The 2010 Ohio State Fair is in full swing. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make the Fair this year. That means I’ll miss the pungent smells and interesting sights at the animal barns, the fervent pitches of the mop and cleaning solution salesmen at the “As Seen On TV” pavilion, and the dust, tattoos, and piercings that are the hallmarks of the Midway. Fortunately, all of those attractions, and many others at the Fair, are timeless. If I can’t check them out this year, I’ll be able to do it next year, and I probably won’t miss much of anything.
There is one area, however, where the Fair evolves rapidly and missing a year can be crucial. I’m speaking, of course, about Fair food. When we first started going to the Fair, you looked for corn dogs, a slice of pizza, a wedge of pie, caramel apples, cotton candy, and salt water taffy. Over the years, elephant ears, funnel cakes, and the proudly advertised yet plainly described “fried dough” were introduced to great popular acclaim. Then came developments like the Hot Roast Beef Sundae, the 84-ounce “Lemon Shake-Up,” which consists of ice, a lemon, and a cup or so of sugar, and other monuments to healthy eating.
This year’s Fair website has a helpful “food finder” so that every visitor to the Fair can immediately make a beeline for their favorite Fair food. Check out some of what I am missing this year: Deep fried garlic mashed potatoes and bacon cheddar mashed potatoes on a stick with seasoned sour cream dipping sauce! Chocolate covered bacon! Fried dill pickles! French fries with ranch dressing and crumbled bacon topping! Deep fried Oreos! Deep fried cookie dough, fried cheesecake, deep fried Cap’n Crunch, and deep fried s’mores! (And the last options are all available from the same concession stand! My God, is it located near qualified medical personnel?)
Makes you want to eat and drink to bursting and then go on a ride like the Gravitron or the Viking Ship, doesn’t it?