Thursday, June 16, 2011

year of the soybean

Nora will use this blog to tell stories of her childhood on the farm and her urban adventures in preparation for the Farm to Fair project. 

The theme of the 2011 Indiana State Fair is: Year of the Soybean.

How Does a Soybean Became a Corndog?  has been my working title for this project. I've had fun explaining that soybeans are often used as feed for cattle and swine. Thrown in some soy oil and soy milk and you've got a meal.

And celebrating the rich agricultural history of our State Fair most certainly involves food. I love talking about food! A panel of judges and readers of the Indianapolis Star were charged with the daunting task of choosing the signature food for this year's Fair.

This year's contenders are:
Deep-fried tofu on a stick.
Three generous cubes of tofu, rolled in a crisp coating, deep-fried and served on a stick with a spicy dipping sauce.
Where's the soy? Tofu (soybean curd) with a soymeal coating fried in soybean oil.

Soy-marinated beef on a stick with sesame-ginger soy-infused sauce. Chunks of top sirloin are spiced up with a sweet chile-garlic marinade and served on a stick with a sesame-ginger soy sauce for dipping.
Where's the soy? Top sirloin from soy-fed cattle marinated in soy sauce.

Bacon-flavored pork burger. 
Bacon-y pork patty is topped with Indiana-made barbecue sauce from Shoup's Country Foods.
Where's the soy? Pork from soy-fed hogs.

Grilled pepperjack cheese on sourdough.Toasted sourdough bread with plenty of spicy pepperjack -- made in Indiana at Deutsch Käse Haus in Middlebury.
Where's the soy? Cheese made from the milk of soy-fed dairy.

Deep-fried ice cream.
Reminiscent of a  popular dessert at a Mexican restaurant, this crisp/melty treat is topped with chocolate, caramel and whipped cream.
Where's the soy? Ice cream made from milk from soy-fed dairy cows with a soymeal coating fried in soybean oil.

The winner will be announced on July 15, but all of the items will be available during the fair.

Thanks to the Indianapolis Star's Jolene Ketzenberger for the descriptions of the items. Click here to see Michelle Pemberton's video recap of the tasting.