So, I happen be a dietitian who loves food and I love Minnesota State Fair FOOD! Yup, I really do! In fact, my hubby and I love it so much, we are aiming to go all 12 days this year!
I know, to some this may seem unusual. But, I truly have come to look forward to exploring many aspects of “The Great Minnesota Get Together” – but especially have fun discovering the best new foods while savoring some of the old favorites.
Remember “It’s an event, not a lifestyle!”
The truth is that since my hubby happens to be very involved in an aspect of the fair, we have the opportunity to spend the majority of days and/or evenings at the largest state fair in the country with a record attendance of over 1.8 million in just 12 days last year! We enjoy concerts, visit the animals, check out new exhibits, hang out at the pubs, and savor some of the craziest concoctions of food you can find on the planet.
So, here’s the reason for my upcoming blog series.
A few years ago, after “investing” in one of the featured new foods, we were hugely disappointed. It was expensive, looked nothing like the picture, and tasted horrible. On the flip side, I also discovered a flavorful and delicious food (while actually a healthy option as well) that was my daughter’s favorite. That’s when I decided the fair should hire me to help promote food in a different light. I know, it does sound a little crazy now. But, they denied my suggestion for some consulting assuming my nutrition “credentials” meant I would be providing something similar to a “weight watchers guidebook” which is not what they want. Clearly, I didn’t explain my objective very well because with a background working in eating disorders, that would be very unlikely to come from me.
Since then, every year I have more and more people asking me “What have you tried at the fair?” “What do you recommend?” “What’s a good deal?” “What’s something that’s not on a stick?” “Is there anything even somewhat healthy to eat at the fair?” or my favorite, “What’s better, a pronto pup or corn dog, and what’s the difference anyway?” Since most folks are likely to visit the fair only one or two times (or not going at all because it seems there’s only fried food on a stick), some direction with navigating 42 new foods; and, over 500 foods at 300 stands might be helpful! Right??
So, coming up this month on August 27 is day one! Myself, along with a group of friends – many of whom are also dietitians (prerequisite: need to love food and aren’t afraid to eat) will be traveling around the fair aiming to test out as many of the new foods as we can. Then, I will joyfully pass along our thoughts and recommendations to any of my followers. Days 2 through 12 will continue with updates including answers to all those questions on fair-goers minds.
I would love to hear your comments about your experience at the MN State Fair (or your favorite fair). What would you like to ask a dietitian about fair food and eating? Now’s your chance!!
Cheers! ~ Val