State Fairs, 2014

Family Heirloom Recipes Competition, 2014

2014 Theme:  Picnics and Family Reunions


Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri,

North Dakota, Wisconsin


Zweiback Image by Karen Keb Will

Zwieback,  First Prize, Jane Fry of Elk Falls, Kansas (image by Karen Keb Will)



Our Family Heirloom Recipe competition seeks your best made from scratch heirloom recipe suitable for a picnic or family reunion celebration. To encourage delving deep into your family’s culinary history, please submit family recipes prior to 1950. We look forward to learning about and tasting your treasured foods.


Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance is dedicated to exploring, celebrating and preserving unique food traditions and their cultural contexts in the American Midwest. By hosting public events, developing archival resources and generating publications, the Alliance celebrates the distinctiveness of a region that is as varied in tastes and traditions as it is in its geography from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains.  Exploring indigenous foods like Wisconsin cranberries and Minnesota walleye, celebrating iconic flavors like the wheat and corn from across the prairies, chronicling cuisines from Native American to early European immigrants to 21st-century newcomers, or highlighting fish boils in small towns and fine dining big cities, the Alliance promotes and chronicles the diversity of the region’s culinary character.

PRIZE money sponsored by The Spice House ( in Illinois and Wisconsin:

1st place – $150.,  2nd place – $100.,  3rd place – $50


History  50%,  Prepared Recipe  40%, Appearance & Display 10%

• Enter your best made-from-scratch family heirloom recipe suitable for a family or community dinner. Recipe should be from before 1950.

• Entrants must be at least 18 years of age; one entry per person.  Contestants who participated before may not resubmit previously entered recipes.  Greater Midwest Foodways board and advisory council members cannot compete.

• Each entry must be replicable from the recipe submitted. If an ingredient requires a recipe (for example, Jerry’s famous sausage), please include it.
• Every ingredient must be listed with exact measurements (no rounded teaspoons, etc.) and the type of ingredient (example: self-rising flour) must be specified. No mixes may be used, such as a cake or bread mix. Follow general proper recipe procedure, listing all steps of preparation, pan sizes, temperature and baking time.
• Entries must be typed (or neat hand writing) on 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper in duplicate. On one page provide the recipe and contestant’s name, age at time of contest, address, phone number and email address. On a separate sheet(s) present the recipe’s history. You may include who passed the recipe down to you, ethnicity (if relevant), number of years the recipe has been in your family and any interesting information about its place in your family’s traditions. Note the history accounts for 40% of the score so be sure to do justice to your recipe’s story. Please consult under the ‘events’ tab for examples of recipes and their histories..
• By submitting your entry, you accept official rules and agree to be bound by the judges’ decisions, which will be final. You also agree that your recipe and history narrative will become the property of Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance, which reserves the right to edit, adapt, copyright, publish and use without compensation to you.
• By participating, contestants also understand and accept the right of Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance to use contestant names, photos, history narratives and recipes for publicity without compensation.
• Each winning entry will shown in a display case (18” x 18”). Your product should be displayed simply though attractively, with the use of props, such as a copy of the original recipe, photographs, placemat, napkins, glassware or flowers.
• Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance is not responsible for lost or illegible recipes, nor is the fair.
• Taxes on prizes are the responsibility of the winner.
• Recipes from the Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance website ( are not eligible for entry in this contest.



Illinois State Fair:

Competition: Friday August 8, 2014 check in: 2:00 – 3:00 pm, judging commences at 3:00 pm, awards 5:15 pm
– Premium book: Page 100 for contest information

– Application form, deadline is July 15th,:

– Exhibitor card, submitted with application.

Premiums sponsored in partnership with The Spice House




Indiana State Fair

Competition: Thursday, August 7, 2014 check in: 1 pm to 3 pm at the Culinary Arts Northeast Entrance.  Open contest judging begins at 3:00 pm at the Ellison Bakery Culinary Kitchen.
– Premium book: “Department 114: Home and Family Arts” Page 30
– Application online, deadline is July 1 (with late fees by July 2-17)




Iowa State Fair:

Competition: Friday, August 15, 2014 judging begins at 1:30 pm 
Premium book:   
– General rules

– Heirloom recipe competition page 50 for contest rules

Application form, deadline postmarked by July 1 (with late fees by July 8): 
– Online application

– Or print form to mail in




Minnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair:

Competition: Saturday, August 16, 2014 check-in 11:00 am – 2 pm.  Bring food cold, they will be reheated before judging.  Judging is closed to the public.
Premium book on page 40

Apply online, deadline is August 6th by 4:30 pm Central time.




Missouri State Fair

Missouri State Fair:

Competition: Sunday, August 10, 2014 check in by 2 pm.
– Premium book: Pages 3-4

– Application form, deadline is July 21 or $10 late fee until July 26th:

– Recipe form




South Dakota State Fair

South Dakota State Fair:

Competition: Sunday August 31 at 11:30 am in Women’s Building Auditorium
Premium book, (will provice once published)

There is no fee to participate in this contest.  While pre-registration is not necessary, it is encouraged as it helps with the preparation and coordination of the event.  Pre-registration is open until Friday, August 22.  After that, if you wish to participate and have not pre-registered, simply show up at the listed times.




Wisconsin State Fair

Wisconsin State Fair:

Competition, Sunday, August 3rd, check in 7:30 am to 8:30 am, Judging will commence at 1:30 pm.
Premium book, details on page 23, class #978

Online application form, deadline is June 12th at 7:00 pm Central time (late entry is June 26):

Premiums sponsored in partnership with The Spice House