Cinnamon roll bacon cheese curds, available at Lakefront Brewery at this year's Wisconsin State Fair. (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin State Fair)
Cinnamon roll bacon cheese curds, available at Lakefront Brewery at this year's Wisconsin State Fair. (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin State Fair)

The fair returns after a year off due to COVID-19 with food that’s as deliciously Wisconsin as ever.

It’s almost time for the Wisconsin State Fair again, and you know what that means: Every day brings us closer to this year’s most ferociously unique, calorific, and uncompromisingly tasty fair foods.

Check your cream puffs at the door, because this list is dedicated to the Sporkies—the annual food competition in which purveyors at the Wisconsin State Fair try to one-up each other in creativity and taste. This year’s fair runs Aug. 5-15 at State Fair Park in West Allis.

For the uninitiated, past Sporkies finalists include buffalo chicken cheese curd tacos, deep-fried old fashioneds, and deep-fried pretzel-crusted brownies on a stick. Those are just a few of the wackier creations.

And after the fair’s cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19, this year’s Sporkies are packing two whole year’s worth of pent-up mad-food-scientist recipes, so it’s safe to say this year’s batch is the cream of the crop.

These are the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair Sporkies finalists and their official descriptions, courtesy of the fair:

Cinnamon Roll and Bacon Cheese Curds, Slim’s Lakefront Brew Pub & Eatery

“Fresh squeaky cheese curds are dipped in a sweet beer batter laced with crispy bacon, dredged in flour, cinnamon, and powdered sugar, then deep fried and rolled in more cinnamon sugar. Drizzled with rich cream cheese frosting and top[ped] with bacon crumbles.”

Deep-Fried Pineapple Express, Saz’s BBQ

“Trio of pineapple rings rolled in coconut and sweet panko breading, deep fried, drizzled with piña colada glaze, and dusted with powdered sugar.”

Deep-Fried Wisconsin Fish Fry, Water Street Brewery

“All the traditional elements of a famous Wisconsin Fish Fry rolled together and deep fried! Served with a side of lemon and house made tartar sauce.”

The deep-fried Wisconsin fish fry, available at Water Street Brewery at this year’s Wisconsin State Fair. (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin State Fair)

Glazy Boy, Miller Lite Sports Bar & Grill

“Inspired by some of our favorite ‘Sconnie specialties, The Glazy Boy is two grilled Grebe’s glazed doughnuts, pressed with two slices of BelGioioso Fontina cheese, brined and slow-smoked pork loin, raspberry whole grain mustard, and pickled jalapeños. Sweet, savory, tart, hints of smoke and spice all come together in one delightfully cheesy little sandwich worthy of a food-nap, or extra lap around the grounds.”

Paradise Po’ Boy, Tropics

“Coconut shrimp deep fried until golden brown placed on a freshly baked bun on a bed of tropical homemade slaw. Covered in key lime tartar sauce. Served with a side of kettle chips.”

Peanut Butter Squealer, Waffle Chix

“A maple-infused breakfast sausage baked inside a delicious Belgian waffle. Served on a stick and smothered in peanut butter and topped with real bacon.”

The peanut butter squealer, available at Waffle Chix at this year’s Wisconsin State Fair. (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin State Fair)

Polish Puppies On-a-Stick, Saz’s Taste of Wisconsin

“Deep fried hush puppies stuffed with Klement’s Jalapeno Polish, sautéed onions, sauerkraut, and cheddar cheese. Served with a side of buttermilk chive dipping sauce.”

Sorrentina Bites, Albanese’s Roadhouse

“Ditalini pasta with a blend of three Italian cheeses, breaded with our homemade Italian breadcrumbs. Served with your choice of our signature Vodka sauce or our famous Marinara sauce.”