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Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012

Here's What's Frying at This Year's State Fair

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It was only a few years ago that the Wisconsin State Fair turned heads by debuting chocolate-covered bacon, a snack that now seems downright sensible compared to the donut bacon cheeseburgers and deep-fried butter the fair has introduced in the years since. If at first blush none of the new food offerings at this year's State Fair, which runs Aug. 2-12, seem as shockingly decadent as those grease bombs, it's only because we've grown accustomed to the climbing caloric counts of fair snacks.

Once again, bacon proves a popular ingredient in many of the new creations the fair is offering this year, and the preferred method of cooking involves a fryer. Jayme's Chipstix has created deep-fried bacon-wrapped tater tots on a stick, also available with sweet potato tots, while Madison Sportservice skips the vegetables altogether with a dish simply called Deep Fried Bacon (battered bacon chunks, served with a dipping sauce). For meat lovers, Apollo Gyros has created a deep-fried bacon-wrapped cheddar hot dog on a stick. And for dessert, there's Lakefront Brew Pub's Fat Elvis On-a-Stick, a peanut butter cup in banana batter with bacon. Those truly committed to breaking their diet can wash it down with one of Slim McGinn's beer floats, made from ice cream and a selection of craft and imported beers.

Plenty of other new snacks are hitting the deep fryer this year, too. Around the grounds you'll also find deep-fried brownies, cheesecake, shortcake, cookie dough, ice cream, pizza and, courtesy of Rupena's, stuffing. The fair is still discovering new ways to turn donuts into sandwiches, too. Its latest innovation: the pork donut, a sugar-covered bismark packed with barbecue pork instead of the customary custard.