If the new dishes unveiled for Tuesday’s Iowa State Fair had one thing in common, it didn’t have to be a stick in sight. The skewer, which serves as a state fair staple serving everything from fried butter to vegetable shish kebabs, found no home among 10 of the 53 new dishes presented before the fair.
Instead, the 10 new dishes vying for a spot among the three in the people’s vote for best new fair food came all in a cup, wrapped in a tortilla or bao bun, wrapped in a brioche bun, or in an aluminum tray inserted.
“Surveys show that food is the number one reason people come to the fair,” said Gary Slater, CEO and manager of the Iowa State Fair. That observation presented a panel of local television and news personalities along with radio station DJs, Iowa State Fair board members and volunteers, and even Iowa State Fair Queen McKenna Henrich, who had the difficult task of trying 10 new foods and making them based to judge on appearance, taste and presentation on Tuesday. Three would compete for Best New Fair Food in August.
More:Which Iowa State Fair New Foods will compete for the title of Best New Food?
Scott Siepker, aka Iowa Nice Guy, hosted this event, which was livestreamed from the Iowa State Fair for the fifth straight year.
Yes, the fair offers soda pop, giant turkey drumsticks, corn dogs, and mini donuts, but any true fair-goer needs to sample some of the new novelties.
The competition was tough. Three desserts – a minty moo parfait with thin mint cookies, a puff sundae with all the elements of s’mores and a blue ribbon cobbler – competed against more traditional fair fare. A riff on a Reuben brought a deli sandwich to the competition. A pork tenderloin came wrapped in a tortilla shell. Even a breakfast sandwich, the Egg-O-Fuego eggs, upped the novelty factor. But the competition boiled down to reinterpreted versions of pork and chicken dishes.
More:Wanted: 445 Iowans to break a Guinness World Record at the Iowa State Fair
Here are the top three new foods for 2022.
OMG Chicken Sandwich: Chicken City
This chicken sandwich comes with a breaded chicken breast, which is then covered in sugar-coated cornflakes, fried, and then served on a Krispy Kreme donut. Some bacon and maple syrup add to the sweetness of the dish. It costs $12.
Pork Picnic in a Cup: Iowa Pork Tent
The $10 Pork Picnic in a Cup features layers of grilled pulled pork, baked beans, creamy coleslaw and a drizzle of barbecue sauce, topped with brown sugar pork belly.
The Finisher: The Rib Hut
This massive $10 dish features a baked potato with chopped brisket, smoked pulled pork and The Rib Shack’s famous bacon brisket mac and cheese, topped with barbecue sour cream and garlic butter.
The top three new fair foods compete for the People’s Choice Best New Food. From August 11th to 15th at midnight, trade fair visitors can sample and vote for the top three finalists. The winner will be announced on August 17th during the state fair.
Here’s a look at all the new foods at the Iowa State Fair. Items with an asterisk competed for best new fair food.
- OMG chicken sandwich*
- 5 dino nuggets with fries Children’s meal
- Alligator Corn Dog
- Apple Bacon Waffle
- Bayou fries
- Berkshire Pork Loin
- BLT role
- Blue Ribbon Cobbler*
- Burgers from Burgo
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Waffle on a Stick
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Miracle Bar
- Chuckie’s Fillet Wrap*
- Dawghouse Reuben Sandwich*
- Fried meatballs on a stick
- Fried queso burger
- Dino Bites party tray
- Dog bites party tray
- Egg-o-fuego eggs*
- moose corn dog
- Party tray with fried green beans
- Roasted olives on a stick
- froyo, cone single
- gluten free corn dog
- Iowa’s best burger
- Island Coleslaw
- Lamb Philly Cheese Sandwich
- Mac n Cheese party tray
- Mint Moo Parfait*
- Nana’s gooey butter funnel cake
- N’awlin’s Cajun Waffle Dog
- pog drink
- Pork Belly Bao Bun*
- Pork Picnic in a Cup*
- Puff Pastry Sundae*
- seasoned fries party tray
- Shrimp Tacos
- Sidewinder fries
- Smokey’s clubhouse
- Nachos with snake bite
- sno big dill sno cone
- spam bacon and egg breakfast
- spam curd
- Spam Deluxe Cheeseburger
- stacks breakfast sandwich
- Sweet Potato Tater Tots
- Party tray with Texas toothpicks
- the finisher*
- the carnival
- the ripper
- the sombrero
- waffle bombs
- warm brownie a la mode waffle bowl
- Wild Alaskan Salmon Sandwich
Last year, Cluck’n Coop’s Chicken and Egg Salad with Indian Fried Bread won the 2021 Iowa State Fair’s People’s Choice Best New Food.
More news for the 2022 Iowa State Fair
Susan Stapleton is Entertainment Editor at The Des Moines Register. follow her on facebook, Twitter or email her at email@example.com.