Stick Figures

Stick Figures

If you can dip it in batter and spear it with wood, you can likely find it at the Wisconsin State Fair. From the wacky (peanut butter and jelly) to wondrous (chocolate cranberries), the portable varieties have increased over the years because, frankly, if it’s on a stick, it sells. Those sweet-and-sour chocolate-covered cranberries? The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association sold 7,800 last year alone. Heart-stoppingly, the Machine Shed sold more than 50,000 orders of chocolate-covered bacon on a stick in 2009. With two slices per serving, that’s more than 100,000 pieces of bacon. The Machine Shed also sold more…

If you can dip it in batter and spear it with wood, you can likely find it at the Wisconsin State Fair. From the wacky (peanut butter and jelly) to wondrous (chocolate cranberries), the portable varieties have increased over the years because, frankly, if it’s on a stick, it sells.

Those sweet-and-sour chocolate-covered cranberries? The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association sold 7,800 last year alone. Heart-stoppingly, the Machine Shed sold more than 50,000 orders of chocolate-covered bacon on a stick in 2009. With two slices per serving, that’s more than 100,000 pieces of bacon. The Machine Shed also sold more than 20,000 peanut butter and jelly concoctions on a stick, because, we assume, a hand-held sandwich was not portable enough.

Vendors create new stick-able recipes each year, says Patrice Harris, the fair’s communications manager, but not all recipes stick around, as the August heat renders them impractical. Worry not; now that all food groups have been skewered in the name of novelty, we’re sure this year’s fair will offer a veritable cornucopia of high-caloric treats. 


*Amount sold in 2011 at Wisconsin State Fair, according to respective vendors
Photos by Chris Kessler

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Claire Hanan worked at the magazine as an editor from 2012-2017. She edited the Culture section and wrote stories about all sorts of topics, including the arts, fashion, politics and more. In 2016, she was a finalist for best profile writing at the City and Regional Magazine Awards for her story "In A Flash." In 2014, she won the the Milwaukee Press gold award for best public service story for editing "Handle With Care," a service package about aging in Milwaukee. Before all this, she attended the University of Missouri's School of Journalism and New York University's Summer Publishing Institute.