GoMN producers are taking turns explaining what they think the best part of the Minnesota State Fair is. We've already had pitches for Corn Roast, Giggles' Campfire Grill, and food sharing. Here's a defense of the Pronto Pup as top dog.
I will say upfront that I'm not a native of Minnesota. I moved here as a young adult. Luckily, I had a friend from college living in the Twin Cities who was a native and told me I needed to go to the Minnesota State Fair.
I didn't understand why this was mandatory but she insisted and agreed to be my guide on my virgin visit.
Once we were through the gates she told me the first thing we needed to do was get a Pronto Pup. I had no response to that, but it raised my curiosity and I started imagining what something called a Pronto Pup might be.
"This is what you get at the Fair," she said. "It's what Minnesotans eat. You have one when you get here and later you get another one. Or two, or more."
By now we were in line and I could see what a Pronto Pup was. "Mustard," she said. "You have to get it with mustard."
Then the stick was in my hand. The Pronto Pup was golden brown and slathered with yellow. I bit into it and let the flavor sink in. And then I understood.
This is what we do here. In Minnesota we come to the Fair and we get Pronto Pups. Because they're good. And also because that's just what we do.
I embraced that tradition wholeheartedly and continue to abide by it.
My friend later moved to Europe and we drifted apart. But in late August of every year I am grateful to her for giving me a proper appreciation of how important the State Fair is to Minnesota ... and how essential a Pronto Pup (or two) is to a State Fair visit.