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The Minnesota State Fair kicks off Thursday, August 25th for its first full-strength run in two years up at the fairgrounds in Falcon Heights. And with it comes your chance to get a uniquely Minnesota food: the Pronto Pup.

One of the more iconic Minnesota food items the Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together sells is the Pronto Pup. Sure, it looks a lot like a regular corn dog. Which, of course, you can also get at the State Fair. But the Pronto Pup, while available elsewhere NOW, is a true Minnesota original.

Are you a Pronto Pup supporter or are you on Team Corn Dog? Just what's the difference between the two anyway?  Well, according to this Star-Tribune story, it's all in the ingredients that make up the batter that surrounds the hot dog. And, it's not as simple as that old wives tale about the Pronto Pup not having cornmeal, while the corn dog does.

The story says that the Minnesota State Fair version of the Pronto Pups, do, in fact, contain cornmeal. But they also contain a few other ingredients that your 'regular' corn dogs don't.

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"There’s also corn flour, as well as wheat and rice flours, which give it a more grain-forward taste. There’s only a dash of sugar, unlike the sweeter corn dog crusts. And the sausages inside the savory breading are blended fresh in Wisconsin," the story noted.

The story also went on to say that while the Pronto Pup can be found at other fairs and festivals across the country, it was invented here in Minnesota, and made its first appearance on the midway, way back at the 1947 State Fair.

However, this MPR story says while the Minnesota State Fair might have helped to popularize the Pronto Pup, it was actually invented by George Boyenton in Oregon in 1942 and moved east when Jack Karnis opened a franchise in Chicago in 1945. It was Twin Cities businessman William Brede who brought the franchise to Minnesota and unveiled it at the State Fair in 1947.

So, is it a true Minnesota original? Well, maybe not. But it IS, in fact, different than a corn dog. So that answers that-- kind of. Now, if you're not planning to head up to the Great Minnesota Get-Together this year, never fear-- because there we've found a recipe that will allow you can make your OWN Pronto Pup right there at home. And, if you ARE going to the State Fair, keep scrolling to check out all the new exhibits, events and attractions as well as all the new foods that you'll be able to find this year!

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