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5 new Minnesota State Fair foods actually worth trying

Once we got past the hype, here's the stuff we're going to eat.
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This story is part of our 2017 Minnesota State Fair Music, Food & Beer Guide.

As loyal lovers of the Minnesota State Fair, we will give some of the new foods a try. It doesn't mean we're ditching our tried-and-true classic favorites, but we're not afraid of change.

See also: Here are the 31 new foods at the Minnesota State Fair this year

You can decide for yourself if a new fair food item is trying too hard or not trying hard at all, but here are 5 items for 2017 that we predict just might work. See you in line. 

Deep-Fried Avocado (O'Gara's at the Fair; SW corner of Dan Patch Ave. & Cosgrove St.)

File this as one of those things that makes no sense until it’s sitting on your tongue. It’s a wonder deep-fried avocado isn't on more menus. 

Pictured above, the cool, smooth nature of nature’s most obsessed-over produce meets the deep fryer. Brought to you by O’Gara’s, the same people who brought us the pretzel curd (crunched pretzels coat the curds) which I somewhat sheepishly admit to enjoying more than the original curd. The smooth surprise within the crunchy coating will be served with – what else – chipotle ranch. This is a can’t miss-situation. 

Honey Puffs, aka Loukamades (Dino's Gyros; north side of Carnes Ave. between Nelson & Underwood streets)

It’s kind of a wonder that the yeasty Greek donuts Loukamades (Honey Puffs for a swifter tumble off the tongue) are only coming to the fair now. Scooped, fried, and drenched in honey syrup and dusted in cinnamon sugar, they sound suspiciously like their western cousin, the mini donut. 

Again, it’s a can’t-miss proposition, especially when paired with an irresistible and drippy Gyro from Dino’s. 

Italian Bomba Sandwich (Mancini's al Fresco; north side of Carnes Ave. between Nelson & Underwood streets)

The rep for vintage Italian restaurant Mancini’s, one of Minnesota’s state treasures, creates intrigue for this sandwich by itself. That, plus beer-braised pork shoulder with prosciutto cotto ham, fontina cheese, giardiniera, and aioli on a grilled ciabatta roll, makes it the sort of sandwich you wish you could get on an average day. Smart enough to make you want it on a regular old Tuesday, yet special enough that you’d be hard pressed to do so makes this a promising fair pursuit. 

Pie'n the Sky Malt & Sundae (Dairy Goodness Bar; Dairy Building, south wall)

The Dairy Goodness Bar is already the place that brings you one of the unassailable classic fair foods in the first place, the dairy goodness malt. This new creation incorporates the addictive graham-cracker cookies that flight attendants dole out, dark chocolate, and (somewhat dubiously) lemon curd. We appreciate the idea that the richness might need a top note of fruity zing, but let's just say we'll reserve judgement about the lemon curd for now. The cookies and the ice cream could and should override any potential curdy missteps. 

Chocolate Popover with Peanut Butter Spread (LuLu's Public House; West End Market)

A beloved Minnesota family recipe that used to be found at Dayton’s and now, the Bachelor Farmer, is coming to the fair. It incorporates a peanut butter “spread” which you know is just peanut butter with a lot more sugar, and chocolate. 

There’s really nothing to quibble with here, and in fact, something called a chocolate popover with peanut butter spread sounds like something you pair with your daily cup of coffee. I can’t decide if that makes it good for the fair, but it does sound pretty much good enough, rather than way too much. And for that, we’ll bite. 

Mecca Bos is a Twin Cities-based food writer. She has an upcoming podcast called Snax Everywhere. Find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

This story is part of our 2017 Minnesota State Fair Music, Food & Beer Guide.

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