By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jul 10, 2019 at 9:01 AM

Slurp up these festival stories packed with vitamins, minerals and everything you need to spike your summer fun. The Summer Festivals Guide is brought to you by Punch Bowl Social. Come on in - it's time we all win at adulting.

We'd like to interrupt the arterial recovery you've been experiencing since the close of Summerfest with a new list of diet-destroying treats.

This round is brought to you by the Wisconsin State Fair, which has proudly added over 60 gut-busting additions to its menu for 2019.

Among the new dishes being offered, there are numerous oh-so-Wisconsin treats, a few refreshing new beverages and some crazy, creepy offerings that will either make you gag or exclaim with glee.

And all of them are fair game for my annual State Fair food tasting extravaganza during which I eat a great many new State Fair Foods and report back to you with all the details (scroll down to weigh in with your picks).


I was pleasantly surprised to see the number of Wisconsin-inspired offerings being served by vendors this year.

Let’s start with the Deep Fried Milk & Cookies. I’m surprised it took someone this long to capitalize on the white gold of the Dairy State. You’ve probably already guessed that it’s not really deep fried milk. It’s actually cubes of "milk pudding" that are breaded, deep-fried and served with Oreo cookie dip on the side. Hey, we’re not judging.

New this year, there’s also Deep Fried Booyah! Inspired by the Green Bay tradition, this local treat begins with a stew of beef, chicken, pork and vegetables slow simmered in housemade stock and Water Street Brewery Amber beer. That’s wrapped inside flaky deep fried empanada dough and served with Booyah! gravy for dipping.

Or how about the Wisco Stick, a skewer loaded with beer-battered brat slices and cheese curds that’s deep-fried and served with a side of spicy mustard aioli for dipping? Yeah. If that doesn’t say Wisconsin, I don’t know what does.

Coffee, beer slushies & unicorns

Coffee lovers will be excited to find that  for the first time  Nitro cold brew coffee will be a feature at the Fair. Slim McGinn’s Irish Pub will have the smooth, refreshing brew on tap. They will also be serving it Affogato style, poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Sprecher has also been busy coming up with new ideas for the Fair, including brand new Frozen Beer Slushies in flavors like Wheat Ale with Mango, Mexican Style Ale with Lime and Sea Salt, Belgian Style Ale with Pineapple and Hefe Weiss Strawberry Lemon Ice.  Three of the flavors will also available as Freezer Brews (essentially tasty beer popsicles).

And yes, the unicorns are back. This time, they’ve sprinkled some extra special magic on the Unicorn Beer Float, a one-of-a-kind creation featuring Lakefront Funnel Cake beer topped with two scoops of cotton candy ice cream and sprinkles (of course).

Crazy & creepy

There are also numerous options for folks who just can’t get enough of the wonky and the weird.

How about trying your hand at the World’s Hottest Jerky On-A-Stick? Made with beef and "the world’s hottest chili peppers," this one promises a big burn that you might just feel for days.

Looking for something with a different kind of bite? How about Snake Soup made with "flavorful vegetables and rattlesnake meat" ... yeah, it’s an option.

And yes, if you’d like to eat some insects, you can do that too. The list starts off with Bug Tacos made with "real crickets and worms" and extends to the sweeter side with the Grasshopper Slushie On-A-Stick, a "gourmet" fruit pop is made with pineapple, kiwi, orange juice and … grasshoppers.

Good? Or gross? You’ll have to try them to find out.

Help me make my list of foods to try

For the fourth year running, I'll be reviewing at least ten of the new Wisconsin State Fair foods. I've got a small list started of things I'm interested in trying (including the Unicorn Beer Float and the new garlic cheese curds), but I'm also taking requests!

Leave your suggestions for foods I should consider in the comments below or email me at (use subject line: State Fair Foods) on or before July 29. I'll try to include as many of your suggestions as I can. In the meantime, you can take a look back at the 10 State Fair foods I reviewed in 2018.

ALL the new foods at the Fair

For your convenience, here's the complete list of all the new foods at the Fair (along with where to find them). You can also find more favorite dishes using the Wisconsin State Fair Food Finder.

