Top 10 New Foods at the 2012 State Fairs

Well, in regards to ridiculous overloads of novelty foods, it’s all downhill from here—state fair season is over for the year. We’ll have to wait for months before a stream of deep-fried, chocolate-covered, bacon-wrapped indulgences can once again make their appearance in our diets. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the most shocking new creations that made their debut onto the state fair food scene in 2012. Steel your arteries…

10. BIG Beef Rib – California State Fair

You’d think that a normal beef rib would contain enough animal flesh, but you would be wrong, and the California State Fair is here to prove it. They’ve jammed a giant 24-oz. steak ONTO a 17-inch beef rib bone. Why?! Because they can. (Photo:

9. Deep Fried Cotton Candy – Texas State Fair

We saw deep fried Kool-Aid and deep fried salsa at last year’s state fairs, so we should have known that cotton candy couldn’t be that far off. Pretty crazy, because it seems like the spun sugar would melt in the deep fryer. Life is full of mysteries. Not enough sweets for you? Don’t worry, this treat is served by a frozen yogurt purveyor, so feel free to use these giant balls of fried sugar as a topping on your froyo. (Photo: Cassie’s Frozen Yogurt)

8. Outlaw Stacker – Eastern Idaho State Fair

We all know that french fries are a great base for all kinds of toppings, and the Eastern Idaho State Fair really took that idea and ran with it. The Outlaw Stacker is a huge pile of fries smothered in gravy, bacon, and a fried egg. The name rings true—health and nutrition are truly outlawed in this dish. And we’re okay with that. (Photo: Eastern Idaho State Fair)

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Endless Ice Cream: A Soft Serve Elvis Would Love

The good news is you don’t need an ice cream maker. The other good news is this is a four-ingredient recipe. More good news: it’s fast, easy and super tasty. Well, it’s all good news! Get to making this dreamy dessert now.

You remember how I told you to preserve your browning bananas in the freezer? Well, it’s time to pull them out and put them to good use. Don’t have frozen bananas? It’s okay, just chop up some bananas and throw them in the freezer for a couple of hours. The rest is easy. Add a little cream. Toss in an Elvis-approved duo of flavors: chocolate and peanut butter (purists and Elvis enthusiasts can add a tablespoon of honey and some chopped crispy bacon). You’ll be gorging yourself in no time.

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Soft Serve

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A Breakfast Revelation: BananaCado

Jambo, America. As some of you know, I have spent the past six weeks avoiding winter in Tanzania, East Africa. I haven’t blogged much, because I have to say that the food here is, for the most part, not crazy enough to write home about (no bacon-donut-fried-chicken sandwiches in Africa for some reason). However, this continent does have something that America most certainly does not: the very best fruit salesmen in the world.

You never have to look far to find a streetside stand selling avocados, mangoes, papayas, and all kinds of other tropical fruit. But the best part is that the fruit salesmen will always help you pick out the most ideal piece of fruit, depending on when you want to eat it. On my first avocado buying mission the day that I got here, I used my extremely limited Swahili (OK fine, I used mostly sign language), to tell the salesman that I wanted three avocados. He promptly picked out three avocados for me and, using sign language and Swahinglish, handed them to me in order of ripeness, instructing me that “this one is today, this one tomorrow, this one the day after tomorrow.” How great is that! The same thing happened when I returned to buy two mangoes — I was given one perfectly ripe one, and one almost perfectly ripe one. Can this happen in every supermarket in the world, please?

Anyway, this is all meant to lead up to a story about the craziest, most amazing (but really kind of simple) sandwich that I’ve eaten in Africa. On a trek through the beautiful, remote Usambara mountains, our guide introduced us to a surprising breakfast: one half of an avocado, plus one half of a banana, with a hefty helping of salt, rolled up in a chapati (Indian-style bread). I never thought to mix banana and avo before, but it’s really an ingenious combo–two rich, hearty fruits that play surprisingly well together, for a sweet, salty and savory sandwich. Paired with a slice of mango, I’d say it’s damn near a perfect breakfast.

Not sure whether or not it would be better with bacon.

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Time for a Mudslide…on a Stick

Fall is almost here and with that we are letting up on the fruit in the Poptails-a bit. But what we are not letting up on is the booze.

Get your mixing hands ready for this mudslide with a twist. We went and added a banana in the mix. The sweetness of the banana neutralizes any tang the vanilla yogurt body may have, and adds a bit of creaminess to the mixture. While we were at it, we also threw in some grated chocolate for added flavor and texture.

There you have it, enjoy your Endless Simmer twist-up of the traditional mudslide, in a Poptail.

Mudslide Poptail

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Emoticon Your Food Life

Ever since my mom bought me acrylic paints for my birthday, I’ve been feeling extra creative. I now paint birthday—or any other occasion—cards for my friends and family. With a few of my neighbors, we’ve decided to start making bracelets, tapping our talents and supplies: using Liza’s fabric, Alice’s sewing machine and my paints.

I love how art takes me away from the computer screen. But as I spend a so much time on this darn laptop, I’ve tried to find ways to make my typing life just a little bit more pretty.

A few weeks ago I shared a few food-themed email templates. And today, I will share my new food and drink related gmail finds: crazy little emoticons!

So I know this is nerdy or dorky or very 1992. But you know what. It’s August. Who really wants to be in front of a computer? Might as well make it a fun, food-filled time.

Plus, there is a self-peeling banana!


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