Ah, the State Fair, the lovely chance to search out foods you don’t normally see and probably shouldn’t eat. Fair food is also found at festivals, boardwalks, and other kinds of carnival or temporary gathering. While you’ll find the foods we now expect to find at a fair, e.g., corn dogs, fries, cotton candy, funnel cakes; vendors are always trying something new to attract customers. I first had teriyaki chicken kebabs at the state fair, deep fried pickles at the
Kelso Highland Games, bacon corn dog (bacon on a stick dipped in corn meal batter and deep fried) and deep fried 3 Mars bar at the Seaside “boardwalk” area. I found deep fried bacon at the state fair last year. I was sad to see that the same booth did not have it this year. This year’s fair food adventure didn’t involve “new” foods that I hadn’t heard of but rather a twist on an old favorite and a novelty food I hadn’t yet tried.
I find $4 for a corn dog ridiculous but when I saw the sweet garlic corn dog; this garlic lover had to give it a try. Mom, my food tasting partner this trip, and I agreed this was tasty. While the hot dog was fairly average the batter was great. The batter was a sweet corn batter, closer to corn cake than corn bread, with a gently garlic flavor. By gently, I mean that the batter had a definite garlic flavor but it was not overpowering. The corn flavor was also clean and crisp. The corn dog was slightly greasy, but I’m sure that had more to do with the difficulty of keeping the oil hot in the fair setting.
What actually brought me to the corn dog booth was another item, the deep fried Twinkie. I’ve been meaning to try this fried wonder for some time and I had decided that this would be the day! This treat is made by inserting a stick into a Twinkie, dipping it into what seemed to be funnel cake batter, and deep frying it. You can see in the photo that the cream filling completely liquefies, but what we found surprising was that the texture of the cake had changed. It had gone
from a sponge cake to a yellow cake texture. I think the liquefied cream and the heat from the fryer cooks the cake and changes the texture. We weren’t impressed. While a regular Twinkie has a delicate flavor, cooking it more loses that and you end up with a bland, if rich, cake. Now, if it had been a deep fried Ding Dong…well, now that’s an idea isn’t it!
While the State Fair is over this year, maybe this information will give you some ideas on your next fried food adventure. Happy eating!