Remember the “One of these things is not like the other …” song from "Sesame Street:? I started singing that song after reading about the new treats at the Iowa State Fair food competition.

The foods we hear about that come out of state fairs are usually something deep fried and crazy like Deep-Fried Kool-Aid or Deep-Fried Butter. Putting foods on a stick is big, too, like spaghetti and meatballs.

At this year’s Iowa State Fair, on-a-stick ideas are popular in the food competition. There are many on-a-stick foods that made it into the competition like Funnel Cake On-a-Stick, Tater Dogs On-a-Stick and Chocolate-Covered Bacon Nougat On-a-s=Stick.

Now picture those three foods in a box divided into four quadrants, like you’d see on "Sesame Street" when the “One of these things…” song was playing. In the fourth quadrant would be the thing that’s not like the others, right?

caprese salad on a stickSo what’s the surprising food on-a-stick from this year’s state fair? It’s Caprese Salad. Fresh tomato, basil and mozzarella skewered on a stick and drizzled with balsamic. Yep, vegetables and herbs that haven’t seen the inside of a fryer will compete against Tater Dogs and Chocolate-Covered Bacon Nougat for the top prize.

Food will be judged on value, flavor, presentation, appearance and creativity. I’m not sure how creative Caprese Salad On-a-Stick is. Some version of it has been at most summer parties I’ve attended for the past decade. But, perhaps, in the world of state fair food, it’s a novelty and will take the top prize.

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Inset photo of Caprese Salad: Teresa Kasprzycak/Shutterstock

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