State Fair Placentophagy


It is time for my annual report of being gluttonous at the Minnesota State Fair. This year I hit the fair in two separate trips. Last night with my mom and dad, we saw Brandi Carlile in a free concert, which was awesome — her cover of “Hallelujah” is fantastic (better than Rufus Wainwright, not as good as Jeff Buckley… but who is?). Today with my mother and sister we saw the animal barns, which was also awesome because of my first ever observation of placentophagy. (Note that I don’t mean to imply any similarities between the awesomeness of Brandi Carlile and the awesomeness of placentophagy.)
But before I get to the sheep eating one of the richest sources of proteins available, here is the list of foods I ate:

  • Pig Lickers (chocolate covered bacon) — Delicious, but rich
  • A turkey drumstick — generally reserved for Renaissance Festivals, it fits in well with the State Fair’s “on-a-stick” theme
  • Frozen apple cider — So fresh it still tasted like apples
  • A honey stick — Just a quarter for a straw full of clover honey
  • The best chocolate malt ever — I wait all year for this dairy barn treat, located next to the butter sculptures
  • Birch Beer — Why drink a standard Coca Cola or Pepsi product when all this variation is available?
  • Sweet Martha’s Chocolate Chip Cookies — Comes in a giant bucket
  • Scotch Egg (hard boiled egg stuffed in pork sausage and slathered in horseradish… on a stick, duh) — Always a favorite
  • Deep fried cheese curds — A mouthwatering heart attack waiting to happen
  • All-I-Could-Drink Milk — A pathetically low number of three glasses this year (because we were only there once and my sister wouldn’t let us return for more)
  • Raspberry Chocolate Wine Ice Cream — I couldn’t taste the supposed wine
  • Black Cow (root beer float with chocolate syrup) — I was skeptical, but it was good
  • Bites of my mother’s corn dog and my sister’s brownie — Always share
  • Free water from WCCO radio to wash it all down!

And now for the part you’ve been waiting for… at the Miracle of Birth Center (i.e. stick a bunch of pregnant animals in a barn and hope most of them give birth during the fair), a sheep had given birth to two lambs just before we arrived. When we got there, the birth was so new that the placenta had just fallen out and some of it was still attached to the mother and the umbilical cords were still attached to the lambs. Sure enough, mom and babies were nibbling at that rarest of protein sources, the placenta.
For the human kids in attendance, it was quite the learning experience. I heard more than one parent awkwardly trying to explain to their kid just what they were seeing. “No, dear, it’s okay that she’s bleeding. That’s natural.” “Um, I’m not sure why she’s eating it. Maybe it tastes good.”
And for lasting this long into the entry, if you’re not easily grossed out by the facts of life, here’s one of my tamer photos of the scene. And here’s a little more detailed one, but not for the faint of heart (or all work places). (Both photos are >2MB.)


One response »

  1. You missed mentioning french fries, which while technically your mother’s, you did have some; and salt water taffy, which wasn’t consumed on site, but brought home, so perhaps you didn’t consider it a permissible entry in your food list.
    I don’t know where you place the ice cream scoop from the StarTribune booth, but it kind of deserves mention, doesn’t it?

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