Is there anything better than fair food? I mean, when you really think about it, fair food is the ultimate summer treat! I even have a coworker who will randomly text me in the winter that he wants fair food.
When I think about summer, that's where my mind goes. And, the brilliance of fair food is that it's a broad term that covers so much. If you ask a dozen people what they think about when you say 'fair food', odds are, you'll get a dozen different answers.
Maybe it's the lights, sounds, smells of the fair that just meld together to add to the experience, making all things delectable--I mean, you can have a corndog anywhere, but when you're sitting under the Grand Stand bleachers trying to catch a break from the scorching heat, or meandering through throngs of people to your next destination (or nowhere in particular), they just taste... better.
Greasy fries, too-sweet lemonade, fudge, deep-fried Oreos, funnel cake, toffee apples (candied apples), corn on the cob... all great choices that generate tons in revenue, but there are two foods in particular that come to mind when I think about fair food.
The first is so obscure, and mentioned because I've only ever experienced it once. It was introduced to me at the Canfield Fair, in Canfield, Ohio, when my husband stumbled upon it. I was on a diet at the time so I only had a taste, and ever since that day, I've been kicking myself for not indulging.
That amazing item? Don't laugh at the name; I thought my husband was joking when he told me what it was:
A meat cone!
I have never seen a meat cone before or since. Of course when COVID happened, outdoor gatherings of mass bodies were cancelled and, even though we've gone back to that fair one other time, I have yet to find that particular vendor.
So desperate for my own cone was I that I walked around every single food vendor looking for it, to the point that I got lost.
I dream of that meat cone and how could I not? It was made up of the most delicious, garlicky, buttery dough, shaped of course into a cone; filled to the brim with tiny, fantastic meatballs your Uncle Luigi would love; fantastic pasta sauce that actually tasted amazing; and gobs upon gobs of melty mozzarella cheese. My mouth has been watering since!
While I could probably fill the page with a million descriptive words that could probably entice you to create your own version, I want to move on to a more renowned fair food. One that is loved by many.
The next item on my list, which actually does take the number one spot by default, is the doughy, fried confection, most often covered in mounds of powdered sugary goodness:
The elephant ear!
I remember as a child, going with my dad, stepmom, and sister to the Randolph (Portage County) Fair to watch the Demolition Derby. Dad would get us seated at the top of the bleachers, then he would disappear back into the throngs of people until reemerging with two plates, overfilled with fried goodness. I remember the pastry was always bigger than the plate, causing you to burn your finger or palm when trying to carry it.
Though the most popular option, I never cared for the powdered sugar topping. My favorite, and the intended topping based on the internet which cannot lie, is cinnamon sugar. Is there anything better than fried dough, melty butter, and cinnamon sugar? It's like cinnamon toast has been elevated to a higher plane!
When it comes to summer, fair food wins, hands down.
About the Creator
Coffee gets me started; my toddler keeps me haggard.
I've always had a passion for writing but fear has stopped me from sharing my work with anyone. Vocal is my push to step out of my comfort zone.