To Eat or Not to Eat…

That is NOT the question when attending a fair of any sort.

But ESPECIALLY not when you’re attending the Minnesota State Fair!

We were told immediately upon arrival for our home search back in April that we needed to make it out to the state fair while living here.

Yeah, yeah… the state fair. Every state’s got one. What’s the big deal?

Our realtor never came right out and said it but he was definitely insinuating that the Minnesota State Fair was above all other state fairs. I believed this to be because he is from Minnesota and when you’re from a particular state, you always believe that your state is better than any others.

Like I do with Kansas.

But I didn’t want to start a fight with him when he was about to start showing us potential homes.

So Matt and I decided way back then that we had to give the fair a try. We had been to our own Kansas State Fair a few times way back when and I remember good things from it. And if this one was to be the ‘grandest of them all’… well, then I wasn’t going to miss it!

We made a plan for our Saturday: I would go to a yoga class in the morning, while Matt went on a bike ride, we would eat lunch at home, then take off for the f air in the afternoon.

On our drive to the fair, Matt mentioned that he thought we should do a ‘tapas’ style dinner… eat small portions at lots of different vendors so we can try all kinds of things.

Sounded good to me!

Until we arrived… and realized that the entire fair is 97 percent food.

Where do you start? I mean, you don’t want to start with a cheeseburger because you can have a cheeseburger any day. You want to eat the stuff that clogs the arteries, layers the stomach and makes you wish that you had never walked past the food stand.

So we started with fried cheese curds. You can never go wrong with cheese!

We followed that up with some sweet potato fries (that I wouldn’t really call fries … they basically sliced up a sweet potato, threw some cinnamon on them and handed them over – yuck) and a corn dog (for me since the sweet potato fries all went to Matt).

You can never attend the fair without checking out the livestock (maybe that’s just because I grew up in a small town where the livestock IS the fair … or maybe it’s because I married a man that grew up on a farm and was one of those livestock people at my small town fair). So we browsed the cattle, the pigs, the lambs, the horses … all which smelled worse than than normal (and kindly located next to a row of food vendors).

We also wanted to make sure not to miss out on the largest boar in the state (he only weighed 1,400 pounds):

After that glorious excursion and hearing stories about Matt and his days at the Chautauqua County Fair (God help my children!), we went in search of more food.

Before we walked into the fair, a kind soul gave us a book of fair coupons that he no longer needed (Matt says he handed them over to us because I was pregnant – hey, whatever works!) so we were really trying to be discount shoppers while searching for good food.

Luckily for Matt, a Falafel was on his list of things to try and the book of coupons just happened to have a coupon for the Falafel King. So inside the Food Barn we went to knock this wonder off of the list. The Falafel did not look too appetizing to me, so I decided to hold off for this pail of cookies that every single person at the fair had been walking around with.

After making our final rounds to the food vendors and our final rounds to the merchandise areas in search of the wooden frogs my dad loves, we made our way to the cookie frenzie.

I say frenzie… because that’s exactly what it was. The lines for these cookies were out of control! People were backed up so far I was about to say forget it. Until one of the workers stepped out of the cookie house to tell the crowds another window had opened up on the side! Praise the Lord!

We bolted over and decided that rather than buying a pail of overflowing cookies for $15, we would buy a small cone of cookies for $5.

Matt later said he really tried to emphasize the word ‘small’ to the girl at the counter, but this did not stop her. She filled up the cone and added 10 more to the top of the cone, just enough that if she had added one more, the entire thing would have toppled over.

After our time at the fair had concluded and we were on our way back to our vehicle, we vowed that Sunday we would recuperate by eating only salad.

And the remainder of the cookies from the ‘small cone’.

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