Updated: 12:13 p.m. | Posted: 9:30 a.m.
Just in time for the arrival of summer late Tuesday is the list every Minnesotan has been waiting for — the new State Fair foods of 2017.
This year's 31 new menu items range from sweet to savory to somewhat questionable.
Well-known food providers have some innovations: the Hamline Church Dining Hall will have cranberry wild rice Swedish-style meatballs, and the Blue Moon Dine-In Theater is trying four different flavors of cookie dough, scooped into bowls with a side of sea-salt flavored ice milk.
Others are a little more exotic: the Snack House in Warner Coliseum is trying Memphis Totchos with sliced bananas and sauteed bacon over tater tots, topped with peanut sauce.
And the new items aren't just on the menu: the grandstand's remodeled second floor will feature a new shopping and dining area and host the Hideaway Speakeasy, a new food vendor at the fair. Three other new vendors announced for the Great Minnesota Get-Together include Miller's Flavored Cheese Curds, Que Viet and Waffle Cones.
The Hideaway Speakeasy's introduction to the fair got off to a rough start Tuesday. Its Swindler Sandwich was quickly renamed within hours to Swing Dancer Sandwich after backlash over its anti-Semitic connotation. Made with honey smoked salmon, cucumbers, capers and cream cheese on pumpernickel, it's similar to a classic Jewish sandwich.
In a statement, the State Fair apologized and said, "It was never the intention of the vendor or the State Fair to be offensive." It also said the Hideaway Speakeasy's response was "immediate."
"All of the menu items named by the vendor, The Hideaway Speakeasy, were arbitrarily assigned as part of the branding of this new eating establishment in the new Veranda area of the upper level of the Grandstand. The theme of the new Hideaway Speakeasy is the Roaring '20s, a jumping joint reminiscent of St. Paul's gangster era. Other Hideaway items on the New Foods list include Mobster's Caviar and the Fall Guy Breakfast Panini. The proposed full menu currently includes items with names such as the Bootlegger and Gambler sandwiches and the Boss Man Panini.
We deeply apologize that we and the vendor didn't realize the negative connotation of the sandwich name. Please know that, while regrettable, this mistake was completely unintended."
Meanwhile, for all-you-can-eat-fans, some good news: JonnyPops is joining in the fun this year, following in the footsteps of the all-you-can-drink milk booth.
For $10, fairgoers will get a wristband and an unlimited amount of five flavors of junior pops — strawberries and cream; coffee chocolate and cream; raspberries blueberries and cream; strawberry banana and cream; and pineapple coconut and cream (full-sized JonnyPops will also be available but they're not part of the all-you-can-eat deal). Each wristband will be good for one day, all day.
Your support matters.
You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.