  • Affogato (Slim McGinn's Irish Pub)
  • Apple Crunch Cheesecake Quesadilla (Mexican Grill)
  • Apple Nachos (WI Apple Growers)
  • Backyard BBQ Burrito (Mexican Grill)
  • Blazin' Jalapeno Deep Fried Olives (Fried Fruit & Fried Olives)
  • Boss Hog Sandwich (Robert's)
  • Brat-Tot-Chos (Tavern at the Park)
  • Breakfast On-A-Stick (Bud Pavilion)
  • Brownie Waffle Stick (Waffle Chix)
  • Bud Spuds (Bud Pavilion)
  • Buffalo Cheese Curd and Chicken Taco (Poncho Dog)
  • Buffalo Chicken & Bleu Cheese Meatball Sliders (Saz's Taste of Wisconsin)
  • Buffalo Chicken Poppers (Tavern at the Park)
  • Bug Tacos (Exotic Meat Grill)
  • Cherry Cake Slice (WI Cherry Growers)
  • Cherry Scone (WI Cherry Growers)
  • Chicago Dog Nachos (Slim's PBR Park)
  • Chicago Dog Wrap (Slim's PBR Park)
  • Chicken Parmesan Stick (Waffle Chix)
  • Chick-N-Stix Sampler (Sprecher Landing)
  • Chilled Tri Tip Wrap (Saz's Miller High Life Pavilion)
  • Chocolate Covered Bacon Berry Kabobs (Caribbean Smoothees)
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch French Toast Sticks (Gooonies Fish & Beer Shack)
  • Deep Fried Banana Bread Bites (Leadfoots Race Bar & Grill)
  • Deep Fried Booyah! (Water Street Brewery)
  • Deep Fried Fire Roasted Apple Pie Sundae (Saz's Taste of Wisconsin)
  • Deep Fried Italian Stallion (Water Street Brewery)
  • Deep Fried Milk with Cookie Dip (Slim's / Lakefront Brewery)
  • Deep Fried Portobella Fries (Slim's / Lakefront Brewery)
  • Freezer Brews: beer popsicles in flavors including Wheat Ale with Mango, Mexican Style Ale with Lime and Sea Salt and Belgian Style Ale with Pineapple (Sprecher Freezer)
  • Fudge in new flavors including key lime, cotton candy, dark chocolate almond and cashew, dark chocolate salted caramel, hot holly and birthday cake (Sherwood's Fabulous Fudge)
  • Garlic Cheese Curds (Brad & Harry's Cheese Curds)
  • General Tso's Cauliflower (Slim's / Lakefront Brewery)
  • Gourmet Popcorn in four new flavors including candied jalapeno, cheesehead triple cheddar, Tomkens white cheddar jerk and Milwaukee Mix Puffs (Pop's Kettle Corn)
  • Grasshopper Slushie On-a-Stick (All Things Jerky)
  • Hog Wings (Tropics)
  • Italian Beef Blasts (Albanese's Roadhouse)
  • Italian Panini (Expo Center Stand #3)
  • Jalapeno Popper Hot Dog (Siggy's Wild Dogs Saloon)
  • Jolly Rancher Flurry (Hand Dipped Ice Cream)
  • Jumbo Stuffed Lobster Tater Kegs (Shrimp Shack)
  • Klements Beer Cheese Polish Sausage (Saz's Taste of Wisconsin)
  • Loaded Baked Potato with Bacon Pizza (Pistol Pete's)
  • M&M Donut Sundae (Fluffy's Donuts)
  • Nitro Cold Brew Coffee (Slim McGinn's Irish Pub)
  • Oreo Cookie Sundae (Fluffy's Donuts)
  • Pork Schnitzel Sandwich (Slim's / Lakefront Brewery)
  • Prime Rib Slider (Leadfoot's Race Bar & Grill)
  • Puco Locadilla On-A-Stick (Sprecher Landing)
  • Queso-Fundido Dog (Tavern at the Park)
  • Reuben Cuban Sandwich (Slim McGinn's Irish Pub)
  • Saz's Shaved Beef Bomber (Saz's BBQ)
  • Saz's Trackside Burger (Saz's Miller High Life Pavilion)
  • Sfingi (Pistol Pete's)
  • Snake Soup (Exotic Meat Grill)
  • Southern Pulled BBQ & Slaw Sandwich (Wisconsin Dairy Goat Products)
  • Spicy Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Sliders (Bud Pavilion)
  • Sticky Pigs (Slim's / Lakefront Brewery)
  • The Black Pearl's Seafood Avocado Boat (Gooonies Fish & Beer Shack)
  • The Caramel Turtle Pretzel (Gertrude's Pretzel)
  • The Loaded German Pretzel (Gertrude's Pretzel)
  • The Ultimate Deep Fried Cookie Dough Sundae (Emma's Cookie Kitchen)
  • Totchos Tots (Knuckleheads)
  • Tropics Street Corn Nachos (Tropics)
  • Unicorn Beer Float (Slim McGinn's Irish Pub)
  • Wisco Stick (Slim's / Lakefront Brewery)
  • World's Hottest Jerky On-A-Stick (All Things Jerky)
Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.