Fried and Seek

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?


45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Andrea
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 08:41:16

    Holy cow Auntie Em, those skies sure were dark! It seems that your fairs have yet to combine the bacon with the deep fried. Perhaps the Kahuna Dog will be in your not so distant future! Your Kool-Aid looks much better than ours was!


  2. thoughtsappear
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 09:14:02

    Thank goodness you didn’t try the fried bubble gum. You have to draw the line somewhere. And that’s it.


  3. bluzdude
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 09:30:47

    There’s a stand near the back entrance of the State Fair… I pass it every year on the way to the track. It’s got all the bizarre fried goodies… Twinkies, Oreos, Snickers bars, etc. I”ve never been bold enough to actually try any though. I’m good with a couple pizza slices.


  4. ifUseekAmy
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 10:09:03

    I had fried pickles for the first time last Friday night at a bar. It was that or some foie gras fluffernutter concoction, and that is just GROSS. The fried pickles? Delicious.

    Living in the big city without a car, I don’t get to state or county fairs, but have to rely on silly street fairs. NOT the same in any regard, but I have walked 2 miles round-trip for zeppoles once. Figured the exercise worked off the calories of that fried dough goodness.


    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 12:39:24

      I am pro pickle, but anti foie gras. We are soul sistahs, I tell ya!

      I don’t know what zeppoles are, but anything described as fried dough goodness is a-ok in my book!


  5. madtante
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 11:04:44

    I think if you can find a way to put tempura on it, it can be done!


  6. Steph
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 11:43:48

    Love the Seinfeld reference but I think I have to go barf now just looking at the pictures of all that fried stuff. Probably only because I was forced to go to the stupid SOUP PLANTATION yesterday and it made me seriously ill.
    Oversharing? Sorry.
    Good post!


    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 12:44:44

      Yikes! Sorry for the pukies. No fun. 😦

      I seriously had to go back to read the post to see where I put the Seinfeld reference in. I think it’s just second nature to quote that every once in a while. Good eye! 😉


  7. Leauxra
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 11:50:03

    I went to all the fairs this year, and ATE NOTHING FRIED. I didn’t even have my usual once-a-year corn dog.

    What is the world coming to?


  8. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 12:05:43

    I was going to do a post about the summer festivals and fairs we attended this summer — until my computer ate my photos.

    Our fair had hot beef sundaes. Sounds gross, right? But it was pulled brisket on top of mashed potatoes with a cherry tomato on top. Delicious! Great post!

    There really were a lot of funky fried foods.


    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 12:49:16

      Were you ever able to recover any of your photos? I remember you mentioning a last ditch effort. Any luck?

      And yes, that sounds gross. Side note . . . I can’t ever see Hot Beef ___________ without thinking of Bender saying Hot. Beef. INJECTION. Yes, my mind is a vast wasteland of useless 80s movie quotes. It’s a problem.


  9. Rachel
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 12:27:02

    The State Fair of Texas is like the mecca of weird fried foods. One year I tried fried beer. It was the single most disgusting thing I have ever ingested. They put Bud Light in a pretzel pocket, deep fry it, and serve it with nacho cheese. So. Fucking. Gross. But I have had some rather delicious fried foods at the fair – fried Snickers bar (so chocolatey and melty and delicious), fried lemonade (sweet and tangy and yummy), and my favorite, fried cheesecake (because frying cheesecake makes it even that much more fantastic).


    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 13:08:21

      Fried beer sounds nasty. Blech.

      Fried cheesecake on the other hand . . . that might just possibly be heaven right there. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that next year. And maybe that lemonade. Yummy.


  10. Don't Quote Lily
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 13:23:30

    So many fried foods I’m not aware of! But fried bubble gum, really…I always thought we weren’t supposed to eat gum.

    I can’t believe they made you wait so long to get off the ferris wheel. 😦 I refuse to go on them. Roller coasters, anytime, ferris wheels, nuh-uh, no way.


    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 13:09:11

      My kids love them, so we always end up on there. I was getting so very mad. Even my husband was fuming, and it takes A LOT to get him steamed. It was bad times.


