Funnel cakes, corn dogs, caramel apples—state fair food is predictable, right? Wrong! State fairs have become the nation's great laboratories for innovative new snacks, particularly ones that are fried to the max and attached to sticks. Below, we searched far and wide for the weirdest state fair foods out there and then ranked them according to weirdness. Spoiler: there's a lot of deep frying going on here.
Note: a lot of these state fair food items are being served at multiple fairs. When possible, we tried to highlight the fair that made it famous, regardless of whether or not it originated there.
Minnesota State Fair
It's really the "on-a-stick" component of this dish that brings the weird factor, as spaghetti and meatballs is a pretty normal dish on its own. In fact, putting such a traditionally messy dish on a stick actually seems kind of genius. So much so that we're starting to think the traditional "fork-twirl" method is actually way weirder than we ever realized.
Texas State Fair
For a hot second, we actually thought about putting this dish at number one, but the more we thought about it, the less weird it sounded. Like, no one really wants to eat Jello by itself, so why wouldn't you deep fry it?
Wisconsin State Fair
Bacon-wrapped ravioli? Not so weird. A ravioli where the bacon completely replaces the pasta component? Super weird. Aside from being delicious, this dish also begs the question: is a ravioli without pasta still ravioli?
Tennessee State Fair
Honestly, there's probably an ice cream shop selling beef-flavored ice cream somewhere in these great United States, but thankfully this dish contains none of it. This 100% savory dish is actually just a bowl of mashed potatoes, marinated beef, and gravy arranged to look like a sundae, with shredded cheese "sprinkles" thrown in for good measure.
Illinois State Fair
Deep-fried Oreos are pretty much standard State Fair at this point, so it's no wonder the folks at the Illinois State Fair felt the need to up their game. They did so by wrapping an Oreo in cookie dough and battering it before dropping it into the deep-fryer and smothering the whole thing in powdered sugar.
California State Fair
We had a savory dish made to look like a sundae, so a sundae made to look like a savory dish is the natural progression. This bowl of "spaghetti" is actually just ice cream ribbons topped with a strawberry "sauce", and sprinkled with shaved white chocolate "cheese". Now if they could only find a way to put it on a stick...
Texas State Fair (And Others)
Weird? Yes. Indulgent? Certainly. Diet-friendly? Definitely not. Do we still want to eat it? Yes. A thousand times, yes.
Hawaii State Fair
Move over Krispy Kreme burger: the folks in Hawaii have out weirded you. You won't find any donuts sandwiching this cheeseburger, but you will find the beef patty topped with a giant scoop of fried ice cream. But this is Hawaii, so we have to ask: where's the SPAM?
Massachusetts State Fair
We settled upon a three-way tie for the second weirdest state fair food, since all three candidates are foods no one should ever, ever deep fry. We also think it's only a matter of time until someone invents a way to fry all three together and serve the resulting concoction on a stick. There's always next year?
Ohio State Fair
We know what you're thinking: deep-fried gummy bear? How is that weirder than that beef sundae thing? But hold on a second because THAT GUMMY BEAR IS LIKE A FOOT LONG! (It's actually closer to a half a foot, but still.) Oh, and you get your choice of a vanilla- or chocolate-flavored batter. Because if you're going to eat a giant fried gummy bear, it better be made your way.