The eating extravaganza that is the Minnesota State Fair may still be months away, but Sen. Al Franken is already beating the drum about the heart-stopping offerings that attendees will encounter along the midway later this summer.
The fair, which is scheduled to wreak havoc on Midwestern waistlines from Aug. 21 until Sept. 1, is expected to field more than two dozen new foodstuffs. Those debut taste sensations run the gamut from moderately healthy (all-natural, frozen fruit smoothie pop, anyone?) to downright deadly (breakfast Juicy Lucys forged from twin, cheese-stuffed sausage patties piled high on an English muffin).
Last year, the Minnesota Democrat bowed to his constituents’ wishes and sampled an order of fried pickles accompanied by chocolate dipping sauce:
According to a spokeswoman, Franken is excited to sink his teeth into a Bison Dog (hickory-smoked, pasture-raised buffalo link smothered in pickles and peppers). The adventurous aide, meanwhile, said she was looking forward to experiencing the “chicken in a waffle” creation.
Mind you, I love both of these things in isolation. And I adore their usual brunch-y union — particularly when the corresponding waffles have been doctored with cheddar or herbs (or both).
But I just don’t think I can get behind shoveling fried chicken into a waffle cone and then drowning it all in sausage gravy.
Some of the other gastrotastrophes sure to claim a life (or 12) in the next few months include:
Bacon-wrapped turkey leg: Sounds like the Bacon Explosion camp finally found its way to a Renaissance festival.
Caribbean-style lobster roll: No offense to the Maine delegation (or Team Luke’s), but slathering chilled lobster meat in chipotle mayo spiked with cayenne, allspice and nutmeg sounds muy-super-fantastico.
Deep-fried breakfast on a stick: I’m more enamored with the idea of Monte Cristos, batter dipped ham-and-cheese sammies, than I am with their often heavy-handed execution (ease up on the avalanches of powdered sugar and cloying preserves, why don’t you?). But I must admit to being intrigued by the prospect of wrapping pancakes around sausage, eggs, two types of cheeses and Canadian bacon, and sealing it all inside a crispy shell.
Dessert salami: It’s just chocolate masquerading as charcuterie. Save yourself the plane ticket; it’s one of Etto’s signature closers.
Pizza tots: Poutine, schmoutine. I plan to devote the rest of the summer to figuring out how to properly fold together pepperoni, sausage, mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato sauce and hash browns into hot and spicy, bite-sized nuggets.