If there is one place in America that glorifies food that should not be eaten (and there are many), it’s at a state fair. Venders will batter and fry just about anything they can get their hands on. Under their magic spells, an already unhealthy snack will be transformed into some kind of devilish, artery-clogging testimonial to all that is… well, I don’t know to what, but it’s somehow tasty. These people are not kidding around. They have become so skilled making food unhealthy that frying everything is no longer even a necessity step. For example, what once was a mere 200-calorie doughnut will be transformed into a 1000-calorie cheeseburger. To be fair, Paula Deen does have a similar burger–modestly called “The Lady’s Brunch Burger”. Not that anything that Paula Deen does is an excuse for anyone’s actions, but she’s strangely kind of endearing.
My food aspirations at the NC State Fair were a bit lower than that. I had to work my way up to the atrociously unhealthy foods. (“Foods” is a term that was liberally used at many stalls at the fair.)
I started with the NC State University’s Food Science College’s Howling Cow Ice Cream. The demand is such that the lines at this stand form even before it opens. Fortunately, the pace is brisk and the servings are generous. We picked up three flavors, Chocolate Mint Chip, Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl, and Cookies & Cream. These kids beat most other creameries by a long shot. Best $4 spent at the fair. (The worst was on the damn game where you have to try to lift a soda bottle using a ring tied to the end of a strong.) I heartily recommend it. I’m pretty jealous of those students able to get it at the dining hall year-round.
After much wandering and losing money at the games on the fairgrounds, we decide to find the most outrageous fried food item we could. Apparently, the new popular thing this year has been the “Texas Fried Frito Pie”. This snack is apparently so awesome that its website looks like something made in 1998 on geocities. It’s like someone scooped chili into each little frito, then breaded the whole thing and dropped it into a deep fryer. If you aren’t sold on it already I’m afraid there is nothing I can do. It’s a great novelty food item, but I’m not even sure I can make it sound more appetizing than simply describing it. I’ll admit to eating it, and even to enjoying it. But I’ll also say this, three people split one serving of this and had enough to eat. (That ice cream was surprisingly filling though.) I still haven’t had deep fried cookie dough. I’m generally a fan of cookie dough anything, so I’ll have to try that next time.
You win again, state fair. I’m going go eat some carrots and hummus now.