Iowa State Fair, that GREAT State Fair, runs for 11 days, beginning August 9. Food has always been an important part of fairs, and Iowa has always been very creative, especially with foods served on a stick.
Today, the State Fair Board posted the list of 56 new food items to be offered. Every year sees a list of innovative foods, but this list is longer than usual. Everything you can think of to put on a stick and a bunch more. Here are just a few of the items to be offered this year:
Rocky Mountain Oysters,
Chicken livers, and
Chicken gizzards. (Can’t imagine why these haven’t been a staple already).
Pork Belly on a Stick
Chicken and Waffle on a Stick
Snickers in a Waffle on a Stick
Popcorn on a Stick in the shape of Iowa
Frisalino on a Stick (beats me; appears to be named after a region in Italy famous for its marble)
Poffertjes (mini Dutch Pancakes), reflecting Iowa’s Dutch Immigrant Heritage
Duck Bacon Wonton
Cookie Dough Spaghetti
Pork Belly Burnt Ends Poutine (Canadians will know poutine, but maybe not so many southerners)
Fresh made Guacamole
A bunch of coolers with striking names
Not So Thin Mint Ice Cream
Something to eat on a stick isn’t the only food at the Fair. There are literally buildings full of produce in competition to be the best green bean, tallest corn stalk, biggest pumpkin, etc. There is one entire building filled with nothing but types of squash. Then, of course, there is the Butter Cow. Since 1911, each year a fresh new butter cow is sculpted from 600 pounds of real butter. Different breeds tend to be featured each year; they are lifelike to the tiny veins on their udders. Usually there is a companion to the cow. Last year (2017), a likeness of Laura Ingalls Wilder on the 150th anniversary of her birth. The year before that, (2016), a celebration of the 50th anniversary of “Star Trek.” (Real ST fans will know that Captain James Tiberius Kirk will be born in Riverside, Iowa March 22, 2228, just 210 years from now.)
Bring your hat, bring your own antacids, and bring your inner-child to the Iowa State Fair August 9-19, 2018, Des Moines, Iowa. Your stomach will thank you.