Sarah Pratt has the Iowa butter-sculpting niche cornered. After twenty-five years working with butter as an artistic medium, she has mastered the practice.

Since 2006, she has assumed responsibility for creating the Iowa State Fair’s iconic butter cow, which is 5.5 feet high and 8-feet-long and receives regular media coverage. Clocking in at around 600 pounds, the cow is large enough to butter roughly 19,200 pieces of toast.

The tradition of creating butter sculptures for state fairs began in Ohio in 1903 and took root in Iowa eight years later. Ever since, much hype has surrounded what beloved person—or creature—will be featured next.

In 2016, Pratt sculpted a cast of Star Trek characters in her 40-degree cooler in honor of the 50th anniversary of the show. She fashioned Captain Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and Dr. McCoy the way she best knew how.

This year at the Iowa State Fair, which begins August 10th, Pratt has a new challenge: for the 150th birthday of the Little House on the Prairie, she’ll be crafting a buttery Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Gastro Obscura covers the world’s most wondrous food and drink.
Sign up for our email, delivered twice a week.