Deep-fried bubblegum, hot mess biscuits: Meet the 2024 Iowa State Fair's 84 new foods

Updated

The Iowa State Fair returns in mid-August with music, butter cows and of course, new foods. This year brings a bumper crop of 84 new dishes that will make their debut in 2024.

This year looks very savory, with bacon cheeseburger eggrolls, a cheeseburger corn dog, a lobster corn dog, and pulled pork smoked snacks.

Sweets include candied bacon gnocchi, a Barbie-era funnel cake, cookies and cream ice cream nachos, cinnamon crunch apple taco, a funnel cake burger, maple bacon bliss sundae, pink lemonade whoopie pies, and lemonade doughnut drops.

For the lovers of all things deep fried, find deep-fried bubble gum, a deep-fried hot Cheetos pretzel, deep-fried PB&J, and deep-fried pepperoni chips.

This year, hungry fairgoers can nosh on garlic ranch pickle pizza and Iowa street corn specialty pizza. Attendance at last year's fair soared over 1.1 million, making it the second biggest fair in its 169-year history. It's not the biggest state fair in the country. That honor belongs to the State Fair of Texas, according to Carnival Warehouse's industry ranking. Texas logged more than 2.3 million attendees last year.

But the Iowa State Fair occupies a unique spot in American culture, most notably because it has been a key stop for US presidential candidates. But also because the foods are the stuff of legend. From fried Oreos to the Ultimate Bacon Brisket Bomb.

This year, breakfast lovers can feast on the brunchy burger, a bloody mary buffet, and a hot mess biscuit (among a variety of other new biscuit dishes) are ready to feed hunger fairgoers.

For the lobster roll fans, this year brings a two-foot Connecticut-style lobster roll or a basic two-foot lobster roll.

Here, a look at the 84 new foods at the Iowa State Fair this year and the ones voted the best in past years.

What new foods are at the Iowa State Fair in 2024?

Iowa State Fair Queen Kalayna Durr tries the deep-fried bacon brisket mac-n-cheese grilled cheese, the 2023 People's Choice Best New Food at the Iowa State Fair.
Iowa State Fair Queen Kalayna Durr tries the deep-fried bacon brisket mac-n-cheese grilled cheese, the 2023 People's Choice Best New Food at the Iowa State Fair.
  • Apple fries

  • Bacon cheeseburger egg roll

  • Barbie era funnel cake

  • Beer belly fries

  • BLT on a stick

  • Breakfast sandwich

  • Brunchy burger

  • Pork’s bloody mary buffet

  • Butter beer ice cream

  • Calamari

  • Candied bacon gnocchi

  • Cheeseburger corn dog

  • Chicken flautas

  • DG chicken strips

  • Chicken mac attack bowl

  • Chicken nest

  • Cinnamon crunch apple taco

  • Connecticut-style lobster roll

  • Cookies and cream ice cream nachos

  • Corn in a cup

  • Crème brulée stuffed French toast

  • Deep-fried bubble gum

  • Deep-fried hot Cheetos pretzel

  • Deep-fried PB& J

  • Deep-fried pepperoni chips

  • Disco stick

  • Dough-chos

  • Fabulous fries

  • Fiesta egglote

  • Firecracker shrimp

  • Flight fry bread

  • Hot Cheeto float

  • Funnel cake burger

  • Garlic ranch pickle pizza

  • Golden fried veggie samosas

  • Handheld charcuterie

  • Hot chick chicken

  • Hot mess biscuit

  • Ice cream nachos

  • Iowa street corn specialty pizza

  • Iowa sm'oak'ed roll

  • Italian meatball sub

  • AE party balls

  • Lamb snack sticks

  • Lemonade doughnut drops

  • Lil' L'Roy bites

  • Lobster corn dog

  • Loose L'Roy sandwich

  • Louisiana mac bowl

  • Maple bacon bliss sundae

  • Nachorito

  • Not Your Daddy's burger

  • PB&J biscuit

  • Peanut butter pretzel brownies

  • Pickle pizza

  • Piggy in a doughnut

  • Pink lemonade whoopie pies

  • Pork belly corn dog

  • Pork belly corndog bites

  • Protein bowl

  • Pulled pork smoked snacks

  • Puppy chow

  • Ragin’ raspberry ravioli

  • Raspberry cheesecake frozen yogurt

  • Shoot tequila funnel cake

  • Siracha pickle

  • Spicy fever beefburger

  • Standby biscuit

  • Strawberries and cream waffle on a stick

  • Sunrise sugar pearl waffle sandwich

  • The Big Daddy burger

  • The illusion ice cream

  • The party biscuit

  • The regular biscuit

  • Bacon brisket smash burger

  • Tipsy peach

  • Tornado

  • Two-foot Connecticut-style lobster roll

  • Two-foot lobster roll

  • Up in smoke snacks

  • Up on the dill fries

  • Walking Frito pie

  • Walleye fish tacos

  • What's your wonton

Best New Food Contest winners

The Deep-Fried Bacon Brisket Mac-n-Cheese Grilled Cheese, from What's Your Cheez, is one of dishes featured in the 2023 New Foods at the Iowa State Fair, on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 in Des Moines.
The Deep-Fried Bacon Brisket Mac-n-Cheese Grilled Cheese, from What's Your Cheez, is one of dishes featured in the 2023 New Foods at the Iowa State Fair, on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 in Des Moines.

Next week, the Iowa State Fair invited in media personalities, Blue Ribbon Foundation members, State Fair queens and more to determine the three dishes that will vie for the best new food at the State Fair. The fair selected 10 dishes that will be sampled and voted on.

Follow the livestream on July 16 at 1 p.m. at facebook.com/iowastatefair.

Last year, the deep-fried bacon brisket mac-n-cheese grilled cheese from What’s Your Cheez took the top honors, as voted by fairgoers.

This novelty dish used the Rib Shack’s signature bacon brisket mac and cheese that’s then slathered between layers of American cheese and two slices of What’s Your Cheez bacon cheddar bread. It is then deep-fried and served with a raspberry chipotle barbecue sauce.

Previous Best New Foods at the Iowa State Fair

The Finisher from the Rib Shack, one of dishes featured in the 2022 New Foods at the Iowa State Fair, Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
The Finisher from the Rib Shack, one of dishes featured in the 2022 New Foods at the Iowa State Fair, Tuesday, July 19, 2022.

2013: Shrimp Corn Dog — Zag's Po Boys

2014: Funnel Cake on a Stick — multiple vendors

2015: The Rib Shack — Ultimate Bacon Brisket Bomb

2016: Iowa Turkey Federation — Not Your Mamma’s Taco

2017: Steer ‘N’ Stein — Pork Almighty

2018: Applishus — Apple Eggroll

2019: G Mig’s Wrap Stand — Georgie’s Roast with the Most Wrap

2021: Cluckin’ Coop by the Iowa Egg Council/Iowa Poultry Association — Chicken Egg Salad with Fry Bread

2022: The Rib Shack — The Finisher

2023: What's Your Cheez — Deep-Fried Bacon Brisket Mac-n-Cheese Grilled Cheese

Contributing: Donovan Slack, USA TODAY

Susan Stapleton is the entertainment editor and dining reporter at The Des Moines Register, part of the USA TODAY Network. You can reach out to her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, or drop her a line at sstapleton@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: The Iowa State Fair announces 84 new foods to try in 2024

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