Even Bizarre Foods television host Andrew Zimmern loves them.
In his 2014 travel newsletter, Zimmern listed the 18 Must-Try Minnesota State Fair Foods. “I love the Minnesota State Fair so much that I try to go all 12 days,” he writes. “Every year there’s a list of new food booths, serving every type of novelty deep-fried and on-a-stick creations, but when it comes down to it, half of the food sales comes from top 10 classic items. I am a traditionalist when it comes to state fair foods, so I don’t stray too far from the cheese curds and foot-long hot dogs.”
Zimmern’s pick for #5 of his Must-Try’s are the Original Cheese Curds. “More than 100,000 pounds of fried cheese curds are consumed at the MN State Fair every year, but not all curds are created equal. Trust me, I have tried them all,” Zimmern writes. “My go-to cheese curd purveyor has gotta be the Original outside of the food building. These gooey nuggets have a perfectly crispy exterior and an irresistible molten cheesy interior that’s garnered quite the following.”
The Original Cheese Curd followers that Zimmern writes about are in an uproar. Fans of the Original Curds have taken to social media. The reason? The Original Cheese Curd bright yellow stand, located on the south side of Dan Patch between Nelson and Underwood will be no more. The Original owners, Dick and Donna Mueller and Audrey Skarda, are retiring.
Using the hash tag #savethecurds, fans are calling for petitions and the transfer of ownership to the Mueller’s son. The State Fair wants the booth to turn into bacon.
After a presentation by Mueller and his attorney, and committee review and discussion, the sales committee upheld staff’s decision to kick the Original Cheese Curds out of the Food Building to their current location. The committee voted Aye-7 and Nay-0.
The Original Cheese Curds had been in the Food Building since their early days. Original Cheese Curds opened in 1975 and has been selling curds for 42 years at the State Fair.
There are other Cheese Curds booths to be sure. But like Zimmerman writes: Original Cheese Curds are his “go-to cheese curd purveyor …”
Most State Fair goers seem to agree.
A petition started by Sheri Pineault, Grand Rapids MI, on April 15 titled “Save The Original Deep Fried Cheese Curds at the Minnesota State Fair!” has garnered 1,160 signatures on the website Change.org.