There’s only one thing to say about the tasty amalgamation of corn dogs and pizza.
“It kind of makes sense; it brings two classics together,” said Dennis Larson, the Minnesota State Fair official who signs off on new food at the Fair.
And the corn-dog-topped pizza, which will debut at the 2010 State Fair this summer, meets both of Larson’s criteria.
“There’s an artery-clogging element … and the ‘how-do-they-do-that?’ appeal,” Larson said.
Or at least the “why-do-they-do-that?” appeal.
Bryan Enloe got the idea from a friend who owns two concession trailers: one for corn dogs and the other — you guessed it — for pizza.
The friend typed both terms into Google, looking for ideas for signage, and a picture of the hybrid came up on a blog titled “This is Why You’re Fat.” The blog has since been taken down, but the picture stayed with Enloe.
“The stick was still on it (the corn dog),” he said. “It was a really great idea. I do six to eight fairs a year. Minnesota by far, they go for the wildest stuff.”
Under the banner of the Pizza Shoppe, Enloe will put four half corn dogs — sliced lengthways — on top of a cheese pizza, eight slices to a pie, and serve them sans stick.
Topping the artery-clogging category comes another creation called “chicken fried bacon”: bacon battered, breaded, fried and served in a boat with gravy by Giggles’ Campfire Grill. Enough said.
But if you like Southwestern cuisine, Mark Haugen is finally making an effort to truly assimilate with the Fair. His restaurant, Tejas, in Edina, closed in December after 22 years, but he’s keeping the Fair stand open, as he and his partner have for a dozen years.
In all that time, though, they’ve never sold anything on a stick and haven’t deep-fried so much as a crust of bread.
This year, “We kind of want to get on the bandwagon with the deep-fried,” Haugen said. The solution: a lightly breaded and deep-fried avocado, served with ranch dip.
“It seems like a natural progression for us to do that,” he said.
Famous Dave’s Charlie Torgerson has fried pigs’ ears this year — sliced up to look like tiny curly french fries, with a chipotle glaze. Last year, he had peach-glazed pigs’ cheeks after becoming most famous for his chocolate-covered bacon.
“He’s done everything but the squeal,” Larson said. “He’s running out of organs.”
And in the potato arena, Tina and Matt Isaac have merged the spiral-cut potato on a stick with … chocolate.
“You put sugar on it instead of salt, you gotta whole different thing,” said Matt Isaac who can’t stop talking about potato chips. “I love potato chips. I think I grew up on those.”
His sister, Tina, on the other hand, loves chocolate. And so …
“A lot of it’s trial and error. You end up buying a lot of chocolate and finding out what happens to it. It’s not the worst thing in the world,” Tina Isaac said.
The pair found a chocolate coating that stays hard — even in the heat. You can also sprinkle extra sugar on top, if you’re in the mood.
Also new at the Fair — which runs from Aug. 26 to Labor Day, Sept. 6 — are Cincinnati chili (spaghetti topped with chili); mashed potatoes on a stick; deep-fried shortcake; and Caramel Apple Puppies (Fudge Puppies with baked-in apple, covered in caramel), among others.