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Fried Foods at the State Fair


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Fried foods at State Fairs have become very popular in recent years, moving beyond the days of Elephant Ears, Corn Dogs and huge mounds of twised french fries. Today all manner of sweet and savory, even pickled, foods are deep-fried and served from booths at local and State fairs.

Our local fair has plenty of good food to choose from, including bison burgers and wild huckleberry shakes and sundaes. One thing we don't venture into much is a variety of exotic fried delicacies.

Fair season is around the corner, so get you stomachs and cameras ready, and show us and tell us what delicious bites you can find at your local fair.

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I don't know about the state fair but at the local agricultural fair there's always a booth where they'll batter dip and fry pretty much anything you bring to them. They keep a few things on hand, frozen candy bars, twinkies and the like...the usual fair fare.

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I don't know about the state fair but at the local agricultural fair there's always a booth where they'll batter dip and fry pretty much anything you bring to them. They keep a few things on hand, frozen candy bars, twinkies and the like...the usual fair fare.

I'd really like to try the frozen candy bar/twinkie thing. We don't venture that far in Spokane. Maybe this year.

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I'm in Mississippi and a favorite here is chicken on a stick. Like a fried kebab with chunks of chicken breast, onion, pickles and sometimes potato, which is seasoned, battered and deep fried. Yum.

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Both the California State Fair (in Sacramento) and the Orange County Fair (local to me) have opened this week. The State Fair, according to coverage on the news, is featuring deep-fried butter.:wacko: The OC Fair has deep-fried M&Ms. Evidently, they mound cookie dough onto a stick, roll it in M&MS, batter it and into the Fry-O-Later it goes.

I'd try the M&Ms. The butter, eh, not so much.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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This year at the Del Mar Fair (San Diego) they had deep fried Pop Tarts. I didn't get a chance to try them. Not sure if they were breaded...which could have been redundant.

A similar previous eGullet discussion:

"State Fair Food: Eating on another planet "

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd second what Chris said about the MN state fair. Deep fried hot dish on a stick? Got it. The fried candy bars, pop tarts, etc. are an old story at the Great Minnesota Get-together, as is the chocolate dipped bacon. Want deep fried bacon? Head to MN.

My big tip for the MN fair is to go on the first day. Rides are half price, the bathrooms are clean and the grease is fresh.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 3 weeks later...

In Tampa, we had the deep fried twinkie (didn't try), deep fried oreos (tried and loved) and deep fried butter which was surprisingly quite yummy! I think they take a frozen little nugget of salted butter, roll it in some cinnamon, then drop it into a thick batter and fry it. When you get it, it's dusted in powdered sugar and crispy on the outside with the butter liquid inside. It's a nice shot of salty sweet fat :)

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Fried foods at State Fairs have become very popular in recent years, moving beyond the days of Elephant Ears, Corn Dogs and huge mounds of twised french fries.

Our fairs have moved so far past elephant ears that I can't find them anymore. I love them but even the booths that clearly still say "Elephant Ears" on the side no longer sell them. It's all funnel cakes which is a poor substitute IMO.

Not really fried but my favorite items are still the sausage dogs with the onions that have been cooking in grease for 7-10 days. Those are the best. I also love gyros from a food stand.

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I will hear no bashing of funnel cakes. They were 'too expensive' when I was a kid and I barely ever got to have one. I LOVE those things. In fact, most fried dough is up there on my list of guilty pleasures.

Much like the Minnesota fair, the Iowa State Fair tends to have a pretty wide selection of fried food. Of course, it also has to be on a stick. If fried stick on a stick would sell, they'd do it

My favorite, though, is the BBQ pork booth. Fresh and amazing. Now, if only they'd do a whole pig...

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In Tampa, we had the deep fried twinkie (didn't try), deep fried oreos (tried and loved) and deep fried butter which was surprisingly quite yummy! I think they take a frozen little nugget of salted butter, roll it in some cinnamon, then drop it into a thick batter and fry it. When you get it, it's dusted in powdered sugar and crispy on the outside with the butter liquid inside. It's a nice shot of salty sweet fat :)

Deep fried butter has been the (largely incredulous) talk of the Indiana State Fair this year.

