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Butter-On-A-Stick And Politics, Iowa State Fair Serves It All

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Iowa State FairPresidential politics and butter-on-a-stick are the two most prominent features of the Iowa State Fair, which began in Ames, thirty miles from Des Moines, on August 11, 2011 and will go on till August 21. With the sun shining over the picturesque Ames, the annual state fair has become a hotbed for the presidential debate with the political manoeuvres of seven GOP White House hopefuls, who did the rounds on August 12, 2011. During the rounds, the candidates did everything to be close to the voters, be it walking the fair grounds to eating fried Twinkies, to taking direct queries from the public.  


The Politics


The candidates, who visited the fair on Friday, include:- Rep. Thad McCotter of Michigan, Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Earlier last week, former Massachesetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Utah Governor and former US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman also joined in the fun at the fair.

However, throughout Friday, the public and the media personnel were on the lookout for Sarah Palin, the former Alaska Governor, whose “One Nation” bus tour was expected to roll through Iowa last week.

However, that is not to say that the food, in all 59 items, was overshadowed by the ongoing political debate. The Iowa fair was also about food, mostly comfort food, and the bandwagon was led by deep-fried, batter-coated butter on a stick. There were hungry reporters and fair-goers, who were queuing up for the stall selling this sinful delight and coming with the crunchy sticks of fried dough, sold at $4 a piece, and enjoying the butter oozing stick even as the liquefied butter ran down their chins and fingers.

The butter on a stick seems the logical step in the history of the Iowa State Fair, where vendors have been deep frying everything from Twinkies and snicker candy bars to Kool-Aid balls for years now.


The Butter on a Stick 


You take a 1/8 lb. of butter, put a stick through it, dip it into cinnamon-honey batter and deep fry it for a few minutes before slathering it in a sticky sugary glaze. These delights are messy to start with, as most of the reporters present on the occasion reported in their respective reports, but like all things decadent, you don’t need an excuse to gorge on these little devils.

It is said that Concessionaire Larry Fyfe and Iowa State Fair together invented this dairy delicacy to mark 100 years of the infamous Butter Cow, referring to a cow figure, sculpted out of as much as 600 lbs. of pure cream Iowa butter. The metal-framed Butter Cow has been a regular appearance at the fair every since 1911. Butter on a stick seems to be a natural progression for the fair organizers.


Rest of 59 Treats


Butter-on-a-stick is not the only attraction at the Iowa State Fair. Savor these:-

Chocolate Covered Fried Ice Cream on a Stick – This item will be sold at the Oasis Concessions located at the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion.

Peanut Butter and Jelly on a Stick – This tasty skewered version of our childhood favorite is served with grapes in between the sandwich pieces. You can get this at the Salad Bowl located in the upper balcony of John Deere Agriculture Building.

Fried Cheesecake on a Stick – This is available at the Po-Boy Stand on Rock Island Avenue. 

BBQ Ribs at The Rib Shack – This is a new addition to the Iowa State Fair and can be had at the Rib Shack located on the north side of Walnut Square.

Chicken Philly Sandwich – You can savor this dish at the Best Around located on the south side of the sidewalk at the Triangle, the southeast corner of the Horse Barn, and south of the Des Moines Register Service Center.

Red Velvet Funnel Cake – This chocolate-flavored version of a Fair favorite, complete with a cream cheese glaze, can be purchased from the Best Around located at the Triangle.

Shrimp Popper Fries – Find this at the Po-Boy Stand on Rock Island Avenue. 

Chocolate Lava Cake – This scrumptious treat can be had at the Wonderbar Stand southwest of the Riley Stage.


The Challenge


The only unfair thing at the Iowa State Fair is to “eat healthy.” As a dietician comments, “It is impossible to eat healthy out there. However, since it is not something you are going to do every day, just let go and enjoy yourselves.”

So we say that enjoy yourself and have the best of the fried treats at the Iowa State Fair.


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Butter-On-A-Stick And Politics, Iowa State Fair Serves It All