GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — Visitors to the 2018 Nebraska State Fair will be greeted with the sights and smells of hundreds of food options from more than 30 vendors.
The fair continues to roll out new culinary creations, like bacon-wrapped gator corn dogs and gourmet doughnut burgers.
We tried five unique treats that aren’t to be missed, including pure comfort food and the downright peculiar.
Mac and cheese with barbecue pork
New to the fair this year is build-your-own mac and cheese by Freund Family Foods. Pick from barbecue pork, bacon or buffalo chicken to top off a heaping serving of shell pasta mixed with creamy cheese sauce. Or, to further enhance the meal, order a grilled mac and cheese sandwich, again with your choice of protein.
Bubble gum lemonade
With a hint of classic bubble gum flavor, this unique lemonade is the perfect balance of sweet treat and refreshing beverage. Since 1971, Westmoreland’s Specialty Drinks has been serving refreshments in the form of fresh-squeezed lemonade, smoothies and frozen drinks. Today their lemonade flavors include bubble gum, strawberry, blue raspberry, cherry and grape.
McConnell concessions serves up favorite Mexican flavors with a fairground twist in their walking taco. Practically a taco salad, this dish includes crushed nacho cheese Doritos, ground beef, lettuce, cheese and sour cream, all served in the Dorito bag itself.
Jalapeño flower pot bread
When it comes to the Nebraska State Fair, this treat resides in a class entirely its own. The bread was first created by Aaron Eagleburger, a Kim Laine Fun Foods employee, for the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, Missouri. A pound of dough is “grown” in the flower pot, inside a wax paper lining. The original jalapeño flavor sold so well, Eagleburger said, that they now serve plain, poppy seed and cranberry-orange flavors as well. Customers also get a choice of condiments, from butter, cream cheese, plum jam and pepper jelly.
Fried s’mores Pop-Tart
Sold by King’s Funnel Cake, this sort of decadence is something special to the fairgrounds. A s’mores Pop-Tart is battered and fried on a stick before being drizzled with marshmallow cream and chocolate sauce. Crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside and sticky all over — this one is best eaten with a fork.