16 Craziest State Fair Foods

For many families, the summer would not be complete without a visit to their State’s Fair. State Fairs began as harvest festivals — occurring yearly in late summer to early fall as a celebration of the year’s bounty.

While the focus used to be on who could grow the largest pumpkin, or which farmer’s cattle was the healthiest, recently the focus has shifted to fun activities like midway rides and food. Each year, vendors compete to see who can make the most ridiculous, indulgent confection, and it seems like not a year goes by that some chef doesn’t pioneer another bewilderingly delicious treat. Here are some of the craziest State Fair foods of all time.

1. Kool Aid Pickles

One of the most bizarre State Fair foods of all time has to be the Kool Aid pickle. At its heart, it exemplifies classic State Fair food — something that sounds like a completely disgusting mashup of two things that should never go together, but actually tastes good.

The Kool-Aid pickle is simply a pickle that has been removed from its sour brine and soaked instead in sugary-sweet Kool-Aid. The result is a confection (or appetizer, it’s up to you) that’s both sweet and sour, and completely irresistible.

Andre Torrez

2. The Big Kahuna Burger

This is probably one of the most quintessential State Fair food mashups of all time. The Big Kahuna burger is a regular burger patty, covered in cheese, except instead of buns, it’s served between two glazed donuts. It’s practically a heart attack on a plate. You can even add bacon, if it isn’t feeling indulgent enough already.

Phil Denton

3. Deep Fried Cheese Curds

Since dairy is a tried and true Northeastern tradition, these deep fried cheese curds are one of the top sellers of the Minnesota State Fair. In this dish, cheese curds are breaded and deep fried to a crisp, golden brown. Look for a stand where the cheese curds aren’t too greasy. If the batter is too heavy or soggy, it overpowers the more delicate taste of the cheese.

Greg Benz / Shutterstock