Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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The Minnesota State Fair: Butter busts

August 31st, 2008 · No Comments

This is the last weekend of the 12-day Minnesota State Fair, one of the largest in the country, and most true to the old-fashioned state fairs anywhere.

One of the most popular booths there is the butter-carving booth.

Princess Kay, 2007, in butter and real life

Princess Kay, 2007, in butter and real life. Photo by Kitty Crider

The carving of the bust of the Butter Princess, “Princess Kay of the Milky Way,” sponsored by the Minnesota Dairy folks of course, is always a highlight. The princess (elected in a pageant) sits on a turntable inside a cold, glass-lined booth, and revolves (verrrrry slowly) as the carver works at cutting her likeness into a giant gob of butter. It stays, along with the busts of her Butter Queen Court, on display during the fair (spinning slowwwly in the cold case). After the fair, the gals are given their 25-or-so-pound solid butter bust. Most we talked to said they they freeze them for later. Eventually they either bake them into a bunch of butter cookies, or have one heck of a corn-slathering party. Oh, those wild girls!

The butter bust booth sits next to the all-you-can-drink dairy booth. Last year, a bull escaped from the animal pens, head-butted a fire hydrant, and promptly keeled over and died on the spot.

Tags: Today in the World of Food

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