Top 10 New Foods at the 2011 State Fairs

It’s America’s favorite meal — the state fair! Every year, the fairs across this great land compete with each other to invent bigger, badder, greasier fair food. But after Texas stepped up its game last year with deep fried beer, this thing hit a whole ‘nother level. The 2011 state and country fair foods have been more insane — and more amazing — than ever. Here are our top 10 favorite finds.

10. Chocolate Covered Corn Dog – Orange County Fair

Could there be anything more American than dipping a hot dog in batter, deep frying it and eating it off a stick? Why yes, there could be. You could cover it in chocolate and put sprinkles on top, a treat that was found at both the OC Fair and neighboring San Diego County Fair. My Burning Kitchen has more on food at the San Diego fair. (Photo: www.myburningkitchen.com)

9. Deep Fried Kool-Aid – San Diego County Fair

In another strong showing for California’s other great fair — and originator of last year’s hash brown covered hot dog, San Diego debuts what is surely the trashiest food ever conceptualized. It’s just unclear why they didn’t wrap it in bacon. (Photo: Cuttlefish)

8. Deep Fried Butter on a Stick – Iowa State Fair

Texas may have invented deep fried butter at their own fair a few years back, but Iowa thought to put it on a stick. See, America, we can do great things when we work together. Yes, this involves frying an entire stick of butter, and yes, you simply have to watch the video for full effect.

7. Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack – Texas State Fair

The first of several entries from the Lone Star state, this monstrosity is a chicken strip, coated in pancake batter and jalapeño bread crumbs, then deep fried and…you guessed it — eaten on a stick. (Photo: State Fair of Texas)

6. Red Velvet Funnel Cake – Florida State Fair

Funnel cake has fallen behind on the list of outrageous fair foods recently. After fried beer and fried Coke, plain old fried dough starts to look pale by comparison. But this year we saw funnel cake get a new southern fried twist that injects some new life into it…and probably injects all kinds of chemicals too. Why eat fried dough when you can eat red fried dough? (Photo: Bob B. Brown)

 Next: The Top 5 state fair foods

 

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Top 10 Jersey Shore Foods

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Like it or not, MTV’s new reality train wreck Jersey Shore has vaulted that curious species, the self-identified “Guido” into the public consciousness, much to the dismay of New Jerseyans, Italian-Americans and anyone with an IQ above 78. I know…you thought these Guidos and “Guidettes” were just another figment of the New Jersey imagination like the Jersey Devil and affordable real estate.  As much as I would like to pretend idiots like this don’t exist, I’m afraid that anyone who has spent significant time in the Garden State — including natives like gansie and myself —  has some across an example of the species, typically traveling in a pack. And now they are beamed right to your home by the magic of television. Consider it payback for the state providing you with a setting for the best show of the past ten years, The Sopranos.  Gotta pay the piper sooner or later.

This joyous television experience got us thinking, though:  Man does not live on soy protein, Axe Body Spray and Miller Lite alone.  The Jersey shore offers a cornucopia of wonderful, horrible and wonderfully-horrible food products that will hopefully all make cameos during the season.  Let this handy list of the Top 10 Jersey Shore Foods be your guide to understanding the culinary choices available to the cast.

10. Mack & Manco Pizza

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Pizza is a staple of Jersey boardwalk fare, and Ocean City’s Mack & Manco is the best on the promenade.  This is a decidedly NYC-style pie — the big floppy kind that you can fold in half and chow down on while you walk. Unlike the trash that drifts down to Jersey to participate on the show, this is one NYC import we can all enjoy.  (Photo: Infinite Jeff)

9. Dippin’ Dots

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The future of ice cream!  Or so they’ve been telling us for the past twenty five years.  At what point will the future actually get here so I can throw out my Ben & Jerry’s?  These ice-cold globules used to be a “special occasion” item that you would see for sale at the shore.  These days, I can buy them from a machine at the mall.  Kinda takes the charm out of it. (Photo: newwavegurly)

8. Salt Water Taffy

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All the nutritional value of a conversation with Mike “The Situation,” these chewy treats are the bane of brace-wearing children everywhere.  Each box always includes some bullshit story about how the taffy was invented when candy fell into seawater, but you’re mostly just interested in getting the good flavors and shafting your siblings with the banana and licorice. Corn syrup + artificial flavoring = awesome. (Photo: Live?Laugh?Love)

7. Boardwalk Fries

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These things are so good that they made a mediocre fast food franchise out of them!  The signs that say the fries are cooked in “100% peanut oil” were tantalizingly exotic to a third grader in the 1980s (yeah, my horizons have expanded since then), and the fact that they sliced the potatoes on premises made it even more fun.  The medium-cut sticks are great for the most part  — the fries that you get from the center of the potatoes are long and perfectly cooked — but the unfortunate slices that are nicked off the edges invariably lead to a pile of deep-fried potato skins in the bottom of your paper cup.  Bummer. (Photo: roboppy)

6. Binge Drinking

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Sure, it’s not technically a food item, but it does account for approximately 56% of the total calories consumed at the Jersey shore.  In fact, I think that national Beer Pong Championships are held in Wildwood Crest. (Photo: C o l i n)

Next: Top 5 Jersey Shore Foods

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