Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fair Weather Foodie

The weather played autumn for a couple of days here recently, and although the temperature is now back up to a healthy late-summer 70-or-so, the chilly weekend reminded me of how much I love fall.  And here, one of the best things about it  is the State Fair.  The many attractions at this annual event include a plethora of livestock in varying degrees of cuteness (e.g. baby goats = 10, cows = 1), several species of unnaturally large vegetables, ferris wheels, carnival games, mythological creatures (snake woman, etc.), and a whole slew of pick-you-up-and-spin-you-until-you-lose-your-turkey-leg rides.

But the best part is the food.
Every year, I must gain at least ten pounds from all the marathon eating I do while the fair is in town.  One of the reasons I went five times last year was because you cannot physically cram all of the necessary delicacies into your body in one night.  It isn't possible. Trust me.

Here I've compiled a list of all the foods I have to eat in order to call my State Fair experience complete, aforementioned rides, livestock, and mythological creatures notwithstanding.

The Krispy Kreme Donut Burger
Weighing it at an incredible 1500 calories, this glazed-and-greasy monstrosity is not for the faint of heart, although it will probably give you heart trouble.

Turkey Leg
These are impossible to miss, perhaps because a thick cloud of smoke surrounds every stand that sells them.  Or maybe it's the miles of people lined up waiting for a chance to bury their faces in poultry.  Either way, you can smell them from anywhere.  Just follow your nose!

Pig Lickers
Chocolate covered bacon.  'Nuff said.

Deep-Fried _______
Insert sugary goodness here.  It doesn't matter what it is.  From Twinkies to Snickers to Coca-Cola, find whatever they've figured out how to batter and fry this year and try it.  I avoid the deep-fried butter, though.  That crosses a line.

Strawberry Shortcake
Iconic not for the way it tastes, but for the giant inflatable strawberry crowning the stand.  You can also buy pig lickers here.  Don't ask.

Ribeye Steak Sandwich
This is usually the first thing my family eats, due to its convenient location near the entrance.  Best enjoyed with Texas Pete hot sauce.

Ice Cream
From the local university.  They milk the cows themselves, but the ice cream is made in a lab.  Still, by the time you've waited in line for the stuff, the flavors you have to pick from are "What aren't you out of?"  Mmmm, my favorite.

Corn on the Cob
The idea with this one is to cover it with so much unidentified seasoning that the food itself becomes unrecognizable as a vegetable.  If watching them pull it out of the boiling vat of butter didn't do that already.

Polish and/or Italian Sausage
If you know what the difference is, congratulations! No one cares.  They're both good, but you have to eat them before sausage juice dissolves the bun.  One way to find these stands is to follow the trail of dropped onions and peppers that slide off the thing no matter how hard you try to hold onto them.

Frozen Cheesecake
It's literally a brick of cheesecake on a stick.  Preferably covered in chocolate.  How can you say 'no' to that?

Cotton Candy
The way we do it, this one must be purchased on the last day, and enjoyed while watching the fireworks.  So you can walk around all week and stare at the many varieties of pink and blue (and sometimes yellow) clouds of sugar, but I learned at a young age that it simply wasn't going to happen until the end of the fair.

Al's French Fries
Similar to the corn on the cob, the object here is to bury the actual fries underneath several geological layers of ketchup and vinegar.  Then play, Try to Find a Way to Grab a Fry Without Getting Ketchup or Vinegar on Your Fingers.  That's a long title; I'll work on it.

If at the end of the week your arteries are the size of Polish (Italian?) sausages and your heart is begging for mercy, you've done it correctly.  Huzzah! Or as we like to say, 'Gitterdone!'


  1. oh, i'm ALL about the turkey leg. there's no way to remain moderately attractive while eating a turkey leg, which is why i love watching people eating turkey legs almost as much as i love eating them. especially people that are all dressed up at renaissance fairs!

  2. WOW I love this post. All that food!!! My imagination is going crazy. Your state fair sounds like a lot of fun. I've never gone to a state fair since we moved to this new place. Oh how I miss the carnival and all the things!

    My university fair is fun though. There's also something like a carnival kinda thing and an all-night concert, which is great. There's just not a lot of amazing fancy food like the ones you listed here. Speaking of all those food, I think my favorites are the turkey leg and the frozen cheesecake. I love cheesecake! And ice cream too! And cotton candy! And corn on the cob! Lol. Corn is an awesome vegetable. =]

  3. @Lucy - that might be the best thing about turkey legs. All pretense of decorum is immediately shed as soon as it is handed to you.

    @Oliver - that sounds like fun! You have a lot of favorites haha :)

  4. Reading this was much more fun than going to the fair... but then I'm old and worried about my arteries!!

  5. oh my gosh. I can't even imagine a Krispy Kreme Donut Burger.

  6. I think if you were to eat even half of these things in one sitting you would lapse into coma. But I'm definitely down with the turkey leg. There's no easier way to feel like Captain Caveman.

  7. @Tom - I don't know... the fair is pretty great, probably a lot greater than this post. Glad you enjoyed it, though!

    @Linda - It's amazing.

    @Elliot - I think you're right! And thanks for following! :D

  8. Pig lickers?? Are you....Canadian?


  9. Haha no I'm not Canadian. I'm American :D Do they say "gitterdone" in Canada, too? Thanks for following!

  10. jackson said he was going to kidnap me and make me go with him this year, i hope i cannn

  11. I live in Wisconsin and we have the State Fair with the wile food too. The Krispie Kreme Cheese burger was horrible. The chocolate covered bacon was horrible. I don't understand why people like it. I was a total sheep thus the reason I tried it but it was h.o.r.r.i.b.l.e. - The (I want to say it was) deep fried cookie dough was delicious though - but then again all things cookie dough tend to be impossible to resist.