Aug 25, 2023 - Food and Drink

Review: Ranking every new pickle food at the 2023 Minnesota State Fair

A pickle popsicle, pickle donut and pickle fudge.

From left, a dill pickle lemonade paleta, a pickle doughnut and pickle fudge. Photos: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

The polarizing new food trend at the 2023 Minnesota State Fair is pickles β€” and even as a pickle fan, I had my doubts about some items.

  • Fudge? Popsicles? Doughnuts?! I figured I'd try one or two things, but some of them seemed too out there.

Yes, but: When I posted on X (formerly Twitter) in July asking if I should try and rank all of them, the collective answer was a resounding yes.

  • In the name of journalism, I had to do it. Here are my rankings of all official new pickle-themed foods (plus one unofficial one), from best to worst.

#1. Dill Pickle Cheese Curd Tacos from Richie's Cheese Curd Tacos ($14)

No contest here β€” this is easily my favorite. The deep-fried tacos were crunchy, the cheese was gooey and there was just the right amount of dill flavoring and pickle slices. These could please a pickle hater.

#2. Dill Pickle Lemonade Paleta from Hamline Church Dining Hall ($6)

This was one of the foods I was dreading most, but it was an unexpected hit and a refreshing pick-me-up after trying 14 foods on a hot day. Even the pickle slices in the middle were crunchy and delicious.

#3. Pickle Fries from Mike's Hamburgers ($8)

I love fried pickles, and these were no exception. They were a little salty for my taste, but the chipotle dipping sauce helped mitigate it and it was a solid portion for the price tag.

#4. Miami Mango Pickles from Soul Bowl ($5)

These mango punch-soaked pickles were fine, but forgettable. Their sweetness reminded me of bread-and-butter pickles, not mango.

#5. Pickle Lemonade from Nordic Waffles ($6)

This drink had so much potential but failed because it wasn't mixed properly. It tasted like regular lemonade until the very bottom, where it turned into pickle juice.

#6. St. Paul Pickle Fudge from Wow Fudge ($7)

The first-time fair vendor had three types of pickle fudge; my friends and I went for the classic. Unfortunately, the thick, fudgey texture and overly sweet chocolate flavor did not mix well with dill. We threw it out after three bites.

#7. Dill Pickle Donut from Fluffy's ($8)

This was the worst fair food I had ever eaten. The donut was just bread with no sweetness, it was topped with room temperature cream cheese, and the pickles on top were soft. Decent idea, terrible execution.

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