Jeramey Jannene
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Sampling The New Foods at the State Fair

You have until August 11th to chow down on these items, some of which, of course, come on a stick.

By - Aug 2nd, 2019 05:27 pm
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Jalapeno Popper Dog from Siggy's Wild Dog Saloon

Jalapeno Popper Dog from Siggy’s Wild Dog Saloon. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A staple of the annual Wisconsin State Fair is the new fare.

And while my stomach didn’t quite have enough space to try all 65 new items, I made a valiant effort, in the name of journalism, to try as many as I could handle. All were applicants in the annual Sporkies contest to proclaim the best new food at the fair. A winner will be announced on August 7th.

In order of how much I liked them, from “best” to “still very good”…

  • Buffalo Cheese Curd and Chicken Taco (topped with bleu cheese slaw) – Poncho Dog – Called a “hot chick” on the menu, it builds on the earlier introduction of deep-fried cheese curd tacos.
  • Jalapeno Popper Dog (all-beef hot dog wrapped in bacon, topped with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, spicy jalapeños, sweet raspberry glaze) – Siggy’s Wild Dogs Saloon – The bacon was hard to taste, but the raspberry glaze strangely was delicious on a hot dog
  • Brat-Tot-Chos (tater tots topped with diced bratwurst, beer cheese sauce, sauerkraut, mustard, green onions) – Tavern at the Park – Probably higher on the list because it was the first thing I ate, but it still good. Make sure to have the sauerkraut added.
  • Puco Locadilla On-a-Stick (habanero jack cheese, poblano peppers, tomatillos, grilled chicken breast tacos – topped with chili lime sauce, cilantro, corn, kettle chips, snickerdoodle crumbles) – Sprecher Landing – The only “on a stick” item in the list, and not all that great to eat on a stick. I ate more of it with my fingers.

Do none of the four I tried whet your appetite? The fair offers up live music, carnival rides, livestock showings, people watching, pig races, Wisconsin-made products and, most importantly, anything you can dream of deep-fried on a stick.

Most importantly, there are cream puffs. So many cream puffs. Fair officials estimate approximately 400,000 will be consumed this year. I did my part and added one to the total.

And lest you be concerned about my health, I did split most of them with my wife, a 2018 Sporkie’s judge.

The Wisconsin State Fair runs through August 11th.

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