  11. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 14:19:23

    I love fried pickles. I’ve had both spear and chip, I have to say I like chip best.

    I’ve never heard of fried Kool-Aid or bubble gum. Do you keep chewing the bubble-gum like a Blow Pop but instead of a lollipop you have fried? Very curious. Not enough to try it, of course.


    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 13:10:31

      Just in general, I am more a fan of the chip, so I imagine I would enjoy that more.

      I did not look any further into the fried bubble gum issue beyond that sign, so I do not know the answers. I’m ok with that.


  12. Lisa insignif at best (@insignifblog)
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 14:53:28

    I’m so relieved to hear that you are pro-fried pickle – I’m not sure I could speak to you anymore if you weren’t. Just sayin’

    As for friend bubble gum – I don’t even get that. Are you supposed to swallow it like it’s food or just eat the fried part and chew on the gum? I’m not a fan of food that confuses me.

    BTW, I’m SO glad to see that you and your family escaped the tsunami from your “on the Ferris wheel picture”! If it had gotten you I wouldn’t have ever been able to read the post I’ve been waiting for all summer!


    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 13:11:56

      Ha! Well, I’m so glad that I didn’t disappoint you, either in disliking fried pickles OR in dying on a ferris wheel so as not having the opportunity to write this post! Phew. Close one. 😉


  13. Kitten Thunder's Girl
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 15:50:56

    The fried green beans at our bar are delicious. I am suspect, though, of your fried pickles. In the spear form they have way too much veggie to fried stuff – the ratio is all off. Find some sliced pickles to form a completely educated opinion.

    And, for goodness sakes, shouldn’t some of that stuff be wrapped in bacon?


    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 13:13:35

      I don’t know what on earth is wrong with our fairs. I didn’t see ONE bacon wrapped item on any of those menus!! I did see a lot of fried pickle options. I imagine there were some chips floating around there somewhere. I will be more discerning next year, for sure!


  14. Jen
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 16:41:51

    Have you ever had fried artichoke hearts? Because, if not, you have not lived, my friend. They are like tender little morsals of heaven drenched in Ranch dressing and rainbows. ((drool))


  15. Valerie
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 23:14:12

    You just blew my mind with the fried Kool Aide… Seriously. I just woke Eddie up by throwing the laptop in his face and yelling “FRIED KOOL AIDE EDDIE!!! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY!!! WE FINALLY MADE IT TO THE MOON!!!”

    He thanks you kindly for getting me all riled up before bed. Said something about me being a 5 year old.

    Whatever… The moon, man… the moon.




    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 13:15:56

      If the discovery of Fried Kool Aid isn’t something worth throwing a laptop at your sleeping husband’s face, I just don’t know what is.

      Still mad at him for not picking me, so the fact that you woke him and acted like a crazy hopped up on sugar from too much kool aid child, fills me with glee. :p


  16. Valentine Logar
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 07:30:01

    Great photos! Those skies were pretty dark.

    Not a huge fan of odd fried foods, but love fried pickles and fried green beans.


  17. Barb
    Sep 21, 2012 @ 03:35:03

    We had deep fried Dr. Pepper advertised at the Oregon State Fair. Now you make me wish I would have tried it out.


  18. red
    Sep 21, 2012 @ 07:23:14

    For future reference, since I know you hit the shore periodically, Rehoboth Beach has a Potato Tornado SHOP/restaurant/cafe…actual walk-in and buy type place.

    Just sayin’.


  19. wcdameron
    Sep 21, 2012 @ 07:37:29

    Fried Kool Aid???? Come on now…


  20. pegoleg
    Sep 22, 2012 @ 12:57:55

    That potato thing looks quite yummy. But I’ve always said you could batter and deep fry an old shoe and it would taste good. Have you seen any of those?


    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 13:18:57

      Deep fried and battered old shoe? Hmmm, can’t say as I’ve come across that. I’ll keep a look out next year. I’m sure somebody will fry that up at some point, once they run out of every other possible weird thing to fry.


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