Trend Alert: Food On a Stick


An internationally celebrated form of cuisine,  food on a stick is taking the country by storm.   This trend is in full swing with all the state fairs and festivals happening this summer, where practically everything you can think of is skewered on a stick — from deep-fried Twinkies and Snickers to lollipop chicken wings and other “food-sicles.”  Here in Chicago, people are enjoying Graham Elliot’s lobster corn dog during the three-day Lollapalooza. Graham was the culinary director of this popular music festival that just concluded yesterday — and his lobster corn dog is the perfect example of this food on a stick trend — which often blends high and low. (photo credit: ehtysrofnahtanoj on

Food photographer, Matt Armendariz, author of the blog Matt Bites, has captured this trend quite beautifully with his first book On a Stick!  80 Party-Perfect Recipes. He gives a nod to the ancient roots of this modern trend.

“Long before the invention of kitchen utensils, people were grilling over an open fire, using branches to warm and roast food. This cooking method appears in the writings of the ancient Greeks and virtually all cultures since have offered their own version of food on stick.”


You know a trend has gone mainstream when a major chain like Starbucks jumps in.  Cake pops are a popular dessert form of food on a stick, and the coffee chain recently introduced an array of colorful cake pops called Starbucks Petites. (photo credit SugarCookied on flickr)5616564135_a84170eb55_bAnd you’ll find lots of different dessert examples, like this fried cheesecake on a stick by flickr user lynn.gardner.

3975056439_ae235021b4_oStreet food is practically synonymous with food on a stick (photo credit by flickr user Maya83).

5700636018_7a7500d35e_b…including kebabs (flicker user Blacksails)


and squid on stick in Hong Kong (flickr user Samer Farha).

2744822190_3518434053_oYou could practically eat food on a stick all day long, which is exactly what flicker user Zoomar has done here…

437129506_f1bfe72d1b_bIt’s not all about street food and restaurant fare…food manufacturers have gotten in on the trend too.  Hope we’ll see better examples in the future…

jimmydeanonastickMore on the food on a stick trend:

Chicago Sun Times

Phil Lempert’s Food News Today

Los Angeles Times

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  • We’ve done several types of food on a stick on our blog, and it’s all been nice and healthy. Looking at these photos (with the exception of the fruit skewers) makes my arteries clog.

  • Just in time for the State Fair summer period! I’ve seen several mini pie-on-a-stick options on the party circuit lately. For a healthy option, Food Network did a great display with a half cut watermelon holding skewers of melon balls. If that’s the case, count me in with the stick craze.

  • Dan

    Ah, food on a stick. Unfortunately, most options are unhealthy. Doesn’t particularly bother me. I’d think if you’re eating off a stick, unhealthy food attached is part of the whole schtick. Or is part of the whole stick? Ugh, I apologize, couldn’t pass it up…

  • lisa

    i have heard rumor that Wisc State Fair is serving up fried butter on a stick. gack. no wonder why this country is suffering from rampant food related disease

  • Pingback: Extreme Cuisine: Food On A Stick, Deep Fried Food, And Other Weird Foods - The Fun Times Guide to Food & Cooking()

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