I’m trying to gently ease into this fair food testing business — especially with a plot hatching back at MM HQ to force me to eat some, shall we say, less attractive alternatives — so my first new food of the this year’s fair is Fried Fruit.
Everything else under the sun has been battered, fried and put on a stick, so why not?
And — the verdict is: pretty good. Ten pieces of fruit on a stick, lightly battered and fried. The fruits include grapes, melon, strawberries, pear, kiwi, pineapple, banana and apples. Top it off with powdered sugar or a cinnamon sugar mix.
The fruit pieces are randomly places on the stick, so you don’t know exactly what’s inside each battery bite. Cost: $3.
I enlisted another taster — she said her name was Megan Berry of Wayzata — and she agreed. “Good. A good fair food,” she said,
Her other fair foods this morning were: mashed potatoes on a stick, pork chop on a stick, a nut roll. “And now fruit, a very balanced meal,” she said.
This new booth, next to the grandstand and a bit behind the Star Tribune booth, is run by sisters Alison Gominsky and Kristin Erlandson, with help from their parents, Fred and Carol Helmer of Brainerd. The sisters’ husbands help, too: Torrey Gominsky and Scott Erlandson.
Alison gets credit for the idea of mixing fruit and deep frying oil. She first experimented with batters and types of fruit 12 years ago. They’ve been trying for years to get into the fair, but everyone knows it’s harder to get a new fair concession stand than it is to find a healthy snack out here.
This year they got the nod, and the brand new trailer-stand arrived Friday — just in time! — from a plant in Tennessee.
Family members had run a diner at the Brainerd Raeway in previous years, so they’ve had experience as concessionaires. No firm plans, yet, to take the fried fruitery on the road to other fairs, but they’re thinking about it.