Monday, July 7, 2014

Indiana State Fair: 2014 Signature Foods

One of the really awesome things about our Indiana State Fair is the theme each year.  This was a new idea put into place a few years ago and it gives the Fair and fairgoers a chance to spotlight something important about Indiana agriculture, about the Fairgrounds, and so on.  Previous years' themes have included tomatoes, corn, and soybeans.

With these themes, there is always the coveted title of State Fair Signature Food.  Entries are made of a dish that takes the theme into account and judging occurs and a winner is selected.  One of my favorite State Fair finds came about because of the signature food contest from the year of the tomato - Ya's Ya's Tomato Balls.  I can't even decribe how good they are.  Kind of like a hush puppy but more savory and with a yogurt dipping sauce that is just so so so good!

This year, it's the Year of the Coliseum.  The Coliseum is a building on the fairgrounds that has been completely redone on the inside.  I'm very excited to see it.  The building has a lot of history to it and is used for a lot of events during the year.

But how on earth do you come up with a food to go with a theme that's focused on a building?  Thankfully, our State Fair folks are creative and brilliant!

This year's food theme is "Deconstructed/Reconstructed."  So the entries were classic dishes that have been updated.  And the entries are very creative!  The updated dishes include mac and cheese, the ice cream sandwich, lemon shake ups, grilled cheese, and a cheeseburger.

Vendor Gobble, Gobble has taken traditional mac and cheese and turned it into The Mac Daddy by adding turkey BBQ to it.

One of my required stops each time I visit the Fair is the Dairy Bar (American Dairy Association) - I could drink the ice cold chocolate milk all day long!  This year, the Dairy Bar will be serving up the Colossal Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Salted Chocolate Caramel Shake.  The grilled cheese sandiwch is made up of sourdough bread, American cheese, and breaded mozzarella cheesesticks.  Yowza!

Looking for something a bit heartier?  Maybe give Barto's Catering's offering a try - the Cheeseburger Basket on a Stick.  It's a cheeseburger and fries combined into a deep fried ball of yummy on a stick.  Seasoned ground beef and sharp cheddar rolled into a hash brown potato ball, rolled in seasoned bread crumbs and then deep fried and served on a stick.  Because all good Fair food comes on a stick!

And for dessert?  Try the Funnel Cake Ice Cream Sandwich from Urick Concessions.  Funnel cake, soft serve vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with powdered sugar and drizzled with chocolate syrup... I'm definitely going to have one of these!!!

And the winner of this year's Signature Food contest?  Something that I think will be a huge hit - I'm going to love it and I think my kids are going to love it, too.  Every year, we love getting a lemon shake up.  Especially when we go to the Fair for $2 Tuesdays.  And there's one booth that also does lime shake ups and orange shake ups that we always hit (right by those tomato balls, by the way).  This year, Goodwin Family Products entered the Signature Food contest with their Fruit Twister shake up and I can't wait to try it!  It's lemon, orange, pineapple and strawberries, sugar, ice and water.  I can already imagine the taste!  The judges commented on the fruit bits in it and how refreshing it was.  YUM!

The Indiana State Fair open August 1 and runs through August 17.  Don't miss it!

sig jan 2014 photo owlsig.jpg


Cherie from the Queen of Free said...

Oh my yum. I'm going to have to try the grilled cheese (even though I'm pretty sure I'll have a heart attack).

Michelle said...

Um....I am hungry again....where can I get a funnel cake ASAP????

msvirgogrl said...

I can't wait for the fair. I stick to the traditional steak burger and funnel cake. But some of this stuff looks good especially funnel ice cream and the mac and cheese with BBQ :)

Ann-Marie said...

I could think of a hundred mix-ins to mac & cheese, but turkey BBQ would not make that list. But the Salted Chocolate Caramel Milkshake? Oh man, yummilicious.

Anonymous said...

This lady blogger is someone I would gladly go to the Indiana State Fair with..Always enjoy her blogs, and I always want to try everything posted!!

Rachel @ The Lazy Christian said...

They actually have that mozzarella stick sandwich on the menu at Denny's! Maybe it will be better at the fair. Not that I've tried it---*ahem*. (Hey! I was major preggo!) I REALLY want that funnel cake ice cream sandwich!