One of the many things Minnesota is good at is putting seemingly incompatible foods on a stick – particularly when it comes to the State Fair.
It's no surprise therefore that three State Fair vendors have made it onto the Food Network's list of "America's Best Foods on a Stick."
Now we're biased, but we dare say Food Network could have comfortably filled all 16 choices from the magnificent be-sticked (not a word) concoctions found on the State Fairgrounds every August/September.
But getting 3 out of 16 from all states in the country ain't half bad, so we'll give the TV home of Minnesota's own Andrew Zimmern a break.
The first pick is a State Fair classic, the Tater Tot Hotdish on a Stick at Ole and Lena's, which the Food Network says is "well on its way to becoming a Minnesota State Fair icon."
The combo of Swedish meatballs, tater tots, corn dog batter and a side of mushroom hamburger sauce is pretty much the most Minnesotan thing you can fit on a splinter of wood.
The second Minnesota dish to feature on the list is an Asian creation from Que Viet Concessions – its Giant Egg Rolls.
Packed with pork, word of mouth is growing about the egg rolls "bigger than a baby's head," the Food Network notes. The Que Viet stand is an offshoot of Que Viet Village House restaurant in Minneapolis.
The third selection is the Fried Fruit on a Stick, from the Fried Fruit and Fried Olives stand. Skewered on a stick is fruit from grapes to strawberries, pineapple, bananas, peaches and pears – which is dipped in sweet batter and turned golden brown before being topped with powdered sugar, cinnamon, chocolate or sugar.
The Brainerd troupe have been producing their fried fruit at the State Fair for the last 12 years and recently started doing the same at the Wisconsin State Fair.