A few days ago, we made our annual family trip to the North Carolina State Fair. We go to see the animals, make sure Sarah rides the swings, watch the fireworks, check out the enormous gourds and pumpkins, and, most of all, to try the weird food.
For some years, I would order a few of the weirder things, eat them, feel too full from overeating, and have to quit. This plan had two flaws: feeling too full, and not getting to taste enough of the Fair's offerings.
Last year, I devised a new plan: I'd eat one or two bites of each item, persuade others to try it, and thus get to try many more different foods. It worked well, so I repeated it this year.
My first taste was one bit of Sarah's delicious pretzel.
As you can see, Sarah had enjoyed her first bite. It was indeed quite tasty, somehow the best pretzel bite of each year.
Next up was the fried mac and cheese.
These little rascals are flat out yummy. They should be available at all times to people feeling sad.
The fried pickle slices, on the other hand, seem to be a "you like it or you don't" sort of concoction.
I am, as you might guess, in the group that likes them.
Our first member of the food-on-a-stick family, an important dietary group, was the fried Hostess cupcake.
I have to be honest: it was hard to persuade people to try this one. With the resurgence of the cupcake as a foodie item, the thought of a Hostess was not enticing. One bite, though, was enough to change my mind. Yes, by deep frying a Hostess cupcake and smothering it in sugar, you definitely improve it.
Oreos, on the other hand, are a cookie that almost everyone likes. Time by progress, but the Oreo stands as an enduring treat. Deep-fry it, and, well...
it turns only more delicious! These little guys went fast.
Some controversy surrounded our next offering, the deep-fried pizza.
Basically, it was just pizza sauce and cheese on a funnel cake. I thought it was tasty, as did Sarah, but some felt it had not earned the name "pizza." I must disagree with them.
One of Scott's Fair traditions is to get the always yummy turkey leg.
He was kind enough to give me a bite of it, so it earned its spot in this list--and it was very tasty indeed.
Several of us shared a quarter-pound hot dog with cheese from the best local hot dog maker, whose name I have sadly forgotten, but I forgot to take a picture of it. So, as we walked back by the stand after seeing the chickens, I snapped this photo of some freshly grilled dogs.
Damn if that hot dog wasn't great!
Did I mention giant pumpkins?
Lest you think we ate every deep-fried item on sale at the Fair, check out just this one sign. We simply ran out of steam.
Before we did, though, we ate this ultimate bit of Fair badness, a heart attack on a stick.
Yes, that thing is a cinnamon sticky bun, deep-fried, coated with a maple-sugar second glaze, and then rolled in bacon bits.
Talk about your Louis CK glaze of shame! The coating that inevitably glistened from your chin after a bite of this amazing creation was a small price to pay for getting to taste something so yummy--and so amazingly bad for you.
Next up was a wait in line for the N.C. State ice cream. As always, I went with the cherry vanilla; for no particular reason, I have real weakness for cherries.
It was delicious, as always.
Readers gripe at me regularly about not putting up pictures of myself. I avoid those photos because I am a homely, fat, old guy. Still, to avoid the gripes, here's a portrait of the author as a Fair-goer.
You thought I was done eating. Oh, no! On the way out, I stopped for the final treat: the always wonderful pretzel dog!
It was indeed great!
Did I mention fireworks?
I do love me some fireworks, and this year's show was the best in recent years.
That's a wrap, folks.