A panel of celebrity judges picked a Best New Deal winner and two finalists for the Best New Food as the Iowa State Fair unveiled all the new foods for 2018.


The Iowa State Fair is a beautiful, messy, conglomeration of the best things we celebrate in the corn-swept land we call home. 

But during the 11-day celebration of all things Iowa, there is one great equalizer for people at the fair.


We collectively stand in lines outside florescent-lit stands and anxiously wait for that next soul-warming, butter-dripping, treat.

Need some examples?

  • The internet is filled with iconic memes of politicians awkwardly eating corn dogs.
  • We collectively shed a tear when someone steps on a fallen Barksdale chocolate cookie on the street.
  • Everyone cringed, but were also curious about fried butter on a stick.
  • We all mildly regret the amount of grease we guzzled the night before, but gosh darn it, it's worth it.

But while food brings us together, each person has their own individualized fair food tradition and ritual they partake in.

And with that in mind, we ask Iowans:

What is the one food you must have at the Iowa State Fair?

I have a routine I follow biblically:

Step one: Begin with dessert and eat a cup of cookies while I wander the Varied Industries Building and get as much free swag as possible.

Step two: Go for a pickle dawg and drown myself in cream cheese and sour goodness.

Step three: Down it with a cup of root beer and frolic over to the Agriculture building and admire the wacky and colorful vegetables that I can't pronounce.

Here at the Register, we want to know: What is that one coveted item you wait for all year? Share it with us and herald why we must try the pork belly on a stick or burn our mouths with cheesy, curd-y goodness.

Comment on Facebook, tweet at us or send me an email at with your Iowa State Fair food anthem. Give me a call at 515-284-8198 and we'll chat about the  wonders of the hard-boiled egg in the Agriculture Building.

We'll compile the most popular responses and make a poll that we'll share where you can vote and tout why your favorite food is the must have at the fair.

Next week, we'll release the results and you can see where your favorite delicacy ranks in the hearts — and stomachs — of other Iowans.

So grab your fork. Loosen that belt. Tell the world why they need to come to the Iowa State Fair and try your favorite food.

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