Speak softly and carry hotdish on a stick
August 8, 2007 12:30 PM   Subscribe

On September 2, 1901, then vice-president Theodore Roosevelt first articulated his theory of diplomacy: "Speak softly and carry a big stick" at the Minnesota State Fair. In some sort of hideous misinterpretation of Roosevelt's quote, Minnesotans have ever since provided a dizzying array (YouTube link) of foods on the ends of sticks to be eaten as one strolls the state fair. Hotdish. Teriyaki ostrich. Pork chop. Scotch eggs. Alligator. Drugs. This year's complete and rather breathtaking list.
posted by Astro Zombie (21 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Here you got me all excited, thinkin' the fair started this week. Fried-food-on-a-sticktease.
posted by graventy at 12:42 PM on August 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Mmm, I love Scotch Eggs, but I never had them on a stick.
posted by Liosliath at 12:51 PM on August 8, 2007

Great "stick" connection. A++ recommended poster. :)
posted by rokusan at 12:56 PM on August 8, 2007

Meanwhile, the Indiana State Fair is introducing Deep-Fried Pepsi this year. But at least they're cooked in oil with no trans fats.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:58 PM on August 8, 2007

I love food on sticks. Macaroni-and-cheese on a stick, as seen at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, isn't as good as it sounds, unfortunately.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:06 PM on August 8, 2007

Having gone to the Minn. State Fair practically every year since the late '50s, I am heartbroken that I am now moving away bare days before it opens this year. No more to the fair, alas--no more the butter sculpture, the crop art, the Biggest Boar in the State, and the god-knows-what on a stick! (Hoist a pork chop on a stick for me, Astro Zombie...)
posted by Kat Allison at 1:09 PM on August 8, 2007

Wonderfully funny post Astro Zombie. Fair food has that tawdry allure, combining out of doors, sultry summer air and once a year indulgence like grilled corn on the cob (my fave), Blooming Onion, Tropical Fruit Shaved Ice and cotton candy.
posted by nickyskye at 1:17 PM on August 8, 2007

The Illinois State Fair serves, in addition to pork chop on a stick (which is really just a pork chop with a long bone still attached) and deep fried pickles (which turn out to be quite tasty, but no stick), deep fried snickers bars (on a stick, natch).

Man, are those good.
posted by leahwrenn at 1:21 PM on August 8, 2007

Excellent post. I can't wait for the Fair this year.

"Fried-food-on-a-sticktease" indeed.
posted by emoeby at 1:28 PM on August 8, 2007

How do you put spaghetti on a stick? I must know.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:35 PM on August 8, 2007

How do you put spaghetti on a stick? I must know.
Probably the same as most other foods, ball it up, bread it and fry it. Insert stick. Just a guess though.
posted by puke & cry at 1:47 PM on August 8, 2007

I once found a perplexing old soda pop bottle with the logo "big stick" and kind of a club-like image. Wasn't until some years later I imagined the "carry a big stick" ads that probably went with it.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:49 PM on August 8, 2007

I've wanted to eat a scotch egg ever since that scene in The Office UK version where Tim is talking to Keith and talking about Peak Practice.
posted by spec80 at 2:33 PM on August 8, 2007

Scotch Eggs are proof of the existence of God*

Actually.. most fried food is damn good. I'm a big fan of crunchy fried things.

* And that He's Scottish
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:41 PM on August 8, 2007

I was there when this happened, but can find only one reference to it on the intartoobz (scroll down):

The Windows 95 rollout coincided with opening day of the Minnesota State Fair, so Microsoft entered the world of corn dogs and pork chops-on-a-stick Thursday morning with "Windows-on-a-stick." At a booth in the lower Grandstand building, staff in Windows 95 T-shirts handed out 6,000 CD-ROM samplers of the new program taped to Popsicle sticks.
posted by Clave at 2:55 PM on August 8, 2007

For those that can't wait - the IOWA STATE FAIR starts this weekend, butter cow and all.

As for MN newness on a stick:

Batter dipped deep fried fruit on-a-stick in a variety of the following combinations: grapes, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, strawberry, pineapple, apple, pineapple, banana, kiwi, peaches, cherries, pears, watermelon fruit blended drinks made fresh on site to include fruit combinations, Dasani bottled water

I like the manditory addition of bottled water at the end.

Rocky road scones on-a-stick (caramel, chocolate, marshmallow)

Sloppy joes on-a-stick

Hot dog wrap (hot dog in a wrap deep fried) on-a-stick

Corned beef and cabbage dipped in batter on-a-stick

Butterscotch cake (cream filled dipped in butterscotch) on-a-stick
posted by Muddler at 4:01 PM on August 8, 2007

Correction - the Iowa State Fair starts in roughly 6 hours!

Its the rock and roll has-been concerts that don't start until this weekend.
posted by Muddler at 4:05 PM on August 8, 2007

I bet this guy loves Minnesota and this post.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:06 PM on August 8, 2007

How do you put spaghetti on a stick? I must know.

Probably the same as most other foods, ball it up, bread it and fry it. Insert stick. Just a guess though.

I had the spaghetti and meatballs on a stick last year, and yes it is balled up and breaded and fried. They cut the spaghetti strands into small 1-inch pieces, then roll them up into a big meatball. Dip the meatball in red sauce, then dip it in breading, deep fry, then have a heart attack.
posted by Demogorgon at 9:14 PM on August 8, 2007

I am so there. This will be my first MN state fair, and already I'm getting excited about eating stuff on a stick.

Probably stuff I should not be eating, but hey - it's once a year, right?
posted by caution live frogs at 9:21 PM on August 8, 2007

Deep Fried Pepsi sounds like the best idea I've ever heard.

Indiana, we're light years behind you!
posted by triggerfinger at 10:42 AM on August 9, 2007

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