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Battered and deep fried oero cookies. One of the best fried things I've ever had. Surely worth the impending heart attack they are sure to cause.

And while not so much down here (SC), fairs in NJ weren't complete without a big bag of zeppole.

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Last year at the Texas State Fair, they had fried butter, fried coke, fried pizza, chicken fried bacon, just to name the more unusual.

And here is the lineup of the new items for the 2010 State Fair of Texas

• Deep Fried S’mores Pop-Tart -- Pop• Tart® with a sensational chocolate, peanut butter, s’mores flavor is lightly battered & deep fried. Hot out of the fryer the sinfully diet-busting treat is drizzled with chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream.

• Fried Beer -- Beer-filled pretzel pocket is deep-fried to a golden brown. One bite and the escaping beer serves as a dipping sauce. 21 and over, ID required.

• Deep Fried Frozen Margarita -- Sweet & creamy funnel cake batter is deliciously coupled with margarita ingredients. Fried, dusted with a tangy lemon/lime mixture and lightly spritzed with south of the border flavor, it’s served in a salt rimmed glass. 21 and over, ID required.

• Fried Chocolate -- A white chocolate mini candy bar + a cherry are stuffed into a mouth-watering brownie, dipped into delicious chocolate cake batter & deep fried to perfection. The finished product has a warm just-out-of-the-oven taste! Topped with powdered sugar and a rich cherry sauce and served with chocolate flavored whip cream.

• Fried Lemonade -- Lemon flavored pastry is made from Country Time® lemonade. First baked, then fried, this taste tempting treat is glazed with a mix of lemonade, powdered sugar, and lemon zest.

• Fernie’s Fried Club Salad -- Super colossal 12” spinach wrap surrounds generous layers of juicy diced ham & chicken, shredded iceberg, crunchy carrot strips, ripe cherry tomatoes, shredded sharp cheddar and hickory smoked bacon. Deep fried until lightly crispy; topped with deep-fried sour dough croutons on a stick & served on a bed of shredded romaine lettuce. Choice of creamy Ranch, Thousand Island or Caesar dressing.

• Texas Fried Caviar -- Texas version of a southern good luck staple. Black-eyed peas are fried and laced with special spices blended with Old Bay® Seasoning and are available in regular or spicy.

• Texas Fried Frito Pie -- A generous portion of savory Texas born chili accented with a hint of sharp cheddar encased in everybody’s favorite corn chip. Lightly battered and fried to a golden brown perfection. With its smooth medley of hot, meaty, crunchy, salty, cheesy, oozing goodness; “Texas Fried Frito Pie” transports you back to the golden age of Fair Food.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I would be scared that one of those beer pockets would decide to open a little bit.

I haven't been for awhile, but last time I went to the local county fair they weren't frying much out of the ordinary.

However, I think my fair, Grant county fair, in central Washington state, had something none of your fairs have...Spaceburgers.

They were some sort of ground meat with some sort of russian like sauce and some lettuce and cheese maybe? All sandwiched between two slices of cheap white bread and cooked in this press that toasted the bread and cut it into a perfect saucer...like a space ship.

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I don't know about Spaceburgers but the Minnesota State Fair has Spamburgers. :biggrin:

Davydd

It is just an Anglicized Welsh spelling for David to celebrate my English/Welsh ancestry. The Welsh have no "v" in their alphabet or it would be spelled Dafydd.

I must warn you. My passion is the Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Now blogging: Pork Tenderloin Sandwich Blog

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  • 1 month later...

The NC State Fair just ended and I got the chance to attend more than one day. I have a special fair trip day where a group (6 of us) go to the fair and try all the "weird" foods. That way you only get a bite and the cost as well as the calories are somewhat defrayed.

Here's the roundup from NC 2010.

