Marcela and I really dig it when the fair comes to town. We enjoy the various side shows, clown acts, animal exhibits, rides, and educational exhibits. But one of the highlights of attending the fair is the food! There are vendors everywhere selling some of the tastiest creations. Many of the items are hard to be found anywhere else, such as fried oreos and fried twinkies (I still have not tried either of these), dippin dots, lemon ice, fire roasted corn, mini donuts, and boiled peanuts. This is the list of the most tasty and sought after foods found at carnivals. I left off pizza, hamburgers, fries, nachos, and polish sausage because you can find them almost anywhere.
Worthy of Mention, but not quite top 5:
Candied Apples – I would include the caramel dipped apple in this group as well. These are uniquely designed for the fair, and it seems you usually find them at the fall festivals.
Arepa de Choclo – Those of you outside the influence of hispanic culture may have no clue what these are so let me explain. It’s a sweet fried corn pone with melty white cheese almost like mozzarella in the middle. Down here you find them at ball games and sold by vendors on the street. It’s definitely a treat which I believe a southerner would immediately fall for.
Shish Kabob – No description is needed here. They come in beef, pork, chicken, shrimp or veggies. Some of them have onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, and tomatoes mixed with the meat. All of them are delicious!
#5 Gyros – Chopped and pressed lamb rotisseried, sliced, combined with onion, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, and yogurt served on a pita. This is a must-get Greek item that Marcela and I share every time we go to the fair.
#4 Cotton Candy – Would any fair be a fair without cotton candy? It’s not my favorite food but I had to include it in the top 5 because of the tradition. I prefer it when it’s warm.
#3 The Corn Dog – Fresh out of the deep friar, the corn dog is a food following the great American tradition of combining two cultures into one. The Germans gave us frankfurters and the French gave us French frying. When you put them together, you can dip the resulting creation in ketchup and mustard.
#2 Smoked Turkey Leg – Eating one of these really takes me back to my barbarian days. I feel like such a strong man when I ripping a hunk of smoked animal meat right off the bone with my bare hands and teeth! Utensils? Who needs them?
#1 Elephant Ears/Funnel Cake – The ultimate carnival food. You cannot go to a carnival without getting one of these. They are crispy, warm, sweet, and oh so bad for you! Do you want yours with powdered sugar, cinnamon, chocolate syrup, or fruit topping? I like mine any way I can get them!
Everyone has their favorite foods to taste at the fair, but my list is a balanced approach. Did I leave any of your favorites out? If so, let me know so I can try it out next time I head out to the fair!