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Pickle-packed, deep-fried fair delights and funnel cake frenzy 

Indiana State Fair unveils 2024 “Taste of the Fair”

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Fairgoers should prepare their tastebuds for a punch at this year’s Indiana State Fair with 43 new creations dedicated to satisfying the most adventurous eaters. The Indianapolis Recorder has broken down the “Taste of the Fair” to make every foodie’s fair worth the price of admission. Here are our top must-try’s from each category: 

The Savory: 

a plate of nachos with tater tots instead of chips
The BBQ “Totchos.” (Photo/Wagner Food Services)

BBQ Totchos, Wagner Food Services: Tator tots + nachos = ultimate foodie frenzy. A bed of crispy potatoes topped with pulled pork, cheese sauce, jalapenos, sour cream and barbecue sauce makes this Urick Concessions creation a must-try. 

a biscuit filled with pulled pork topped with sugar and dipped in barbecue
The fried sugar biscuit n’ BBQ with apple butter sauce. (Photo/Nitro Hog BBQ)

Fried Sugar Biscuit n’ BBQ with Apple Butter Sauce, Nitro Hog BBQ: A deep-fried biscuit rolled in sugar and stuffed with pulled pork, this savory creation by Nitro Hog BBQ is topped with an apple butter BBQ for those craving sweet and salty on a hot summer day. 

a ribeye and pepper jack cheese sandwich on a plate
The Hoosier cowboy sandwich. (Photo/Indiana Beef Cattle Association)

Hoosier Cowboy Sandwich, Indiana Beef Cattle Association: A collaboration between the Indiana Beef Cattle Association and the American Dairy Association Indiana, this perfectly melted mess of pepper jack cheese and ribeye steak is guaranteed to bring nostalgia to every Hoosier who indulges. 

a spicy dill pickle pizza slice
The spicy pickle pizza. (Photo/Swains Concessions)

Spicy Pickle Pizza, Swains Concessions: Dough, then jalapeno ranch sauce, then mozzarella, then pickle chips, then Cajun dust, then … eat! Dive into this new savory fair food and experience the cheesiness. 

Egg rolls stuffed with spaghetti
The Godfather Egg Roll. (Photo/J & J A Taste of Home Catering & Food Truck)

The Godfather Egg Roll, J&J A Taste of Home Catering & Food Truck: You come to me on the day of my daughter’s wedding and bring me an eggroll stuffed with spaghetti, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese? Fuhgeddaboudit. 

Also on the list, 

  • Aloha Hot Honey Chicken Nachos, Urick Concessions 
  • Bison Smashburger Taco, Red Frazier Food Truck 
  • Bratzilla, Urick Concessions 
  • Chili Cheese Empanada, Newfields 
  • Chili Cheese Frito Corn in a Cup, Wilson Concessions 
  • Gravy and Taters, Colp’s Concessions 
  • Grilled Cheese Slammer, Freund Family Food 
  • Happy Jack Sandwich, Black Leaf Vegan 

Black vendors at the 2023 Indiana State Fair (indianapolisrecorder.com)

  • Hot Honey Pepperoni Pull Grilled Cheese, American Dairy Association 
  • Indiana Pok Riblets, Indiana Pork Producers 
  • Jerk Chicken Nachos, Jamaican Breeze Sports Bar & Grill 
  • Melty Mess Grilled Cheese, American Dairy Association 
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Chicken Wings, Urick Concessions 
  • Sweet & Spicy Swine Pizza, Ginocchios Pizza 
  • Sweet Chili Suga Daddy Sub, Gobble Gobble Food Truck 
  • Tang-A-Rang Smoked Chicken Wings w/ Kool-Aid Pickles, Red Frazier Food Truck 
  • The Everything Fry, SW Concessions 
  • The Korean Corn Dog, Meatball Factory LLC 
  • Ultimate Steak Nachos, Georgia’s Kitchen 

The Sweet: 

an elephant ear stuffed with blueberry cheesecake
The blueberry cheesecake stuffed elephant ear. (Photo/The Bakerman)

Blueberry Cheesecake Stuffed Elephant Ear, The Bakerman: The Bakerman has been serving up apple, cherry or peach filled elephant ears for ten years. This year, blueberry is the star of the show!  

a funnel cake topped with cinnamon toast crunch and vanilla icing
The Cinnamon Toast Crunch funnel cake. (Photo/R & W Concessions)

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Funnel Cake, R & W Concessions: The funnel cake is a fair classic, but R & W Concessions is taking it to another level this year with their Cinnamon Toast Crunch version. Bedded on a classic, piping hot funnel cake, this creation is topped with cinnamon, sugar, cereal and drizzled with vanilla icing. 

a deep fried golden oreo coated in powdered suagr
The deep fried Golden Oreo. (Photo/Orme Deep Fried Treats)

Deep Fried Golden Oreos, Orme Depp Fried Treats: Golden Oreos are bringing the heat this year at the Orme Deep Fried Treats stand. The classic fried Oreo has been a fan-favorite for years, but for those who prefer vanilla, this is the sweet treat for you. Battered in funnel cake mix and fried, these treats put the “gold” in Golden Oreo. 

Also on the list, 

  • Amish Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites, Wilson Concessions 
  • Cookie Butter Elephant Ear, Urick Concessions 
  • Fried Ice Cream Cone, Freud Family Foods 
  • Strawberry Cheesecake Funnel Cake, LT Concessions 
  • Strawberry Shortcake, Twisted Drinks and Food 

The Sips: 

A Bloody Mary topped with a variety of fried food
The All-American Mary. (Photo/Urick Concessions)

All-American Mary, Urick Concessions: Bringing the cookout to the fair, Urick Concessions has created the ultimate Bloody Mary for those who are thirsty, and hungry, at the fair this year. A traditional Bloody Mary on the bottom, the cocktail is topped with a mini corn on the cob, a cheeseburger slider, fried mac n’ cheese, fried pickles, waffle fries, a hotdog slider and a mini apple pie. 

a lemon shake-up with boba inside
The boba lemonade shake-up. (Photo/Indiana Ribeye)

Boba Lemonade Shake-Up, Indiana Ribeye: Taking on the boba craze, Indiana Ribeye is adding an additional “pop” of flavor to the traditional lemon shake-ups. Available in a variety of flavors, these additions will be a refreshing, cool beverage for your summer outing. 

A lemon shake-up cup filled with dr.pepper and pickle spears
The dill pickle Dr. Pepper. (Photo/ R & W Concessions)

Dill Pickle Dr. Pepper, Urick Concessions: America’s number two bestselling beverage, Dr. Pepper, is taking on the fair, one spear at a time. The ice-cold beverage will be topped with dill pickle spears and a splash of pickle juice for those looking for a tangy twist. 

a sweet tea slushy
The Sweet Tea Slushy. (Photo/Swains Concessions)

Sweet Tea Slushy, Swains Concessions: For those who crave ice-cold tea when at the fair, this slushy is the sip for you. Swains Concessions has combined the traditional Hoosier delicacy into a frozen version to keep the freshly brewed tea colder for longer while you wait for the kids to finish up their third ride of the carousel. 

Also on the list, 

  • Blue Ribbon Blueberry Milkshake, American Dairy Association 
  • Chocolate Caramel Coffee Float: “The Triple C Float”, Hook’s Drug Store Museum and Soda Fountain 
  • Dill Pickle Lemon Shake-Up, Urick Concessions 
  • Peach Shake Up, HI & Mighty 
  • Shark Attack, Twisted Drinks and Food 
  • Sun King’s State Fair Pickle Beer, Sun King Brewing 
  • Tropical Daze Float, McGrotha Foods 

Fairgoers who try any of the foods on this list can vote for their favorites to win the “Taste of the Fair” fan favorite competition through QR codes at each stand. The winner will receive $2,500, second place will win $1,000 and third will receive $500. The top three will earn entry to the World Food Championships at the fairgrounds in November.  

The fair will run from Aug. 2-18. For more information, to purchase tickets and to see a map of the concessions, visit indianastatefair.com

 Contact Staff Writer Hanna Rauworth at 317-762-7854 or follow her on Instagram at @hanna.rauworth. 

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