Texas Frito Pie - as described in previous posts, served with sour cream and salsa for dipping. Group consensus - this was very good.

Krispy Kreme burger - 2 whole glazed donuts - one for top and one for bottom of "bun", hamburger patty, toppings to order, condiments to order, cheese and bacon if you so desired at extra cost.

Group got 2 of these - one with lettuce, tomato and cheese. The other with pickles, lettuce, tomato, mayo and mustard.

I tried both. The donuts were cold so this pretty much ruined it for me a the first bite. I can see this being tasty if the donuts were warm/grilled. Also, the cheese was not melted. The taste was not bad - a contrast of sweet, salty, savory but I just don't like a cold KK donut. I didn't find a discernible difference taste-wise in the condiment versus the uncondimented version...I may have slightly preferred the one with condiments.

Fried Mac and Cheese bites - ok. served with spicy cheese sauce for dipping.

Bacon, Cheese and Mashed potato bites - Meh. best part of this was the spicy cheese sauce (same as served with the mac and cheese)

Deep fried chocolate chip cookie dough - Delicious. I may be biased as cookie dough is one of my favorite things.

Deep fried honey bun - A Warm honey bun is tasty. (Much like a krispy kreme) Did not need the breading. Too much. Peeled most of it off and just ate bites of warm honeybun. - Perhaps next year they should do the deep-fried krispy kreme burger?

Kool-aid pickles - did not try these at the fair as they were selling one pickle for $3. I recently made a batch of these out of curiousity (you can make a whole jar for $3). I liked the sweet and sour. I definitely see why these appeal to kids.

Deep fried Three Musketeers bar- had one bite of this from a friend I ran into at the fair. Tasty but can't imagine eating a whole one.

Chocolate covered bacon (aka pig lickers) - ok. I find mostly the chocolate melts and then you are left with bacon in your mouth and its sort of weird. I would rather have "pig candy" (bacon sprinkled with brown sugar and baked at low heat until it caramelizes on the bacon).

In past years have tried deep fried oreos which are very good. Fried twinkie - not bad, since the twinkie sponge is very light it is not too "bready" with the frying dough. Fried coke - disappointing - was just funnel cake batter infused with coke. Chocolate dipped frozen cheesecake. (which some booths offered to fry for you if you wanted). Fried banana pudding.

New things this year that I did not try were - Twinkie Logs (chocolate covered twinkies), fried pumpkin pie, fried apple cobbler and fried pb & j.

Other timeless goodies at the NC fair are - footlong hotdogs (I love Jesse Jones), fresh cut fries, mini-donuts covered in cinnamon sugar and ribeye steak sandwiches.

Unfortunately no alchoholic themed items are allowed at the NC Fair.

Also featured this year were 5lb gummy bears and pineapple lemonade. ( I did try the lemonade it was pretty tasty). The 5lb gummy bear would run you $25 dollars so roughly $5 a lb. Didn't seem worth it and that is a LOT of gummy!

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The wife and I went to the SC State Fair in Columbia Sunday for the last day. We had the KK Burger. The vendor here grilled the dough-nuts so they were warm but not to the point of all the glaze melting off.

Veeeeerrrry interestink as Arte Johnson used to say.

Most people liked it but most said once was enough. Mine would of been better with something other than a frozen industrial burger patty. I might just have to try this at home with good patties.

Dwight

If at first you succeed, try not to act surprised.

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  • 1 year later...

State Fair 2012 round-up (NC):

Fried Girl scout cookies - (Samoas/Caramel delites) - very sweet but very good. The coconut added a nice texture.

Fried HoHo- pretty good. I only had 1 bite but my husband who loves hoho's thought it was delicious.

Otherwise, didn't try anything exciting this year. The big thing was cinnamon rolls dipped in dough and fried, dipped in glaze and sprinkled with bacon bits. Unfortunately I ran into the girl scout cookies first and didn't have any room to try the cinnamon rolls (especially as my husband would not help me with the taste test).

Anyone else been to a fair this year?

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