Ever since the Indiana Pork Producers Association announced it will be featuring a Pork BBQ Split at the Indiana State Fair next month, my mouth has been watering. Now in all honesty, once I get to any fair and walk around enough, I’m usually too hot to eat much. A couple weeks ago when I attended a local arts fair though I found the sweet spot to my cravings and comfort level. I took my cheese curds and turkey leg (sorry pork industry friends) to go and enjoyed them very much in my air-conditioned home later that evening.
I think if I had the time and money the best way to sample some of our country’s finest fair food would be to rent an RV and hit the road all summer attending state fairs. After all, this year’s fairs are promising some enticing pork entrees.
Iowa State Fair
From foods-on-a-stick to fried food concoctions, the Iowa State Fair is known for fun, interesting and delicious food. Each year, a list of new culinary adventures from sweet to salty, to strange and tasty are announced. This year fairgoers can try more than 50 new foods at the 2019 Iowa State Fair including these pork delicacies: Bacon Wrapped Pig Wings, Bauder Ultimate Bacon Crisps, Berkshire Bacon Balls on a Stick, Double Pork Poutine, Smoked Ham & Eggs and the Tangled Onion Pork Po-Boy.
Wisconsin State Fair
Some items listed on the Wisconsin State Fair new food menu sound just like they read: Backyard BBQ Burrito, BBQ Mac Tater Tots, Breakfast on a Stick, the Pork Schnitzel Sandwich and the Reuben Cuban Sandwich. Others need a little more description. For example at Robert’s booth, you can get a Boss Hog Sandwich, a grilled bratwurst on hoagie bun with melted American cheese and a fried egg on top. Or at Slim’s Lakefront Brew Pub & Eatery, attendees can sample Sticky Pigs — spiced, braised baby pork rib sections, beer-battered and deep-fried, then drizzled with spicy maple glaze, garnished with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
Minnesota State Fair
The Minnesota State Fair has announced 31 official new foods and seven new food vendors, adding to the expansive menu offered at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. In total, the state fair offers nearly 500 foods at 300 concession locations throughout the fairgrounds.
At the 2019 Minnesota State Fair, attendees can choose between a Carnitas Taco Cone — carnitas with a sesame-garlic ginger sauce, cabbage, lime and queso fresco, topped with green onion and sour cream and served in a deep-fried cone-shaped tortilla; or a Cuban Fusion Fajita — carnitas-style roast pork, deli-sliced ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles and Juanita’s Fajitas’ signature mustard folded into a flour tortilla.
Looking to get more bang for your buck? This year’s Minnesota State Fair pork entrees also include the No Bologna Coney — an Italian mortadella pork sausage flavored with pistachios and Mancini’s pepper blend, served on a buttered and toasted split-top bun, and topped with mild muffuletta olive and pepper salad, and the Tailspin — tangy BBQ sauce drizzled on top of french-fried onions and fresh-made coleslaw, layered over pulled pork, elote, Oaxaca cheese and peppery spices — all on a seasoned hash brown waffle.
State Fair of Texas
And for those who wish to get that pork flavor through a bottle, this year State Fair of Texas attendees can enjoy a frothy a Corn Dog Ale while nibbling on some Bacon Brittle.
These are just a few examples of how our fine pork products are being sampled at midways across America. If you get a chance to try out any of these new pork menu items to hit the 2019 fair circuit, send me a note and let me know how it tasted. Who knows? One day I may get the chance to sample some fair food from my air-conditioned travel trailer.