Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Really, deep-fried what? May 21, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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The Rice County Fair, Faribault, Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2009.

The midway area of the Rice County Fair, Faribault, Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2009.

I’M NOT MUCH OF A FAIR-GOER. I trace that back to too many years chasing down 4-Hers for photos with their uncooperative animals. A fair doesn’t hold the same appeal once you’ve covered the annual event for a newspaper more than a few times.

This was decades ago. Things change. I’m no longer a newspaper reporter and photographer assigned county fair barn duty.

So today I could meander as I please through the fairgrounds.

Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2009 from the Rice County Fair, Faribault, Minnesota.

Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2009 from the Rice County Fair.

For many of you, a fair is all about the food, right? Deep-fried anything, often served on a stick.

A vendor at the Rice County Fair. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2009.

A vendor at the Rice County Fair. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2009.

For example, at last year’s Minnesota State Fair, you could find these new deep-fried food offerings, among others: deep-fried olives, fried pickles ‘n’ chocolate, wine glazed deep-fried meatloaf, an assortment of deep-fried sandwiches and deep-fried bread pudding.

How they deep fry some of these foods, like bread pudding, I have not a clue. But I suppose where there’s a chef, there’s a way.

The brat barn, not to be confused with a dairy or pig barn. You can purchase StoneRidge meats here.

Minnesota Prairie Roots 2011 photo of Uncle Butch’s Brat Barn in Wautoma, Wisconsin.

All of this deep-fried food talk leads across the border into Wisconsin, known for its beer, brats and cheese. Brat fries are already popping up here at places like Uncle Butch’s Brat Barn outside StoneRidge Meat & Country Market, Inc. ( Piggly Wiggly) in Wautoma. Wisconsinites love their brats. Me? Not so much.

A quick roadside snapshot of the deep fried pizza sign along Wisconsin State Highway 21 in Wautoma.

A quick drive-by snapshot of the deep-fried pizza sign spotted this past weekend along Wisconsin State Highway 21 in Wautoma.

But it wasn’t the warm weather brat fries that drew my attention on a trip to eastern Wisconsin this past weekend. It was the sandwich chalkboard sign I spotted along Wisconsin State Highway 21 in Coloma advertising deep fried pizza.

Deep-fried pizza? Now how does one deep fry pizza and why would you?

Although tasty, Flamin' Bleu was not quite what Randy expected. He expected chunks of bleu cheese topping the pizza. But then we are bleu cheese fanatics with award-winning bleu cheeses produced in our home community of Faribault.

Flamin’ Bleu pizza at Pizzeria 201 in Montgomery, Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo used for illustration purposes only.

I love pizza, I really do. I make homemade pizza every Friday evening. And while in Wisconsin, my husband, second daughter and I dined on our favorite pizza, the New Orleans style topped with Andouille sausage, chicken, shrimp, red onions, red peppers and Cajun spices, at the Stone Cellar Brewpub in Appleton. It certainly was not deep fried.

Tell me, have you ever heard of or eaten deep-fried pizza?

My initial reaction was this: Well that can’t be too healthy.

But then again, nothing deep-fried really would be, would it?

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling