It’s almost time for the 2022 Wisconsin State Fair (it runs August 4-14), which means it’s time to unveil, ponder, and drool over and/or worry about this year’s Sporkies finalists. You know, the Sporkies! The State Fair’s annual weird-and-wacky foodstuff competition that tasks local eateries to come up with, well, weird and wacky foodstuff!

The ninth annual competition features some doozies, including Fried Pickle Cheese Curd Tacos, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Chicken On-a-Stick, and something called “The Sconnie Slugger.” Is the latter a deep-fried beer brat covered in cheese curds? Of course it is. Here are the eight finalists (out of 28 entries!), with pictures and descriptions courtesy of the State Fair:

Black Bean Burrito Balls – Lakefront Brewery Beer Garden
“A vegetarian option, the Black Bean Burrito Balls have a mix of black beans, sweet corn, a plethora of cheeses, and spices combined into deep-fried bite-sized spheres and breaded with a combination of spicy cheese curls and nacho cheese chips. Served with zesty chile lime sauce, this may make you turn your back on the traditional burrito.”

Brandy Old Fashioned S’more On-a-Stick – Freese’s Candy Shoppe
“The Brandy Old Fashioned S’more On-a-Stick upgrades the classic whipped cream bar by infusing the flavors of the Wisconsin brandy old fashioned! Fluffy cream sandwiched between two graham crackers, covered in milk chocolate, and topped with white chocolate, dried orange, and dried cherry.”

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Latte – Slim McGinn’s Irish Pub
“Slim McGinn’s Irish Pub’s Two Brothers nitro coffee goes to the next level when mixed with Cinnamon Toast Crunch infused cereal milk. Add a cereal crust rimmed cup and top with delicious whipped cream and you have the Cinnamon Toast Crunch Latte!”

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Chicken On-a-Stick – Bud Pavilion
“Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Chicken On-a-Stick is a deep-fried chicken skewer is breaded with a special seasoning blend and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos dust. Drizzled with chipotle ranch and sprinkled with top-secret seasoning, this is certain to bring some spice to your life!”

Fried Pickle Cheese Curd Tacos – Richie’s Cheese Curd Tacos
“The Fried Pickle Cheese Curd Tacos is completely deep-fried with pickles sandwiched together with cream cheese and freshly battered white cheddar cheese curds. Topped with raspberry chipotle sauce and fresh greens, get ready for this reimagined Fair dish.”

Peño Pretzel Popper Brat – Gertrude’s Pretzels
“The Peño Pretzel Popper Brat is a 10-inch jalapeño cheddar bratwurst carefully wrapped in fresh pretzel dough, topped with coarse pretzel salt and fresh cut jalapeños, and baked until it’s golden brown. Drizzled with white cheddar sauce, and served with a house-made jalapeño cream cheese.”

The Sconnie Slugger – Miller Lite Sports Bar & Grill
“Highlighting the great state of Wisconsin, The Sconnie Slugger combines a locally made beer brat and cheese curds and then dips them in Cruller cornmeal batter. This on-a-stick work of art is deep-fried and topped with “dijonaise” and German sweet & sour cabbage.”

Surf & Turf Sliders – Tropics
“Surf & Turf Sliders are piled with marinated pulled pork cooked to perfection, a layer of tropical slaw, and Tropics’ signature pineapple mango salsa. Topped with hot, crispy coconut shrimp and smothered in a jalapeño aioli sauce, enjoy this beachy delight in a fresh Hawaiian sweet roll bun.”

All eight creations will be available at the 2022 Fair, though there can only be one Sporkie winner. A panel of celebrity judges will determine that winner on August 2. We assume that professional eating power couple is somehow involved.

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We ate all 8 of Wisconsin State Fair’s 2021 Sporkies Finalists

State Fair’s 2020 Sporkies invite you to “vote for the finalist you think would taste the best”

And the winner of the Wisconsin State Fair’s 2019 Sporkies competition is…

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