I have recently attended 3 separate Fairs in the last couple months. Two County fairs and the State Fair. And while I ostensibly was there to enable my children to enjoy rides and games and fun . . . let’s be honest. I was there for the fried foods. During last year’s fair season, I tried a couple of my first ever fried fair concoctions, namely a fried Twinkie, fried Oreos and fried strawberries. All at the same fair. All pretty freaking delicious. I blogged about it here.
So this year, I was on a mission to once again partake in some new and interesting fried fair foods. I was at least moderately successful.
Our first fair was the local county fair. It is relatively small, and focuses on tractors and 4H activities and farm animals. There are rides and there are games. What I did not find was anything interesting to sample. However, being determined not to leave my first fair of the year without having at least some type of artery clogging fried concoction, I searched out and eventually found this:
Unfortunately, I had tried Fried Oreos the previous year, so this was not undiscovered territory. However, despite these little fried gems being previously travelled terrain, I felt it was mandated that I have something fried, thus fulfilling Fair Etiquette, section 12-102B.
Here they are in all of their fried glory. And they were good. Pretty much like I remembered from last year. But I won’t say that I wasn’t disappointed that I was one fair down with no new fried treats to experience. But I was hopeful for the next fair . . .
The State Fair. That’s right, this was the fair for the entire state, which was very large and was sure to have many interesting and bizarre objects set to be dipped in oil for me to try. And I was not disappointed. Upon my first trek to a kiosk to obtain the obligatory lemonade for the family, I came across a somewhat unexpected item that was purported to be fried. Kool Aid. Okay?
While I was unsure as to how they accomplished this feat of fry science, there was no way I would be passing up the opportunity to sample such a unique object. Here’s what they looked like all fried up:
And the taste? It tasted exactly like cherry Kool Aid. So bizarre, but sort of good. I’m assuming they just infused a fry dough batter with a ton of Kool Aid to make it come out pink and taste like I was sipping a sugary flavored concoction from my youth. My kids even tried it and enjoyed it. Then again, they are kids. And it’s Kool Aid (fried though it was). So, it was not unexpected.
In case you were wondering, there were other oddities of the fried persuasion at this same fair. But I did not attempt to eat any of them:
Um, no. Just . . . no.
And speaking of fried . . . my entire family almost become fricasseed when on the Ferris Wheel. As we were getting on the huge metal object towering into the atmosphere, we noted that the sky was beginning to darken and the wind was picking up in intensity.
The kids really wanted to go on the Ferris Wheel and it was going to be our last ride, so we decided to take the chance. As we were on this large metal lightning rod, we noted that a storm was definitely approaching, as the sky was getting darker and closer and then . . . lightning. Well, that was it for us, so the next time we travelled down to the bottom, we were ready to get off. Luckily, they informed us that they were closing the ride and letting everyone off. Perfect! Wait . . . why are we going back up then? We figured they were letting some others off, and we would get off the next time we went down . . . so up up up we went, then back down . . . where we continued past and climbed back up to the sky. This is when my inner momma hulk started coming out. While I was trying to stay upbeat so as not to scare the kids, I really wanted them to let us off that thing, and the next time we went to the bottom, I loudly proclaimed, “let us off this thing!” To no avail. We went around again. What the fuckety fuck??
The sky was angry that day my friend.
Finally, as we started feeling the first raindrops and the dark stormy sky was directly over our heads, with periodic lightning flashing down, they let us off that death trap. A full 5 rotations after they told us they were closing it down for safety and a good 10 minutes longer than we should have been up there. I do not think I have ever run as fast as I did, holding my oldest son’s hand, fleeing from the park and towards the safety of our car. Luckily we made it, only slightly damp and windblown, and not at all crispy, before the deluge of the storm poured out of the sky. It was an extremely close one, though. We almost became one of the Fair’s fried delectable treats!
The third and final fair of my Great Fair Trifecta of 2012 was another county fair in a neighboring county. This, in my opinion, is the best fair. It has a plethora of kiddie rides, lots and lots of food kiosks, games, animals, big kid rides, etc. It even has a concert venue, if that is something you are interested in. We were not, but I think as fair’s go, it is pretty all-encompassing. This was the same fair in which I sampled all the previous fried concoctions last year. So, I had high hopes for the choices I would be presented at this venue.
Ah, fried pickles. There was quite a bit of controversy on my last fair post regarding fried pickles. Good? Bad? Weird? There was many the varying opinion on the subject matter. I had never tried them, so I was not able to weigh in, but based on the many recommendations by my readers, I vowed that I would sample this fried dill specialty this year.
But before I could test them out, the kids needed to be placated with kiddie rides. The entire time we were at the kiddie rides, I kept smelling this delectable aroma wafting from some mystery place. It was obviously something fried, and it was tinged with quite a bit of Old Bay or some other delicious spice. When I sought out what object was tempting my senses so, I discovered . . . the Potato Tornado.
This is a whole potato, cut into one spiral piece of twisty potato and fried up on a stick. Then you have your choice of seasoning. I chose the Old Bay because the aroma was intoxicating. It was very good, and my kids were loving it as well. It was sort of like thick cut al dente potato chips, with seasoning. Yum.
After feeding the childrens some real food (not of the greasy fried variety), we walked around to try to find some good fried options. I beelined to the food cart from which I got all that fried goodness last year, and lo and behold it was exactly where I left it. And this is where I once again feasted upon many fried delicacies offered at the stand:
That would be fried strawberries (yes, again), fried Reese’s and, of course, fried pickles. The dip for the pickles was actually really good and very tangy. I was expecting a sort of dill chip situation, and not a spear, but it was very good. I approve. I am henceforth on the side of PRO fried pickles.
And thus ends my tale of the fair circuit of 2012 and my sampling of many delicious and artery clogging fried foods. I will now rest my poor insides for another year before subjecting them to any more of these yummy but deadly treats.
What crazy fried items have you tried lately? What should I put on the list of things to try for next year’s fair circuit?