Take a look at what people are eating at fairs & festivals across the country.
The idea of fair can take on many different meanings. If you’re a junior fair exhibitor, fair is what you spent the last year working and preparing for. If you’re a parent, fair means packing a camper or making sure show outfits and supplies are plentiful and ready to roll. If you fit neither of these characters, you love fair for the opportunity to catch up with old friends and observe exhibits, performances, or other events from the grand stands. Regardless of your reasoning to attend these festivals, county, or state fairs, there is at least one thing we have in common, and that is how we will find ourselves standing in at least one line outside of a food stand.
When you hear the words fair food, what pops in your head? If you’re like me, you think of traditional treats such as funnel cakes, corn dogs, elephant ears, and caramel apples. Yet within the past few years, while the traditional foods still exist, the more recent cuisine creations consist of just about anything emerging from a deep fryer. Not that I am complaining, but you wouldn’t believe half the things I’ve seen come out of the oil pit across the country. Let’s take a look at a few wacky fair foods…
Krispy Kreme burger– I donut mind the sound of this 1,000 calorie sandwich. This bacon cheeseburger substitutes two donuts in as the bun. You may also hear it referred to as the Luther Burger or made with a fried chicken patty instead of the burger. This has made its appearance at the Wisconsin, Indiana, and Mississippi State Fairs just to name a few.
Fried Beverages- Who knew you could deep fry your drink? Lemonade, Beer, and Kool Aid are just a few of the liquids being thrown into the deep fryer. Using the dry powder or directly pouring the alcohol into a ravioli shaped pretzel dough are just a couple ways to survive the hot grease temperatures. Another fun blend I stumbled upon was a fried margarita. According to an article published by Eater, the margarita is mixed with the funnel cake batter and contains whipped topping with additional margarita and tequila in the mix. The article notes this potion is served in a salt rimmed glass.
Idaho potato ice-cream- didn’t see that one coming, did you? Using an empty potato shell, and freezing potato shaped ice-cream that is coated in coco and cinnamon inside, this sweet treat is then topped with whip cream and Oreo crumbs. This creation really messed with my head. It took quite a while to convince me there wasn’t a legit potato still inside the shell and that it was indeed an ice-cream decoy.
Deep fried Avocado– Well at least avocadoes were rich in vitamins, right? In California, these treats come with a ranch or an oil that is herb infused to dip your tender vegetable that’s been coated in a corn-dog batter. Thrown into the deep fryer, I don’t know how many vitamins you’d really be getting at this point.
Deep fried Oreos– classic. I broke down last summer and had to give these a try. Having no idea an Oreo could taste any better than it already does, I was quite amazed. These are a must try with the powdered sugar topping. Most food stands that serve these can also be found additionally serving fried candy bars.
Deep fried… everything- Someone had to say it. Be on the lookout for deep fried grilled cheese, scorpions, Doritos, pecan pie, butter, white castle burgers, jelly beans, and my favorite… pineapples.
Perhaps some of these concoctions sound mouthwatering or maybe you’re actually sick to your stomach. Yet these trends and treats are gaining popularity everywhere they go. This article really could have gone on forever, the crazier the better. For instance, I am a huge fan of the funnel cake. You know what I mean, it is nearly impossible to be disappointed by the powdered sugar that covers the top. What I found, was that I am not the only avid funnel cake lover. In fact, they’re being altered and manipulated to be even more magnificent than humanly possible. I can’t wait to try a pizza crust funnel cake topped with pizza toppings or chocolate and peanut butter flavored funnel cakes this season. What are some things that you’re eating at your county or state fair that you found bizarre? Tell us about your wacky fair and festival foods in the comments below.