What Makes a Food Stick-Worthy?

With the introduction of Irish stew on a stick at this year's Wisconsin State Fair, surely vendor Slim McGinn's has ushered in an exciting new era of food on a stick.

Putting aside the typically massive caloric load of many state fair stick foods, the limitations on what can be skewered and served have held these foods back for some time. Basically, to serve something on a stick, you have to make sure it is a cohesive unit. No one wants to pick up something, take a bite, and have it slide down the front of their going-out clothes. Thus, your classic foods on a stick: fried potatoes, kebabs, apples, dogs. Great stuff! And you're a happy eater, as long as you favor something that tastes good when fried quickly. Unfortunately, that's not a cooking method that works for most meats. Ground meat, sure, chicken nuggets, sure, but if you're craving meat with the savory, long-cooked flavor that comes from braising or roasting, you're not going to get it on a stick.

Unless you can! The Irish stew stick's genius is that it encloses a braised item inside a pastry shell. Now we're talking! Beef Wellington on a stick? Boeuf bourguignonne? Potpie on a stick? Yes, please!

The Wisconsin State Fair starts tomorrow and runs through August 15.

Image source: Flickr member Joe Shlabotnik under Creative Commons

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