With the Iowa State Fair less than 100 days away, Iowans can begin getting registered for all of this year's competitions!

There are a ton of different categories of contests at the 2022 fair, but this article is all about the FOOD. There are over 100 different cooking and food-related competitions listed online, with options for both adults and children. Here are ten of the most interesting ones:

Iowa State Fair Mystery Sack (Adult & Kid Divisions)

  • Contestants bring a mixing spoon and only three fresh or dried herbs or spices (salt and pepper will be provided), and then they are given a Mystery Sack with various products - they will have 30 minutes to prepare a creation from the contents using an electric skillet
  • Entries will be judged on taste and best use of products

Having a ‘Ball’ with Cheese

  • Create a cheese ball in any shape - anything goes!
  • Entries are judged on taste, creativity, and appearance

My Best Waffle Ever

  • Make waffles using creative ingredients (meat, vegetables, fruit or herbs) - no toppings
  • Entries are judged on taste and creativity

Gingerbread House

  • Build a creative gingerbread house with no premade structures - all components must be edible
  • Entries will be judged on structural integrity, creative design, and attention to detail

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon (All Ages)

  • "Prepare your bacon anything goes, or upgrade a family bacon favorite by using any bacon (or combinations of bacons - with any type of smoked flavor). You can re-smoke a bacon with your favorite wood combinations, brined, sauced, or cure your own! Wrap it around to enhance other meats, crumble it, candy it, ice cream it, pie it, cheese it…anything goes!"
  • Entries will be judged on taste/flavor, originality/creativity, appearance/presentation, and your story

Spud Studs

  • Create an entry using Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • Entries will be judged on taste and creativity

S'mores Creations (All Ages)

  • Create your favorite s’mores creation with no more than eight ingredients
  • Entries will be judged on taste, appearance, and creativity

Bret & Amy Doerring Ugliest Cake (Kids Only)

  • Create a cake that is "ugly as can be, but not obnoxious" - all ingredients must be edible
  • Entries will be judged on appearance only

Eurofins Unique Mac & Cheese (Kids Only)

  • "Participants should create a Mac & Cheese inspired dish with a twist! The recipe must contain noodles & cheese, but the rest is up to you! You may use anything from Iowa grown ingredients, your favorite food, or just a weird ingredient that you think would pair well with cheesy deliciousness!"
  • Entries will be judged on creativity, taste, texture, and aroma

Animal Face Cakes (Kids Only)

  • Make a single layer, nine inch cake and decorate it with an animal's face - everything must be edible
  • Entries will be judged on appearance and originality

Entries for the 2022 competitions are now being accepted! You can find out everything you need to know on the Iowa State Fair website HERE.

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