Top 6 most popular Minnesota State Fair foods

Mini donut batter is shaped and dropped into hot oil.
Mini donut batter is shaped and dropped into hot oil. They are the sixth most popular food item at the Minnesota State Fair. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair.
One of the Fresh French Fries stands at the fair.
One of the Fresh French Fries stands at the fair. The fries are the fifth most popular food there. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair.
Workers at the Corn Roast booth hold up their product.
Workers at the Corn Roast booth hold up their product. It's the fourth most popular food item at the fair. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair.
All The Milk You Can Drink booth
A vendors pours out a cool cup of milk at the All the Milk You Can Drink Booth. The $1 refill is the third most popular purchase at the fair. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair.
Cheese curd stand
Deep-fried cheese curds are the second most popular buy at the fair. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair.
Chocolate covered face and Sweet Martha's Chocolate Chip Cookies
A child's chocolate-covered face next to a bucket of Sweet Martha's Chocolate Chip Cookies is a common site at the fair because this is the No. 1 item sold there. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair.
Thirty-one years ago, Martha Rossini Olson and husband Gary Olson, loved to sprinkle their homemade yogurt with their homemade chocolate chip cookies. So they decided to enter their homemade yogurt and chocolate chip cookies in the Minnesota State Fair. The entry was so delectable that the fair offered the Olson's a chance to sell them at the great Minnesota get together.

The chance to eat alligator and camel are enticing, but the most popular foods at the Minnesota State Fair are old classics.

In reverse order, here are the most popular foods at the fair, according to Brienna Schutte, the fair’s marketing and communications manager.

No. 6: Mini donuts

Even from a block away, the smell of mini donuts can stop you short.

Steve Cohen, 42, the manager of a mini donut booth at the fair, said concept of a mini donut started early ’50s.

“People know what they want, and they are happy with what they get, and they cant return it,” Cohen said about slinging the donuts.

Cohen likes his job because the donuts make people happy, he said, and ‘the looks on the kids faces are the best part.”

Cohen said he thinks the reason that mini donuts are so popular at the fair is because of their freshness. Mini donuts are so popular that they don’t sit out and get cold, unlike a regular donut.

No. 5: Fresh French Fries

These fresh-cut fries rank fifth among the most popular treats at the fair.

A fair staple for 38 years, Manager Kevin Wozniak, 22, said he believes that the Fresh French Fries are so delicious because the potatoes are locally grown, freshly picked, and made with premium-quality oil. The potatoes are also grown specifically for the Fresh French Fries booth.

Wozniak said he likes working at the booth because the people hired each year are family friends and they all know each other.

No. 4: Corn Roast

The Corn Roast booth boasts the fourth highest sales at the fair, according to Schutte.

The booth started 26 years ago after Libby Huettl’s father wrote a thesis paper on corn while studying at the University of St. Thomas.

The corn served at the Corn Roast booth is grown from a special seed, and cooked with the roasters that cook the corn while cooling it. The Corn Roast is located on the southeast corner of Nelson and Dan Patch at the Minnesota State Fair.

No. 3: All the Milk You Can Drink

“Milk! Milk! Only 10¢! Milk! 10¢!” That’s how vendors hawked the third most popular state fair treat 55 years ago. These days, you can buy all the milk you want — white or chocolate — for $1 at All You Can Drink Milk booth.

Sherry Newell, who was working at the booth the first Friday of the fair, said she loves working there because it’s a great deal, and also a very nutritional product.

No. 2: Deep-fried cheese curds

Deep-fried cheese curds in general are the second most popular treat at the fair. Gooey, greasy, chewy and most of all tasty, cheese curds are a well-known item at the Minnesota state fair. This yummy treat is so popular that ThreeSixty reporters were unable to get an interview with booth managers because they were so busy.

No. 1: Sweet Martha’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

The sight of fairgoers carrying buckets brimming with Sweet Martha’s Chocolate Chip Cookies is so common because they are the most popular treat at the Minnesota State Fair.

Thirty-one years ago, Martha Rossini Olson and husband Gary Olson, loved to sprinkle their homemade yogurt with their homemade chocolate chip cookies. So they decided to enter their homemade yogurt and chocolate chip cookies in the Minnesota State Fair, said Jenny Olson, 25, the manager of Sweet Martha’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The entry was so delectable that the Minnesota State Fair offered the Olson’s a spot at the fair, but only for their cookies. There was already frozen yogurt at the fair, but not cookies.

Their state fair cookie empire started in a small booth, but now you can find Sweet Martha’s Chocolate Chip cookies at two different buildings — one on the north side of Chambers east of Liggett, and the other on the south side of Carnes in between Underwood and Nelson, according to the fair’s food finder.

Elise Purkapile’s cousin Vanessa contributed to this story.

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