One of my dearest friends spends hours watching food preparation and recipe shows, with and without her cat at her side. Your first thought may be "that is weird!" But, not so fast!

She's not alone, in fact, she is one of over 58 million women who are watching the Food Network specifically. In fact at some point during the day, right around 500 million people are watching! (More than the population of the U.S.!) On the web, over 46 million are streaming in any given month.

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No, there are no statistics on Food Network-watching-cat-owners.

That is a whole lot of food lovers. I mean who doesn't love food? Experts would say that the population of the world is moving toward a larger size pant size. Foodie TV shows would say, "Here, have a cookie!"

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With all this in mind, let's take a look at the favorite fair foods from our 5-state area  - - South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska & North Dakota- - according to Food Network writer Layla Khoury-Hanold.

South Dakota's Favorite Fair Food - Smoked Roast Beef Sandwich

South Dakota Cattlemen's Association Smoked Beef Sandwich
Courtesy South Dakota Cattlemen's Association via Food Network and Canva
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It's not an understatement to say we love beef in South Dakota. The South Dakota State Fair's go-to food is the Smoked Roast Beef Sandwich presented by the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association. They make 1,000 of these heaven-on-a- bun sandwiches every day of the fair!

Locally-raised beef is seasoned with a top-secret rub and slowly roasted on a hickory wood-fired pellet grill for eight hours. Sandwiches are made to order, so still-warm slices of the beef served au jus are tucked into a bun right before being handed over to the customer. You can customize your sandwich with pickles, barbecue sauce, ketchup or mustard, or upgrade to a Beef Melt that brings roast beef together with sautéed peppers, onions and cheese, all piled onto a hoagie bun.- - Layla Khoury-Hanold Food Network

 

North Dakota's Favorite Fair Food - Poutine

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Apparently, North Dakota is also a great lover of Tater Tot Hotdish, just like we are in South Dakota. However, their big fair favorite over the years has been the "Walley On A Stick". Now odds are good that the addition of a Canadian favorite - Poutine will lead the way at their state fair this year. And might even convince some Canadians who are only 50 miles away to stop over for a visit!

Poutine, is a Canadian dish of French fries topped with fresh cheese curds and brown gravy.- Layla Khoury-Hanold Food Network

 

Nebraska's Favorite Fair Food - The Reuben Burger

Captain Jack's Chuck Wagon Reuben Burger
Courtesy Captain Jack's Chuck Wagon Facebook
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Just reading about Nebraska's favorite state fair food made my mouth water. Their take on Reubens sounds "Yummo!", to quote former Food Network chef Rachel Ray.

Cactus Jack’s Chuck Wagon has earned a following for its roster of gourmet burgers, several of which deliver a double helping of beef. One standout is the Reuben Burger, which reimagines the Omaha-born sandwich as a seasoned steak burger topped with thickly-sliced smoked brisket, a gooey mound of white American cheese, a tangy heap of sauerkraut and a signature bistro sauce. -  Layla Khoury-Hanold Food Network

 

Minnesota's Favorite Fair Food - Sweet Martha's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sweet Martha's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Minnesota State Fair via Food Network
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The first time I attended the Minnesota State Fair, was with my best friend to see a Huey Lewis & the News concert. She was there for Huey, I was there for chow! My dinner that evening was Lobster Bites. How good were they? Heavenly! But the star of the Minnesota State Fair has for years been Sweet Martha's Chocolate Chip cookies.

Case in point: Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar. Owner Martha Rossini Olson and her team bake 2,000 cookies per minute (yes, minute) to keep up with demand. Her signature warm chocolate chip cookies can be ordered by the cone or bucket.-  Layla Khoury-Hanold Food Network

 

Iowa's Favorite Fair Food- Iowa Pork Chop "On a Stick"

Iowa Pork Chop On-A-Stick
Courtesy Iowa Pork Producers via Food Network
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A juicy, tender, Iowa Pork Chop on the grill, has been a thing in our family forever. And in Iowa, it's a grand tradition at their state fair.

The nine-ounce, Frenched bone-in chops are cooked on rotisserie grills, so that they slowly cook in their own juices to tender, juicy effect; optional salt, pepper and barbecue sauce are available for seasoning. The bone acts as a built-in stick, making for a portable porky snack that’s become as much a tradition as the fair itself — 50,000 to 60,000 pork chops on a stick are sold every year. -  Layla Khoury-Hanold Food Network

Source: Food Network

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From Frybread to Pheasants - Here are South Dakota's Official State Things

Every state in our nation has chosen things that represent the state in one way or another to be official state things. Like a flower, or animal. South Dakota is no different.

The Mount Rushmore has a state flower. But did you know we also have a state tree and a state fish? Yes, we even have a state code.

Here is what we have so far in Wyoming. Thanks to the South Dakota Secretary of State's Office for the info: