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Crazy New Foods at State Fair 2017

Jul. 27, 2017
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deepfriedgrilledcheese

I can't be the only one who goes to the State Fair with one main goal: eating as much crazy stuff as possible. Right? It seems like each year, food vendors try to outdo themselves and each other with their oddest combinations or weirdest thing-on-a-stick. The State Fair itself recognizes that food is the big draw for a lot of people, and encourages the innovation with the annual Sporkies awards. Eight finalists have been chosen, and the winner will be determined by a group of judges during the fair on August 9.

No matter which contender LeRoy Butler chooses to win—he's one of the celebrity judges this year—it's always fun to try the eight finalists for yourself and pick a winner. Here are the 2017 Sporkies finalists:

Chocomela Nachos at La Coppa Artisan Gelato – La Coppa always makes a great showing in the Sporkies. This year they've reinvented nachos into a dessert with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips topped with salted caramel and chocolate gelatos for dipping. Add whipped cream, chocolate and peanut sauce, and how can you go wrong?

Deep-fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich Bites at Tropics at the Fair – I feel like this one is the dark horse in the competition. It's deceptively simple, but has the potential to be delicious. Chunks of grilled cheese sandwich are deep fried and served with creamy tomato sauce for dipping.

Buffalo Mac and Cheese Quesadilla at Mexican Grill – This is one I can get behind, as an unabashed lover of all things covered in buffalo sauce. A grilled quesadilla is stuffed with shredded buffalo chicken, queso mac and cheese, bacon and the kicker: crushed Doritos. It's served with jalapenos and a side of blue cheese for dipping. 

Triple Threat at the Budweiser Pavilion – The name implies something outrageous or mysterious, but really this is probably the least creative of all the entries. Three sliders on pretzel buns are stacked on top of one another on a skewer. Why? Who knows. One is a smoked jalapeno, bacon and cheddar brat, one is BBQ pulled pork, and one is a bourbon bacon cheeseburger. 

Monkey Business at Saz's BBQ – It's a deep fried banana burrito! I'm already sold. It's stuffed with bacon jam, peanut butter and caramelized bananas, then fried and drizzled with honey and chipotle cinnamon sugar.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Mozzarella Sticks at Albanese's Roadhouse – This one's a former Sporkies finalist from 2016, back for another shot. Considering Wisconsinite's love for mozzarella sticks, this seems like a good contender. Spaghetti, meatballs and mozzarella are wrapped in a wonton and fried, served with marinara for dipping.

Three Little Pigs Ravioli at Brew City – Without fail, every year Brew City comes up with some new bacon-focused thing. This year, it's “ravioli” made entirely of bacon—no pasta—filled with bourbon bacon jam, smoked pork shoulder, pancetta, cream cheese, smoked gouda, onions and brown sugar. It's served with a cherry bourbon BBQ jam for dipping.

Great Balls of Fire Sandwich at Rupena's – I love Rupena's, and I especially love their spicy Hungarian sausage, which makes an appearance on this sandwich. But it sounds like there's a lot going on here: Hungarian sausage, pulled pork, stuffing balls, garlic sour cream sauce, and creamy coleslaw. Still, that Hungarian is delicious. 

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