Here’s what it takes to get a new food item on the menu at the Minnesota State Fair
There are 34 new foods to try at the Minnesota State Fair, along with seven new vendors.
A State Fair spokesperson says they received more than 100 applications for new food.
“People can come out here and enjoy their favorite classics or try out a couple new things. We got lots of new foods for everyone to enjoy,” said Maria Hayden, State Fair spokesperson. “It’s always so fun to see the list of new people coming to the fair.”
Hayden says the process of putting a new item on the menu and selecting first-time vendors is more involved than people might think.
“We don’t maintain any waiting list. It really is based on what sort of spots become available year to year because you never know what’s going to open up and who might be the proper vendor to fill it,” Hayden said.
The fair considers things like experience at other fairs, booth presentation and a balance of similar products.
Nordic Waffles is celebrating five years at the fair, but now they’re adding two new items to their menu, including a bacon-wrapped waffle dog and pickle lemonade.
“When you have the State Fair in your blood, you just can’t get it out,” said Stine Aasland, Nordic Waffles founder.
Long before fairgoers can enjoy the new concoctions, Aasland says she’s experimenting with recipes in the winter.
“In January, February we start to narrow down the list of things we want to try,” Aasland said. “We bring it to the fair and then we hold our breath because we don’t know if we are going to get picked.”
Aasland says it’s at the fair where she gets some of her inspiration. Ultimately the State Fair decides which new foods to add.
“I really think that the Minnesota State Fair food vendors are superb and excellent beyond everyone else to come up with new innovative food,” Aasland said.
One of the newest vendors is Tasti Whip, serving up Dole soft serve.
“We did not expect to get here but we’re so thankful and so grateful to be here,” said Jessica Garcia, manager at Tasti Whip. “It was a long process and we did apply on a whim. Very excited to be here.”
For a complete list of the new foods and vendors visit the State Fair’s website.