Minnesota State Fair: Good deed treat among new foods for 2014


Not often do new food products at the Minnesota State Fair have a great taste, a feel good story and a pay it forward note after you finish. But that’s exactly what JonnyPops delivers.

JonnyPops, one of 28 new foods debuting at the 2014 Fair, were created by a group of St. Olaf College entrepreneurs, who donate a portion of profits to Hazelden in hopes of helping teens battling addiction. Johnathan “Jonny” Jeffrey was a cousin of founder Erik Burst. In 2007 Brust and his cousin talked about how fun it would be to own a gourmet frozen pop business. In 2010, Jeffrey died from the effects of a drug addiction. Brust decided to act upon the idea that the two had discussed. Burst and his team named the business after Jonny Jeffrey and pledged to donate a portion of the profits to Hazelden, according to Catherine Monson in the St. Olaf College News.

Mock-up wrapper for JonnyPops' exclusive State Fair flavor. Take a bite, pay it forward. Photo courtesy JonnyPops

Smoothies on a stick

Now in the company’s third year, JonnyPops’ original team is newly graduated from St. Olaf and has grown to include 1,000 Midwest locations. Fairgoers will be able to enjoy a specially created Snelling Strawberry Rhubarb flavor, exclusive at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Other flavors will also be available.

“The Minnesota State Fair is the biggest event around,” said Connor Wray, JonnyPop’s co-founder. “We have the freshest and coolest treat locked down.”

JonnyPops are free of artificial flavors, dyes, fillers, high fructose corn syrup and preservatives. Wray said the pops are made of all natural ingredients.

“Since the beginning we have known that our product was a perfect fit for the fair,” said Brust.

After finishing a JonnyPop, look for a good deed printed on each stick to “pay it forward.” Suggestions such as “recycle a soda can” and “hold a door for a stranger” or “start a garden” offer good deed ideas.

JonnyPops will be sold from a food cart at the Fair’s new West End Market (formerly Heritage Square). The West End Market is close to the newly configured Park and Ride shuttle bus entrance and Wray anticipates the increase in foot traffic from bus riders will prompt fair guests to give JonnyPops a Minnesota try-out.

New foods for 2014:

(Photos and descriptions from State Fair website — this is PR information from the people selling the food, so we are not vouching for the accuracy of any nutrition or “natural” claims. But that’s not really what you’re looking for in State Fair food, is it?)

(Above) Best of both worlds: turkey leg wrapped in bacon. Photos courtesy Minnesota State Fair

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Leg – A roasted turkey leg wrapped in a layer of bacon. At Texas Steak Out, Located on Underwood Street north of Randall Avenue

Beer Gelato – Made fresh daily on-site, this rich, smooth and creamy gelato is blended with local craft beer. At Mancini’s Al Fresco, Located on Carnes Avenue near Nelson Street

Bison Dog – Hickory-smoked, gluten-free and made from naturally pasture-raised bison in River Falls, the Bison Dog can be served Chicago-style or with your choice of fixings on a gluten-free, poppy seed or plain bun. At Chicago Dogs, Located in The Garden on the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Underwood Street

Blue Cheese & Corn Fritz – Four deep-fried corn fritters stuffed with crumbled blue cheese and served with a fresh herb chimichurri. At The Blue Barn* (New Food Vendor for 2014), Located west of the Skyride at West End Market

(Above) Just in the morning until 11: Juicy LuLu.

Breakfast Juicy LuLu – An English muffin with two American cheese-stuffed sausage patties – served until 11 a.m. At LuLu’s Public House* (New Food Vendor for 2014), Located next to Schilling Amphitheater at West End Market

Caramel Apple Ice Cream – R&R Ice Cream’s own tractor-churned vanilla ice cream infused with real caramel and diced Granny Smith apples – a blend of sweet and tart. At R&R Ice Cream, Located on Randall Avenue at Underwood Street

Caribbean-Style Lobster Roll – Chilled lobster salad tossed in a citrus chipotle mayo seasoned with Caribbean flavors – including cayenne pepper, allspice and nutmeg – served on a soft buttered and grilled roll. At Café Caribe, Located on Carnes Avenue near Chambers Street

Chicken in the Waffle – This southern classic is crispy chicken nestled in a crunchy waffle cone, then smothered with a creamy sausage gravy. At The Blue Barn* (New Food Vendor for 2014), Located west of the Skyride at West End Market

(Above) Chilaquiles ought to wake up fairgoers. For your morning taste pleasure.

