Minnesota State Fair: food, drink and fun on a stick.

The Minnesota State Fair is about as perfect an end-of-summer ritual as possible. Despite not growing up with the fair, I have fallen in love with it. Beyond just the array of foods, the prime people-watching, the giant vegetables and the seed art, I love the fair for the communal experience it creates. There’s something humbling about sharing a single event like this with almost 1.8 million other people.

I could ramble forever about how wonderful the State Fair is, but in the meantime, here’s a bit of my day at the fair, as told through my food and drink from that day.

12:30 p.m.: Pronto Pup
Do not make the mistake I did: pronto pups are not the same as corn dogs. They look identical, but apparently corn dogs are made with cornmeal while pronto pups are made with flour, similar to a pancake batter. Pronto pups’ batter isn’t as sweet or fluffy as a corn dog, but it still was delicious. And as my first venture into fried food for the day, there was no way I could go wrong.

1:30 p.m.: Summit on a Stick
Beer on a stick! What a great invention. Instead of choosing one beer, I went for Summit’s sampler, with three small 8 oz beers served on a paddle. It came with an EPA, Saga IPA, and The Villain, a special black lager just for the Fair. The Villain was by far my favorite, and I’m hoping it makes an appearance after the fair is over.

3:30 p.m.: Corn on the cob
No place sells better corn than the State Fair. Sweet, flavorful, and cheap, it’s no wonder the corn roast is as popular as it is. Massive crowds surrounded the corn roast, gnawing their corn and then disposing of the cobs into compostable bins — hooray for waste reduction! Plus, the corn isn’t fried, so it gives your stomach a break.

6:00 p.m.: Caramel apple pie beer and chicken in a waffle cone
After eating this, I just sat on a bench. Because I couldn’t move. Fried chicken covered with sausage gravy in a waffle cone is the perfect fair food to eat just so you can say you did. The chicken was crispy and flavorful, and to my surprise there was chocolate at the bottom of the cone. It was strange, but I enjoyed it greatly. The pie-flavored beer was the sweetest beer I’ve ever had. I’m not really a fan of sweeter beer, but I enjoyed it, probably because of the novelty.