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Weird State Fair Food You Have to Try

BY: Andy Seifert | Aug 9, 2016

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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. We scoured the nation and found four foods that have helped put their respective state fairs on the map. These treats can be sampled at states fairs in August, September, and October—though if you miss this year's fairs, you can try again in 2017 (trust us, they’re worth the wait).

Fried Moon Pie | State Fair of Texas, Dallas

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What is it?: A moon pie—the marshmallow-and-graham-cracker sandwich confection that’s most popular in the South—deep-fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar

Goes well with: Taking a picture with Big Tex, the fair’s 55-foot cowboy statue that’s a Texas icon

When’s the next fair?: September 30–October 23, 2016

Where to stay: Sheraton Dallas, a four-star hotel that’s just a 10-minute drive from the fairgrounds

Krispy Kreme Burgers | North Carolina State Fair, Raleigh 

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What is it?: It’s a beef patty sandwiched between two Krispy Kreme donuts, with optional bacon and cheese if you’d like to eat a month’s worth of calories. Other variations include a Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe.

Goes well with: Watching the pig races, a North Carolina State Fair tradition

When’s the next fair?: October 13–23, 2016

Where to stay: Ramada Raleigh, just a half-mile walk from the fairgrounds

Deep-Fried Oreos | Wisconsin State Fair, West Allis

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What is it?: The classic cookie dipped in batter and topped with powdered sugar

Goes well with: Even more gluttonous food—the Wisconsin State Fair’s big stars are its cream puffs, which are so popular that more than 400,000 were consumed in 2014.

When’s the next fair?: August 4–14, 2016

Where to stay: The Iron Horse Hotel, a four-star hotel in a former warehouse; it’s about a 15-minute drive from the fairgrounds

Bacon Cannoli | Minnesota State Fair, Saint Paul

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What is it?: A classic cannoli with the usual ricotta cheese, but infused with nibbles of candied bacon—a decadent treat at a fair known for its strangely innovative foods

Goes well with: A visit to the fair’s famous butter statues, carved each year to depict Minnesota’s “dairy princess”

When’s the next fair?: August 25–September 5, 2016

Where to stay: The upscale Hotel Minneapolis, Autograph Collection in downtown Minneapolis, a 15-minute drive from the fair

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Photos: IMG_5751 by Emily Goodstein under CC BY 2.0; Fried Moon Pie at State Fair of Texas 2010 by David Berkowitz under CC BY 2.0; Krispy Kreme burgers by Gloria Cabada-Leman under CC BY 2.0; Fried Oreos. SO GOOD. by Connie Ma under CC BY-SA 2.0; Minnesota State Fair 2013 Bacon Canoli by Nicholas Upton under CC BY 2.0

Guide Staff Writer
BY: Andy Seifert

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