Chilaquiles – Corn tortilla chips covered in chili verde sauce with chicken then topped with eggs and garnished with lettuce, tomato and sour cream – served until 10:30 a.m. At El Sol Mexican Food, Located on the southwest outside corner of the Food Building

Chocolate Dessert Salami – Chocolate, butter, almonds and walnuts all blended and rolled into a distinctive salami shape, dusted with powdered sugar, then sliced and served on specialty crackers for a unique Italian dessert. At Sausage Sisters, Located inside the Food Building

(Above) Fairgoes can always carry breakfast on a stick.

Deep-Fried Breakfast On-a-Stick – American and Swiss cheeses, a sausage patty, one egg and Canadian bacon all sandwiched between two pancakes, then dipped in a light, sweet batter and deep-fried on-a-stick. At The Sandwich Stop, Located on Clough Street on the east side of the Poultry Barn

(Above) Deep-fried buckeyes for the fairgoers PB&J fix.

Deep-Fried Buckeyes – A sweet, creamy peanut butter ball coated in chocolate, dipped in funnel cake batter, deep-fried, dusted with confectioners’ sugar and served with a strawberry sauce. At Spaghetti Eddie’s, Located on Cooper Street at Dan Patch Avenue

Deep-Fried Lobster On-a-Stick – Canadian lobster pieces poached in butter, dipped in a corn batter, deep-fried and served with a spiced dipping sauce. At LuLu’s Public House* (New Food Vendor for 2014), Located next to Schilling Amphitheater at West End Market

(Above) Gluten-free items are becoming more and more available to fairgoers, such as this gluten-free brat.

Gluten-Free Beer-Battered Brat – A locally made gluten- and nitrate-free brat, dipped in a homemade beer batter and deep-fried on-a-stick. At Sonny’s Spiral Spuds, Located inside the Food Building

Hot Toasted Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich – Two hot, crunchy, toasted waffles sandwich a wedge of rich vanilla ice cream with a light powdered sugar dusting – it’s hot, cold and crunchy. At West End Creamery* (New Food Vendor for 2014), Located at West End Market

(Above) From the Iron Range: authentic Polish Pierogies.

Iron Range Pierogies – An authentic Polish favorite, these deep-fried dumplings are stuffed with potatoes and cheddar cheese, topped with crispy onion strings and served with a zingy horsey sauce. At The Blue Barn* (New Food Vendor for 2014), Located west of the Skyride at West End Market

(Above) You betcha, a jello salad ice cream; only available at Hamline Church Dining Hall. Yes, it screams potluck.

Jello Salad Ice Cream – Inspired by the classic Minnesota potluck dessert (and served in church dining halls everywhere), this jello salad treat features a sweet cream base flavored with fresh lime juice, swirled with cranberry sauce and blended with marshmallows dipped in marshmallow crème. Made by Minnesota’s own Izzy’s Ice Cream, this flavor is only available at the Hamline Church Dining Hall during the 2014 Minnesota State Fair. At Hamline Church Dining Hall, Located on Dan Patch Avenue near Visitors Plaza

JonnyPops – This all-natural frozen fruit and cream bar is like a smoothie on-a-stick. A variety of flavor choices includes the Minnesota State Fair-exclusive: Snelling Strawberry Rhubarb. At JonnyPops* (New Food Vendor for 2014), Look for the JonnyPops cart at West End Market

(Above) Dinner is served: Famous Dave’s Korean BBQ pork collar with kimchi pickles.

Korean BBQ Collar with Kimchi Pickles – Slow-smoked pork collar finished with a garlic ginger BBQ glaze and served with kimchi pickles (cucumbers marinated in Korean kimchi red pepper powder with fresh ginger, shredded carrot, green onion and a touch of soy). At Famous Dave’s, Located near the corner of West Dan Patch Avenue and Liggett Street

(Above) Giggle’s Campfire Grill introduces their new walleye dish incorporating Mac & Cheese.

North Shore Pasta – Walleye Mac & Cheese – An Iron Range portion of fresh-smoked walleye with sweet corn kernels and roasted red peppers atop a bed of cavatappi noodles – all smothered in Giggles’ secret smoked Gouda sauce and toasted with Parmesan parsley bread crumbs. At Giggles’ Campfire Grill, Located on Cooper Street and Lee Avenue in The North Woods

(Above) French toast meets PB&J and fuses with meat.

