August is state fair time and while we might care who has the best lamb, and we might want to hit the free concert, we will definitely buy fair food — an outrageous culinary category unto itself.
And it’s really not always on a stick and not always fried.
Case in point, Florida’s Strawberry Lemonade Sweetcake Sundae. This yummy dessert features a biscuit-like cake fried like a doughnut and coated with cinnamon sugar. Over that goes a coating of lemon buttercream, strawberry slices and whipped cream. Find it at DeAnna’s Food at the Florida State Fair, which is actually in February, because it can be.
Buckeye seeds are good eating for squirrels, but poisonous to humans. Idea: We should make something edible that looks like them. Ohio, the buckeye state, has a tradition of doing just that, covering a ball of peanut butter with chocolate. But we are talking state fairs here. So Bulk Candy Store batters and deep fries, then sprinkles them with powdered sugar. And they no longer look like a buckeye nut, but people are crazy for them.
One of the many choices that does come on a stick: The Tennessee deep-fried goo goo cluster. A legend since its invention in 1912, the Goo Goo is made of roasted peanuts, nougat and caramel bathed in chocolate. Get them deep-fried and on a stick at Strickland’s Funnel Cakes.
In Montana, the famous Viking is a deep fried meatball on a stick. It combines pork, egg, oatmeal, onions and Scandinavian spices, all on a stick. It has authentic roots, since it is properly made at the Sons of Norway booth.
At the Delaware State Fair, it’s scrapple sandwiches that draw the crowd. Scrapple is a meatloaf invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch, featuring pork, cornmeal, flour, pepper and sage. Served on white bread, we can forgive it for not being deep fried.