Back in the late eighties, we had the fine fortune to attend the Minnesota State Fair, in all its cheese-curd and fried-dough glory. Since then, what we remember most was how all the classic fair food you could imagine was available on a stick. Corn dog on a stick! Corn on the cob on a stick! Even pickle on a stick!

Well, that was then. This year, Teo at Belly du Jour is sharing the mind-boggling melange of food-on-a-stick offered at the recently concluded 2006 fair. Hot dogs as long as your arm, chocolate-dipped cheesecake, hickory-smoked turkey legs, catfish, pork egg rolls, wild-rice corn dogs on a stick, sure. But it takes true Midwestern genius to move into teriyaki ostrich, deep-fried Snickers bars, shrimp toast, porcupine meatballs, spaghetti, alligator, frozen grapes and yes, the crowning glory, hot dish on a stick [see previous post below on the glories of hot dish on a stick].

About the only fattening thing not on a stick is butter —but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of it on display. In fact, the very first job of Audrey Mohr, aka Princess Kay of the Milky Way, the goodwill ambassador from the Minnesotan dairy industry who’s crowned at the fair, is “to sit in a rotating cooler for nearly eight hours on the opening day of the Minnesota State Fair to have her likeness sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter,” according to a press release from the Midwest Dairy Association. The bust is then put on display in a refrigerated room, open to visitors throughout the fair as a monument to local dairy-fed pulchritude. Oh Princess Kay, Princess Kay, you can rule the Land O’ Lakes for us any day.

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