Now that it’s fair and festival season in Ohio and much of the known universe, many people will be enjoying fair foods.
When it comes to food booths, though, there are more great choices than you can shake a food-filled stick at, so there are some tough decisions to make. In order to assist you, our judges have put together the list of the Top Five Fair Food Debates, and we also provide a few answers.
First we have one honorable mention:
French fries or blooming onions? – This is a tough choice for many people, but the best selection here is the french fries. It’s hard to screw up french fries, and unlike the fried onions, they are not going to make your breath any worse than it already is while you are walking around the fair all day. This debate is kept out of the Top Five partially just because we don’t recommend getting either item at the fair. You can get both of them anywhere, fair french fries tend to get covered in too much catsup, and both items get way too hot in the sun.
5. Fried pickle, fried vegetables or fried candy? –There’s nothing that fair food vendors love more than frying foods, and they have created some amazing creations over the years. I imagine it started when someone said, “Hey, your chocolate got into my peanut butter, and they both got into this other person’s fryer.” The fried candy bars, Twinkies, Oreos, Reese’s Cups and other creations are very good, but candy by itself is already good, and the frying doesn’t really improve it that much. By comparison, frying veggies creates a vast improvement in taste and even makes cauliflower delicious. Also, you can feel much better about your health if you eat fried veggies instead of fried candy. But when you want the top fried item at the fair, there’s just something magical about a fried pickle. Scientists can’t explain it, but something about grease brings out the best in the pickle. It’s the John Travolta of the fried fair food world.
4. What to drink at the fair? – You’ve got several great options, including the popular Lemon Shake-Ups, Strawberry Daiquiris and pop, but you’ve got to think about this choice carefully, as it could greatly impact the fun of walking around the fair looking for something to do. A lemon drink tastes fine for a little bit, but then it tends to get too sour and also too sweet due to the mountains of sugar in each cup. And the strawberry drink is fine, too, but it’s going to get hot and taste funny after a drink or two and you are going to think, “Why did I buy this at the fair?” Pop is always good, but if you want a great choice, get a grape slush drink, or a similar ice-based drink. These drinks last a long time, they actually quench your thirst, they are fun to drink/eat and they taste great on a hot day. Honestly, your best choice is probably just water, but if that doesn’t sound like fun, then you need to go with the slush drink.
3. Which type of food on a stick? – They have put every type of food except soup on a stick at the fair, and they’ll probably do that sometime soon, too. It’s great fun to walk around and carry food on a stick, and you can even put the stick in your pocket or behind your ear to hold your food if you need. One great choice here is the traditional corn dog. It’s a huge improvement on the hot dog, it’s a safe choice and it’s easy to walk around with. The best choice, though, is the caramel apple on a stick, or an apple on a stick with another great topping. You can feel good about the apple, it tastes great, it’s easy to carry and it’s not going to make you feel sick later.
2. Best non-traditional traditional fair food – This category includes items like pizza, hamburgers, fried chicken and other foods that you don’t think of as fair foods, but they are almost always at the fair. They are all pretty good choices, but the best choice here is the taco in the bag. It’s different at every fair, school event, church picnic and family gathering, but the taco in the bag is almost always great. Also, it’s easy to walk with, it’s not too filling and you feel special carrying a whole meal in that little bag.
1. Elephant ears or funnel cakes? – This is a tough choice and our number one debate. Both items are great, so you really can’t go wrong with either selection. If forced to choose just one because it would be extremely filling and probably sickening to eat both, our judges say the elephant ear is the best choice. It tastes amazing, it’s a little easier to eat than a funnel cake and you don’t get powdered sugar all over your face, hands and shirt like you do with a funnel cake. The elephant ear is delicious and it seems impossible to find at any other time of the year. Why do we forget about elephant ears until fair season? It’s the best food item at the fair. Let’s hear it for the ear!
Do you have any thoughts on fair foods? Feel free to comment below. Thanks!