The Craziest State Fair Foods: 13 Intense Treats You Need To Sample This Summer
There’s really nothing more American than stuffing your face with something fried, smothered in chocolate sauce, and wrapped in bacon. Every year, when I visit my state fair, I make sure to at least eat one (if not two or three) treats in honor of America, a country that knows no bounds! Because here in the land of the free and the home of the brave we don’t just eat Twinkies, we eat fried Twinkies.
Soda on its own is uninspired, so let’s fry that, too. Chicken is SO five years ago, so let's grill up some alligator or kangaroo! And let’s not forget turkey legs wrapped in bacon, the bird meat of a true American.
The state fair, above all, is a time for us to leave our worries at home and pretend we’re kids again. Kids able to gobble down thousands of calories only to burn them through the sheer panic and adrenaline that comes from riding a roller coaster throwing us upside-down. Even though state fair food is probably the absolute worst for our bodies (I don’t even want to think about what that chocolate bacon sundae is doing to my arteries), there’s nothing super wrong with indulging once a year, right? Here are 13 of the craziest fair foods you need to experience. (Alka-Seltzer not included.)
Cheeseburger with fried ice cream
It’s like ordering a cheeseburger and milkshake without needing to make a separate order! Genius, really. This beauty can be found at the Florida state fair.
Hot beef sundae
To beef things up, Indiana’s Beef Cattle Association created the Hot Beef Sundae, which includes mashed potatoes, marinated beef, gravy, cheese, corn “sprinkles,” and a cherry tomato on top. Visit the Indiana state fair for this wholesome treat.
Why drink lukewarm beer at the fair when you can eat it piping hot? This Texas state fair specialty is served in the form of a fried pretzel dough pocket. It even won the 2010 Big Tex Choice Awards.
Grilled python kebabs
The wild, wild West is known for its dangerous snakes. So, why not fry ‘em? At the Sacramento fair, vendor George Sandefur decided to switch it up, and instead of serving chicken kebaba, he now uses python meat. Yum?
Fried Jelly Beans
Jelly beans aren’t just for Easter. The Big E in Massachusetts dips jelly beans in batter and fries them. Because, really, why not?
Elvis on a Stick
Once, I ordered an Elvis burger (which was basically a normal burger but with peanut butter instead of ketchup), but this takes the glorious Elvis combo to a whole new level. In Wisconsin, the state fair honors Elvis Presley by serving a deep fried, banana-battered peanut butter cup encrusted in bacon.
In Raleigh, NC, “Koolickles” are all the rage at the state fair. The pickles are marinated in Kool-Aid to provide a Sour Punch Kid-meets-vinegar flavor. Eat em up at the North Carolina state fair.
Alligator on a stick
Have you ever tried alligator? Me neither. I imagine if you live near a swamp, it ain’t no thang, but to me, this meat is very exotic. At the Illinois state fair, you can order some fried alligator on a stick if you watch the Swampmaster Alligator Show.
At the New York state fair, you can order a spiedie, which is a marinated cube of grilled meat on a roll. Usually it’s made from chicken, lamb, or beef meat, bust this vendor decided to try kangaroo loin. Always keeping us on our toes, right?
Yup. You can fry liquids, even though it seems illogical. But you know what’s so great about state fairs? They take “illogical” and find a way to fry it! In order to make fried Pepsi, the South Carolina fair vendors fill some dough with Pepsi, and throw it in the fyrer. Topped with sugar and syrup, this ball of soda mostly tastes like caramel.
Chicken fried bacon
You’ve heard of chicken fried steak, but have you heard of chicken fried bacon? Meet Hawaii’s crunchy state fair treat; it’s delicious and incredibly greasy.
Beer can enhance most things: Cake, steak, a really bad date ... I mean, the possibilities are endless. So why not stick beer in ice-cream? You can find this creation at the Minnesota state fair.
Bacon-wrapped turkey leg
Also at the Minnesota state fair (and practically everywhere else) is the infamous turkey leg ... only dressed in bacon! All kinds of win here.
Images: 2Backpackers/cmdstore/The Life of Rachel/Grub Grade/The Sacramento Bee/Travel + Leisure/The Graphic Foodie/HGTV Gardens/Travel + Leisure/Tastebook/Whbqt/Trippy Food/The Des Moines Register/Daily Pilot