Turkey Donuts and Kangaroo Potstickers
We Sampled the Sad and the Sublime at the Wisconsin State Fair
Deep Fried Racine Kringle – Bavarian Haus
This was the winner of the day. Four self-contained pieces of the kringle we all know and love, only deep fried instead of baked, then drizzled with vanilla sauce. If you loved toaster pastries as a kid, this is like the ultimate grown up version: crispy and flaky with a molten hot raspberry or cinnamon center. Deep frying should really be the default way to cook kringle from now on.
Verdict: A must try.
Deep Fried Maple Bacon Cookie Dough – Emma's Cookie
Imagine oatmeal cookie dough mixed with crisp bacon pieces,
rolled in thin pastry and fried crispy, topped with maple syrup and more bacon.
It sounds like a lot going on, but it's a pretty gloriously gluttonous
combination, which is of course what a state fair is all about. The cookie
dough was thick with lots of cinnamon, and the smoked bacon helped to tame the
sweetness. Maple was a great compliment to both the cookie dough and the bacon,
but I wish there had been a little more of it on top. I was a little wary of
this one, but it knocked my socks off.
Verdict: A dessert with bacon that actually works.
Dolce Panino – La Coppa Gelato
This little cup of gelato and cake won the coveted Sporky
award this year, beating out the fried maple bacon cookie dough above, along
with six other entries. It's a take on a PB&J sandwich, made with yellow
cake, jam-like grape sauce, peanut butter gelato and thick frosting all layered
in a cup. I was pleasantly surprised that the peanut butter gelato wasn't
overly sweet, and the thick grape sauce was like a wonderful concord grape jam.
The cake added some interesting texture, but the frosting was pretty
superfluous. It would have been better if it wasn't pre-made and frozen solid,
but waiting to eat it a couple minutes on a hot day should take care of that.
Verdict: Refreshing and not too sweet.
Southwest Pulled Pork and Slaw – Lakefront Brewpub and
This one confused me. I wrongly assumed that a dish described as pulled pork with pepperjack and slaw would come on a bun as a sandwich, but I was wrong. Instead, it was a plate of IPA-infused green chile pulled pork with the toppings, served with a fork. I guess if you're on the Atkins diet, this is the perfect meal. The pork itself wasn't too bad, but there was more beer flavor than green chile, and no heat to speak of. The pepperjack cheese really helped spice this one up.
Verdict: Low-carbers will love this.
Combo Plate with Snake Eggroll and Venison and Kangaroo
Potstickers – Exotic Meats
At $10, you really have to want to try some interesting game
meats to enjoy this one. Both the eggroll and potstickers were freshly fried
and nicely crunchy, but the heavy generic Asian flavor to them all made them
hard to swallow. The venison should be nothing new to most Wisconsinites, but
the 'roo was pretty gamey. The snake really did taste like chicken and was a
white meat, but it was really chewy.
Verdict: Perfect to feed your annoying, unwitting drunk friend.
Turkey Donut – Pommes Frites
I imagined so much potential for this one, and was greatly
let down. A little bite of real turkey breast and cranberry covered in donut
batter and fried sounds delicious. In reality, it was a stale, dry sugared
donut, cut open and stuffed with some warmed deli meat and a squeeze of
cranberry. Real turkey would have made this 100 percent better. As it is, it
was just really sad.
Verdict: Get any other donuts at the fair.