PB&J French Toast – The ever-popular peanut butter & jelly sandwich is fused with French toast, then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with your choice of ham, bacon or sausage. At Robbinsdale OES Dining Hall, Located on Underwood Street next to FAN Central

Pizza Tots – Green Mill’s version of the tater tot, these handmade pizza tots combine sausage, pepperoni, mozzarella, seasonings and hash browns, and they are then dusted with Parmesan cheese and served with a side of pizza sauce. At Green Mill, Located west of the Family Fair Stage in Baldwin Park

(Above) Fairgoers can choose their curds in a batter made from crushed pretzels, bread crumbs and beer at O’Gara’s at the Fair.

Pretzel Curds – These real Wisconsin cheddar cheese curds are coated in a batter made from crushed pretzels, bread crumbs and American Pilsner beer; deep-fried to create a crunchy outside and a soft delicious inside; and served with a zesty dipping sauce. At O’Gara’s at the Fair, Located on the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street

Prime Rib Taco – Sliced rotisserie prime rib served in a flour tortilla with sautéed onions and peppers and topped with chili con queso. LuLu’s Public House* (New Food Vendor for 2014), Located next to Schilling Amphitheater at West End Market

Rustic Stuffed Scone – A savory, Parmesan-crusted, baked butter scone stuffed with all-natural ham, Swiss, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and a creamy house-made béchamel sauce. At French Meadow Bakery, Located on Carnes Avenue between Underwood and Nelson streets

Schnitzel Strips – Pork tenderloin coated with a seasoned breading, then fried, cut into strips and served with a lemon, garlic and mayonnaise dipping sauce. At Smoothies and Jurassic Dogs, Located on Murphy Avenue across from the Pet Center

Shrimp Dog – Baby shrimp and cream cheese are combined, then batter-dipped, deep-fried and served on-a-stick. At The Shrimp Shack, Located on Underwood Street at Carnes Avenue

(Above) SnoRibbons: just the name makes you want to try them. A fancy gluten-free option.

SnoRibbons – Just like a fusion of feathery light cotton candy, flaky shaved ice and creamy layered snow, SnoRibbons melt in your mouth. It’s like eating snow and tasting ice cream at the same time. This colorful, gluten-free treat is low in calories and sugar and made with fresh, natural ingredients. Exotic flavor combinations are served on a rotating basis and include: strawberry pretzel cream cheese, coffee & donuts, grasshopper pie, red hot velvet, green tea black sesame, horchata vanilla, salty dog, cococaramel, banana toffee crunch, salted caramel corn crunch, frozen hot chocolate, chocolate cherries jubilee, mango tangsicle, blue cotton moon and more. At Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, Located on the corner of Chambers Street and Carnes Avenue

*New Food Vendors for 2014 include:

The Blue Barn – This farm-to-table eatery, owned by local connoisseurs David Burley and Stephanie Shimp of Blue Plate Restaurant Company (the Highland Grill, Longfellow Grill, Scusi, The Lowry, etc.), serves a variety of fresh favorites and three new food items in a welcoming, down-home atmosphere. Located west of the Skyride at West End Market.

JonnyPops – These smoothies on-a-stick are sold from an old-fashioned street food cart and featured in a number of flavors, including the Minnesota State Fair-exclusive Snelling Strawberry Rhubarb. JonnyPops were created by a group of college entrepreneurs to honor their late friend Jonny. A portion of profits is donated to The Hazelden Foundation in hopes of helping teens battling addiction. Look for the JonnyPops cart at West End Market.

LuLu’s Public House – LuLu’s Public House is home to the Minnesota State Fair’s first roof-top patio where fair guests will enjoy three new food items and a number of other unique dishes while taking in views of the Mighty Midway, West End Market and entertainment at Schilling Amphitheater. Located next to Schilling Amphitheater at West End Market.

Pat’s Place – Serving ice cream cones, shakes, sundaes, floats and slushes. Located at the Mighty Midway.

Two Rivers Kettle Korn – Offering old-fashioned kettle corn and fresh-popped popcorn (regular, cheese and caramel). Located at West End Market.

West End Creamery – In addition to the new Hot Toasted Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich, this establishment will serve up to 33 flavors of hand-scooped ice cream in cones, malts, milkshakes, sundaes and floats. Other specialty treats on the menu include breakfast cereal sundaes, mocha floats and the Paul Bunyan Bar – a vanilla bean or cinnamon ice cream bar dipped in chocolate and rolled in your choice of coconut, almonds or sprinkles. Located at West End Market.

There are nearly 500 foods available at 300 different food concessions throughout the fairgrounds. The Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 21 through Labor Day, Sept. 1.