Earlier this month we offered a round-up of some of the tastiest food fairs in the nation. Today, we’re setting our sights on another source of food and beverage oddities: the state fair.
State fairs have, for decades, been known for their eclectic mix of deep-fried vittles. Recently, the bar has been raised higher with each passing year to see which fair can boast the most bizarre menu item in the nation. Funnel cakes and corn dogs? They’re soooo 20th Century.
We scoured the web to find five of the most unusual state fair foods in America. Each meal offers a heaping portion of media coverage and consumer buzz. And probably some heartburn, but it’s totally worth it.
- Hot beef sundae (Iowa State Fair) – This take on the classic ice cream sundae includes a generous helping of mashed potatoes topped with shredded roast beef and gravy, sprinkled with Cheddar cheese and finished off with a cherry tomato.
- Fried Coca-Cola (State Fair of Texas) – This dessert won the coveted “Most Creative” award at the 2006 Texas fair. The treat is actually Coca-Cola-flavored batter that’s deep-fried and finished with a drizzle of Coca-Cola syrup, whipped cream and cinnamon-sugar.
- Breakfast Lollipop (Minnesota State Fair) – Want to clog your arteries, but don’t feel like waiting until lunchtime? Then the breakfast lollipop is for you! This treat consists of a sausage patty, dipped in corn muffin batter, deep fried and covered in maple syrup.
- Fried ice cream burger (Florida State Fair) – How do you turn an ordinary bacon cheeseburger into a state fair menu item extraordinaire? Add a scoop of fried ice cream! That’s exactly what this concoction is and it doesn’t sound half bad.
- Deep-fried butter on a stick (Iowa State Fair) – Does it sound revolting? A little. Would we try it? You bet! The butter (actually half a stick) is covered in a thick cinnamon batter and deep fried. The result is a taste similar to French toast. The video below puts this oddity in perspective and makes it look a little better than it sounds.
MARKETING LESSON: Sometimes you have to push the boundaries of good health (and good taste) in order to score the attention you’re looking for.