3 Malaysians, an Uzbekistanian and a Minnesotan go to the Great Minnesota Eat Together.
Five old St. Cloud State University college friends joined the 215,847 other Minnesota State Fair goers for a fall-like day of Twins memorabilia clad people watching, too much walking, food hunting, and most obviously, eating some of the most unhealthy food on Earth.
Even though the Malaysian and Minnesotan talked and sent City Pages ‘Best of the Fair’ food list emails to each other for weeks, upon paying the $12.00 entry fee and seeing the massive crowd, “What should we eat?” became the question of the afternoon. After designating the most eager to eat leader and finding a map, they set their sights on finding the Main Food Building. Along the way, the five passed crop and tractor related farm fun, people with ridiculous fish, deer and pig hats, and masses of old, young, skinny and overweight people in line for fried and sticked foods.
Let’s breakdown the food, the State Fair and the group’s food contenders.
So much fair fare!
Of the five, I declare Malaysians 1 and 2 the winners for their ability to conquer most everything on their “Must Eat” lists.
The international Minnesota State Fair contenders, their food, and their rankings..
Ana aka Malaysian #2:
2. Mini Donuts with Tristin- free 16 for $4.00
3. Beer- Schell’s Oktoberfest that Beck finished $4.00 for 12 oz.
4. Kebob that Beck finished $6.00
5. Deep fried Snickers bar $4.00
6. Sweet corn ice cream* $5.00
Tristin aka Malaysian #1
2. Standard mini donuts- $4.00
3. Remnants of Ana’s fried Snickers bar- friends provide free!
4. New Schell’s Oktoberfest Beer.. Yes New Ulm.. Represent. $4.00
5. Some of Ana’s Sweet Corn Ice Cream-friends are free!
6. Minneapple Pie with cinnamon ice cream*- $5.00
Rana aka Malaysian #3:
2. Suuuper standard.. Cheese Curds*- $5.00 Which were spectacular.
3. Deep fried Reeses Peanut Butter Cups*- $4.00
4. Schell’s Beer with everyone else $4.00
Beck aka Uzbekistanian:
2. Leftover kebob from Ana- At the same place with the amazing looking turkey legs.
3. His very own Blue Moon beer with a nice orange slice $4.00
And leftover Oktoberfest beer from Ana- free
Valerie aka Minnesotan
1. Waffle ice cream cone- $3.00
2. Apple cider Popsicle*- $1.00
Total bill for the five: About $136.50
So was the $12.00 entry plus pricey, fried food worth it?
The State Fair Grounds: Besides food, there are so many other things to do: Ride the overpriced rides and almost spew all of that fried food you just ate, stroll through the International Bazaar (with some fair trade places), slide down the massive slide on a potato sack, and view proud 4-H kids and their fun little animals they brought to the fair. A must see though? Seed art in the horticultural building. Seriously.
But a burning question was for the original Malaysian, “What do they do with the grounds the rest of the year?!”
The Atmosphere: After dodging a steady peppering of garbage trucks through the afternoon, fair goers can tell that the city worked hard to keep the grounds sanitary. The food, animal and plant buildings were also pristine. I feel that Minnesotans care about the Earth and are apt to throw things in the trash anyway.. Minnesota ethnocentric much? It seemed people were generally friendly, pleasant and happy. I mean why wouldn’t you be? The Minnesota State Fair is basically just a wonderland of junk food, entertainment, friends and fun.
- Notice how I didn’t include a parking fee in my earlier discussion? That’s right, even though there are bus free shuttles to the fair throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul, we decided to risk it and find parking near the grounds. Even though there are $12 and $15 lots and resident’s lawns to park on, we found parking about 4 blocks away on a residential street.. Fo’ free! More money for food!
- Go with friends. Not only is it usually always more fun to have more people with you.. Depending on your friends.. If you’re able to find a group of sharing, caring and open-minded individuals, you’ll be able to try more food have a few more laughs, and maybe do some things you wouldn’t have done had you gone with just one other person.
- Eat a little something before you go. Putting something in that stomach will prevent you from wanting to eat from the first food cart you see or buy everything in sight. Something tells me that fair food isn’t the exact best thing on an empty stomach. Buffer it with some grains, fruit or veggies.
- Be a good event planner for yourself. Plan out not only what you want to eat before you go, but where it actually is. This will save on indecision and lulled time of not having a clue of what direction to go in. For that fortunate majority who has a smart phone, “there’s an app for that.”
- Remember that the Minnesota State Fair comes around only once a year. You don’t need to worry how many miles it will take to run off the deep fried candy bar you just ate, (about 21.3 miles) or how many situps you’ll have to do to melt off those heavenly cheese curds (771). You’ll get there… eventually.
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More Minnesota fun to come!
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