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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P is for Pig Poppers

Earlier this fall, we told you about the newest deep-fried wonders at this year’s state fairs.

Now that the fried-iest of fried food festivals is well under way, Kat Robinson at Tie Dye Travels has put together a pretty amazing Guide to Texas State Fair Food, from A-Z.

D is for Deep Fried Biscuits and Gravy, S is for Sweet Jalapeno Shrimp Corn Dogs, etc…Basically, this one’s a can’t-miss for proud American eaters.

Check it out in all its glory: Guide to the Texas State Fair Food, from A-Z

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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:

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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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

State Fair Fried Hard Boiled Egg

– Writer and state fair expert Kat Robinson emailed us to take issue with our top 10 state fair foods, noting that we neglected the Arkansas State Fair, which runs through October 17.

While shorter than some of the other fairs in our nation, many original ideas do come out of here.  For instance, this year’s preview has shown that we have two items — Deep Fried Battered Hard Boiled Eggs and Chocolate Smooches (deep fried Hershey’s Kisses) that haven’t appeared elsewhere.

Well color us corrected! And hungry for a deep fried battered hard boiled egg. Thanks for the photo, Kat. Don’t miss her full food report on the Arkansas State Fair here. Seriously check it out — barbecued rabbit sandwiches and gator on a stick — heck yeah!

– Speaking of rabbit sandwiches, everybunny loves brit’s report on butchering a whole rabbit carcass. Erica:

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week


– Time to crowdsource your knowledge, ESers. Janice has a question about state fair foods:

I know this may sound crazy but I have a diabetic student who is going to the State Fair of Texas next week. I want to provide her with a carb count of State Fair food so she can enjoy some unusual tastes. Does anyone know where I can get a list of the food served there with carb counts? Thanks

Any ideas? Aside from, you know, not taking a diabetic person within 10,000 feet of a state fair.

– If you missed the comments on changing food for American tastes, be sure to check out Borracho‘s link.

Do not overlook some of our great culinary adaptation in other countries:

Amazing! I think I might need to go on assignment and try all of these.

– And if you haven’t started following ES on twitter yet, get in the game — we’ve just handed out our first round of groupon winners — more to come!

(Photo: Food Network Humor)

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Top 10 New Foods at the 2010 State Fairs

With all due respect to George Washington Carver, America’s greatest food inventions have all originated in one place — the state fair. From cotton candy to corn dogs to deep-fried Coke, the enterprising folks at America’s state and county fairs top themselves year after year. Some observers thought state fair cooks had hit their peak last year, when the Texas State Fair debuted Deep Fried Butter. But in 2010, they outdid themselves once again, proving that if it’s edible, it’s even better battered and fried. From coast to coast (but mostly in the middle) here are our top ten favorite finds:

10. Hash Brown Hot Dog  – San Diego County Fair

hash brown dog

Hot dogs with french fries is a pretty fantastic lunch, but boy it takes a lot of effort to transport all those individual fries from the plate to your mouth. If only we could get the hot dog and the potato to be one cohesive unit, preferably arranged on a stick. Thank you, San Diego. Thank you. (Photo: It’s Holly)

9. Deep-Fried Cheddar-Bacon Mashed Potatoes…On a Stick  – Minnesota State Fair


Sorry, San Diego — did you really think you could best the Midwest at spuds-on-a-stick? Here, Minnesota achieves the state fair trifecta — potatoes, pork and cheese — all deep fried, all on a stick. For more of Minnesota’s many, many state fair foods, check out Baking Junkie’s heart-stopping food crawl through the MN State Fair. (Photo: Baking Junkie)

8. Garbage Burger – Indiana State Fair

garbage burger

It’s the great state fair dilemma. Should pork be the basis of your dish — or a topping? In Indiana, this is not a problem. Behold the garbage burger — a deep-fried pork patty topped with a healthy serving of pulled pork. Why settle for one pig when you can have two? See more at The Hot Cookie. (Photo: Sarah Richcreek)

7.  Deep-Fried Frito Pie – Texas State Fair

frito pie

No other state takes this season as seriously as Texas, the good people who started the deep-fried everything movement with their corn dog in 1942 and haven’t looked back since. Earlier this week, ES told you about frito pies — those delicious piles of chili-topped corn chips. One guess what Texas has gone and done to ’em. (Photo: Texas Fried Frito Pie)

6. Deep Fried Klondike Bar – San Diego State Fair

deep fried klondike bar

California continues its surprisingly strong showing by having the cojones to throw a chocolate-covered ice cream bar in the deep fryer. This one’s more concept than execution, because not so surprisingly, it’s a total disaster to eat. My Burning Kitchen has more. (Photo: My Burning Kitchen)

Next: Top 5 New Foods at the 2010 State Fairs

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Every Year, America Digs a Little Deeper


September is National Deep Fry Everything Month here in the US, better known as state fair season. ML’s batter fried waddle through the Iowa State Fair got my heart racing, and got my stomach remembering the above photo, taken on my travels this summer in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The mystery DFF in question is deep fried pickles, and in true Midwest style, they were light on the pickles, heavy on the fried. Delish.

So as summer state fair season comes to an end, just thought I’d ask — any other ESers make it to the state fair circuit this year? If so, what’s the craziest thing you saw battered and fried? Extra points, of course, if it got placed on a stick.

Update: top 10 new state fair foods of 2010

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