Pie in the Sky Malt Sundae. Photo: Minnesota State Fair.
Summer is the season of fair foods. Anything deep-fried, on-a-stick, served in a paper boat, or wrapped in bacon is “fair” game. But fair foods have evolved beyond the humble corn dog, bucket of fries, and corn on the cob. Every year, it seems fair food vendors get more and more creative (or is it crazier and crazier?) with their edible creations. People flock to county and state fairs all across the country just to sample the greasy array of sweet and savory concoctions.
At the Minnesota State Fair alone, there are 31 new foods to try. Among them are the Bacon Fluffernutter (a grilled cinnamon bun sandwich with a bacon, peanut butter, and marshmallow cream filling), the Breakfast Buddy Bowl (a waffle bowl filled with hash browns, maple syrup, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, and bacon, then topped with a biscuit, country sausage gravy, and green onions), Cherry Bombs (red licorice dipped in batter, deep-fried, and dusted with powdered sugar), and the Pizzarito (a flour tortilla filled with pepperoni, Italian sausage, risotto, mozzarella and marinara, then coated with garlic butter, Parmesan and Italian spices before baking).
Outside of the Land of 10,000 Fair Foods (err…10,000 Lakes), there’s deep-fried watermelon at the California State Fair, deep-fried pudding bites at the Wisconsin State Fair, deep-fried peanut butter meatballs at the San Diego County Fair, and deep-fried Jell-o at the Texas State Fair. (All variations on the medical term “the best stomach aches you ever ate.”)
What constitutes “good” fair food and “bad” fair food is less a matter of taste and more a matter of shock factor…and whether or not you can keep it down post-consumption. Whet your appetite here with these 16 freaky fair foods, then plan your itinerary for a nationwide state fair food tour!