If you’ve never been to your local state fair, then you need to add the experience to your bucket list. Where else can you check out prizewinning pumpkins and shoot a water gun at a clown to win a giant teddy bear?
In between rides and exhibits, you’ll need to refuel with some tasty treats. And here’s where the real fun begins! State fairs are notorious for deep-frying anything and everything. Here are just a few samples from around the country.
At the Massachusetts State Fair, someone came up with the idea of adding a handful of jellybeans to funnel-cake batter and tossing it into the deep fryer. What emerged is something like a cross between a hush puppy and a jelly-filled donut. The jellybeans melt, kind of like chocolate chips in a delicious cookie.
Head down to the North Carolina State Fair, where you’ll discover a bizarre bright-red delicacy. Kool-Aid Pickles (or Koolickles) are marinated in a vat of tropical punch Kool-Aid. The pickles turn red and absorb a unique sweet and sour flavor.
Hot Beef Sundae
To be honest, just typing the words “hot beef sundae” made me feel a little queasy. But folks at the Indiana State Fair can’t get enough of the savory treat. It consists of mashed potato “ice cream” topped with gravy, marinated beef, and cheese. Oh, and a cherry tomato on top!
Cookie Dough Spaghetti
To keep your taste buds as confused as possible, head over to the Iowa State Fair for a plate of cookie dough spaghetti. The noodles are actually cookie dough, and the red sauce is strawberry-flavored. The dessert comes with a chocolate hazelnut truffle that looks just like a meatball.
If you’re looking for a refreshing beverage, keep moving. Fried Pepsi–which you can get at the South Carolina State Fair–starts with balls of fried dough that are then injected with Pepsi syrup. They’re usually serves drizzled with more syrup and dusted with powdered sugar.
Deep-Fried Bacon-Topped Cinnamon Roll
Take an ordinary cinnamon roll and deep fry it. Then top it with a sugary glaze and a handful of bacon bits. That’s how they do it at the Texas State Fair. It’s not exactly a breakfast of champions, but it sounds pretty tasty!