The corndog was redolent of spices and lightly crusted with a delicate polenta batter….o.k., not really. It was a deep-fried dog on a stick, smeared with standard yellow mustard from a giant pump bottle that had been kissed by more than one house fly. In my mind’s eye I remember corndogs being freshly dipped in batter and then quickly fried to a crusty brown, and maybe there are booths at the fair that still make them that way. Not this one, where they pulled the pre-battered dog out of the fridge and plopped it into the oil. It was fine, as were the unctuous (read “greasy”) green tomatoes, but nothing to get excited about.
Later in the day, with my nephew Bryce and my father joining the party, we all sampled a couple more deep-fried treats, and I also had a lemon shake-up (not as good, or as lemony, as I remember–is anything as good as I remember?). One of the big new trends at the fair, based on the number of people walking around eating them, is spiral-sliced french fries topped with cheese-like substance, and spiral-sliced chips. We all shared a gianormous pile of fries and a funnel cake:
You might be wondering if I am writing this post from beyond the grave, but fear not–even four of us were not able to eat all of this fried stuff, and some of it was sacrificed to the trash bin right next to the “healthy fair” station. The funnel cake was sadly almost inedible and no one in our group was eager to keep eating it. The frying oil must have been too cool because the cake was absolutely dripping with grease. The fries, however, were not greasy and were quite tasty. You might also have noticed that all of the food consumed to date has been in shades of brown and tan. If this concerns you, you might have been one of the health-conscious people lined up for the deep fried green beans or deep fried pickles.
At this point we all felt a little ill and decided to check out the fresh vegetable exhibits in the Ag building, and as we strolled that way I took a little sign sampling for your viewing pleasure:
Annnnnd, the winner for grossest fair food-like substance goes to:
Yes, deep fried butter. I assume the recipe came from Paula Deen. Another food that was rumored to exist but was, Yeti-like, never actually spotted, was the Donut Burger. This was reported to be a beef patty sandwiched between two Krispy Kreme donuts, with optional toppings of cheese, fried egg, and/or bacon.
This sign was from the Department of Irony:
All in all we had a splendid day at the fair and it was wonderful to watch my nephew Ian’s marching band compete and place in the sweet sixteen (they were awesome, in my fully unbiased opinion). Deep fried stuff is not the best dietary addition on a daily basis, but at the fair it is a must. Avoid the bizarre stuff and stick with the classics, and the next day try my post-fair tonic:
1 fresh lime
16 ounces tonic water
sprig of mint
Juice the lime and stir into the tonic. Eat the Tums, drink the tonic, and chew the mint. Nap extensively. Avoid contact with other humans for at least twelve hours.
I leave you with pictures of the pig races, because it seems appropriate to this post:
Back soon with some non-fried recipes and some CSA foods!
Thanks for reading,