State Fair scorpion lollipops, claws, cotton candy crickets



WEST ALLIS, Wisconsin – For thousands of visitors, the best part of the Wisconsin State Fair is the food selection. State Fair fare staples are always the best sellers. You don’t have to venture far to find a corn dog, funnel cake, fried turkey leg, or just about anything on a stick.

All Things Jerky, based in Appleton, Wisconsin, brings a more exotic element to South Grandstand Ave. With two adjacent trailers run by owner Steve Burnham and his wife Jessica, All Things Jerky offers customers a wide variety of cured meats, from kangaroo to jerky camel.

The store’s bright green color scheme is eye-catching enough, but when customers lean in to find insect tacos and scorpion lollipops on the menu, it’s hard for most to walk away empty-handed.

“One year it was ants on a stick,†Jessica said. “We made cricket nachos, but this year it just seemed like we had dessert.”

The latest insect-inspired creation is the Creepy Crawly Cupcake, filled with dried ants, earthworms and strawberries, topped with cotton candy crickets and a scorpion on green frosting.

In the smokehouse, Steve has his own specialty for 2021. He brought 2,000 pounds of alligator claws to the fair. He calls them “swamp chicken”.

“You get a meal and a souvenir at the same time,†Steve said, referring to the actual reptile claw connected to the alligator meat. “Everyone gets their food, and the first thing they do is share it on social media. It’s just a lot of fun giving people something cool to eat.

All Things Jerky provides customers with an unforgettable Fair Trade dining experience, which is great for the 11-year-old business.

“It’s a great extension of what we’re doing at Appleton, but it’s just a fun environment,†Jessica said. Having had a year off last year, we have missed everyone so much. To be back in 2021 is amazing.

Signs advise customers with shellfish allergies to avoid eating bugs or other insects. Fairgoers brave enough to try out one of the insect-centric creations win an “I eat insects†sticker at the booth.


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