The Indiana Insider Blog

“Year of Soybeans”: Foods Not to Pass Up this Year at the State Fair

Baskin Robbins' deep-fried ice cream was selected as the Indiana State Fair's Signature Food for 2011.

Having been surrounded by state and county fairs my entire life (as is the case with every true Hoosier), it’s not the rides, the livestock or even the entertainment that keep me coming back to the fairgrounds each year (although they are up high on my priority list when I visit) – it’s the food. I think I speak for every Hoosier and outside visitor when I say that there’s nothing better than indulging in the fair’s latest creations and concoctions; walking down the strip of vendors and contemplating on the decision of what you will indulge in next; and breathing in the sweet smell of deep-fry that invades the air – the other day I was able to smell the aroma all the way from College Avenue! Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, this is the one time a year that I let myself completely overeat to the point of a food coma – but it’s a little price to pay for having my stomach completely satisfied!

As always, upon walking into the fair this year I was on the lookout for something new to satisfy my taste buds. After hearing about and further investigating the fair’s “Year of Soybeans” promotion for 2011, I uncovered that there are a handful of new signature food items that incorporate soybeans, soybean products or soy-fed livestock into their recipes. Check out these scrumptious selections in honor of the vegetable’s $24.9 billion impact on the agricultural industry in Indiana.

($5) Deep-Fried Ice Cream (selected as the Indiana State Fair’s Signature Food for 2011!) - Baskin Robbins’ vanilla ice cream covered in soybean meal that’s deep-fried in soybean oil and served in a waffle bowl (also deep-friend in soy oil). Topped with chocolate, caramel and whipped cream.

($3) Pepper Jack Sandwich on Sour Dough Bread - Toasted sourdough bread with spicy pepper jack cheese from soy-fed dairy cows.

($2) Honey Sweet Chili-Garlic Soy-Marinated Beef on a Stick - Pieces of top sirloin from soy-fed Indiana cattle, spiced up with a sweet chili-garlic marinade and served on a stick with sesame-ginger soy sauce for dipping.

($5) Bacon Flavored & Fabulous (BFF) Pork Burger - Pork patty from soy-fed pigs. Topped with barbeque sauce from Shoup’s Country Foods in Frankfort.

($3) Deep-fried Tofu with Spicy Ranch Dipping Sauce - Three pieces of tofu rolled in a crisp coating. Deep-friend in soy oil and served on a stick with a spicy ranch dipping sauce.

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Written by : Lissa is a 2011 graduate of Butler University with a degree in Public Relations and Spanish. She is currently interning with Williams Randall Marketing and has held numerous internships throughout her college career at organizations across Indy, including Publicis, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Conrad Indianapolis and Emmis Communications. With passions in both traveling and communication, she strives to pursue a career path in travel and tourism within the journalism and public relations field. You can follow Lissa via Twitter at @lissaphillips