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19 October 2008

Fair Food I was supposed to go to the state fair this afternoon, but I didn't. [More:]I hauled ass back from camping in the mountains, but when I went to meet my friends I just couldn't deal with more driving, expensive parking, and crowds. Not to mention I'd slept like crap (in the rain, even) and had more than a few strained muscles So I begged off.

I felt pretty deprived of fair food, though. Sigh.

So I just went to a local chain called Cook Out and got a "tray." In Cook Out parlance, that means an entree, two sides and a drink. The choice of sides kills me--fries, onion rings, hushpuppies, chicken nuggets, and corn dog are some of them. So yes, you can get a burger and a side of nuggets.

I ended up with a cheeseburger, onion rings, a corndog, and a chocolate peanut butter malt. All the goodness of fair food at 1/4 the price!

(And no crowds)
No funnel cake? It's not a complete fair meal without funnel cake.
posted by Wolfdog 19 October | 13:59
I used to make funnel cakes for a living. I've made hundreds of funnel cakes, ice cream cones, curly fries, corn dogs, and fresh-squeezed lemonade. You become intimate with the consistency of batter, the potential juiciness of a lemon...

I had a Dairy Queen Heath bar Blizzard last night. Today I had raw carrots, raw peanuts, and plain yogurt with sliced bananas, raspberries, and blueberries because I had Dairy Queen last night.
posted by LoriFLA 19 October | 14:03
I just looked up 'funnel cake' because somehow I had this idea that it was a caked which was baked in a funnel-shaped dish.

Instead I found this.

Holy fucking shit, people actually eat that stuff?

Having said that, I truly feel that I will have missed out on one of life's great experiences if I do not visit at least one State Fair in my lifetime and eat some of the food.
posted by essexjan 19 October | 15:35
It's deep fried dough, with sugar. Every culture in the world has that in some form or another. I'm not sure how this warrants a "holy fucking shit".
posted by Wolfdog 19 October | 15:41
I mean, really.
posted by Wolfdog 19 October | 15:44
It's not like we're talking about eating British sausages or something vile like that.
posted by Wolfdog 19 October | 15:47
I know, we have crappy food too and I am partial to the little mini donuts you see being made at markets but in that YT the funnel cake just looks so gross. And sort of crispy. I'm told, though, that it's like crack cocaine and once you've tried it you can't get enough of the stuff.
posted by essexjan 19 October | 15:54
It is indeed fabulous, the funnel cake, but it's way overpriced at fairs. I've made it at home for pennies, and it's way way better. You can control how done it is and how much grease you drain off. All hail the funnel cake!
posted by Stewriffic 19 October | 16:05
The only time i ever had funnel cake was when people made them for me when i was invited over for dinner. Oh, the novelty. i had no idea what they were either.
i think i might have had one at a fair but it was crappity and didn't compare.
posted by ethylene 19 October | 16:08
Yeah, we got nowhere near our fair share of fair food this year. We had one great fair, with a root beer float each and a couple of greasy burgers out of a trailer. And we had some awesome boardwalk eats. But I fell down on the job of going to fairs this year. So we may try to make up this fall with a little bit of fall-fest food - there's a farm nearby doing maple ice cream and cider donuts next week. That's also some seaonal goodness.
posted by Miko 19 October | 16:18
I don't think I've ever had funnel cake. I'm always a sucker for the more traditional fried dough booths, which remind me of the pizza fritte I ate growing up (especially when my uncles had a pizzeria and there was always dough to be used up).
posted by kellydamnit 19 October | 16:25
Funnel cake is good, but I always preferred the frybread. Usually it's done up with honey and powdered sugar, but it's also good with savory fillings. There's a great place in Phoenix dedicated to this stuff.
posted by mullacc 19 October | 16:32
mmm frybread. I haven't had any since I was married. My ex used to make it with big thick slices of fried ham to go with.
I never managed to get the hang of making it, mine always turned out tough as a shoe. The only place I know of where I can get it now is a little diner on the rez, maybe an hour from me.
posted by kellydamnit 19 October | 16:37
Frybread! I haven't had it since I was 14 or 15. I like it with taco fillings.
posted by muddgirl 19 October | 16:57
yes! Indian Taco! Man, now I have to go to the rez, I'll be thinking about that for weeks.
posted by kellydamnit 19 October | 17:04
the funnel cake just looks so gross

Oh, you can't judge by that video. It's fried dough and it's very tasty. If you smelled it you'd get on line.

Funnel cake is good, but having grown up in New Jersey going to firemen's fairs and Italisn festivals, I prefer my fried dough in zeppole form.
posted by Miko 19 October | 17:38
Other favorite fried dough goodness:

posted by Stewriffic 19 October | 18:47
We were at the local Scottish Highland Games yesterday, and they had a bunch of yummy-looking fried stuff. We ate lunch right before we went, though, so we didn't sample any of it.

≡ Click to see image ≡

I think calling krinkle-cut fries "chips" is cheating a bit, though.
posted by BoringPostcards 19 October | 18:52
I've eaten my share of fair food in my life and I have to say funnel cake is vile. You can feel your arteries harden as you eat it. I tend now to skip the fair food and enjoy a real restaurant in whatever burg the fair may be in. That way you really are adding to the local economy and most likely getting better food to boot. This of course isn't to say I won't get something like ice cream or limeade on a hot day at a fair, just not have a meal there.
posted by kodama 19 October | 23:02
It's not really supposed to be in the food category, and certainly not qualified as a meal, unless ketchup is a vegetable.
posted by ethylene 19 October | 23:30
BP, the meat pie shown is actually known as a scotch pie, and the hole in it is so you can pour the grease out of it and over your chips.

Top left in the picture is a scotch egg and chips. A scotch egg is a hard-boiled egg coated with sausage, dipped in beaten egg then rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried.

Nobody in Britain is surprised that Scotland has the highest rate of death by coronary heart failure in Europe.

And of course they're called 'chips'. You're in Blighty now, mate.
posted by essexjan 20 October | 11:22
SCIENCE! || I made this today and it was AMAZING.