guilty). They are warm out of the oven and even served with milk if you want. Santa would be so jealous.
7. Turkey Drumstick. These things are massive — I'm talking thicker-than-my-arm massive. The turkey legs have been a crowd favorite for years, and for good reason. They'll make you wish it was Thanksgiving already.
8. Kernal Kluster. Another newbie this year, these are marshmallow-based popcorn balls mixed with or without M&Ms and served on a stick. Similar to the Fair Squares but slightly saltier with the popcorn.
9. Ultimate Bacon Brisket Bomb. Okay, so this one doesn't exactly sound appealing to me, but I felt I had to include it because it has "bacon" and "bomb" in the name. It's 8 ounces of brisket trimmings infused with jalapeño cheese, blended with seasonings, then wrapped in bacon. But wait! There's more: it's then smoked and sauced with a homemade Sweet Chili BBQ Sauce. I call it the Heart Bomb, because it might just make your chest explode.
10. Fried Butter on a Stick. And finally, the epitome of Fair Foods on a Stick. Personally, I will never put one of these near my body because 1) I don't particularly like butter, and 2) I like my arteries to stay open and functioning. But if you really want to say you've had the full Iowa State Fair experience, you probably have to do it.
What are your favorite fair foods? Which ones are you looking forward to trying this year?
P.S. 7 free things to do at the fair, 8 things you'll see at the fair and my 2015 fair bucket list
(Photo via the Iowa State Fair)