The Arizona State Fair
|The epicenter of fair eats has a delighful view of the ferris wheel.|
always seems to attract some rather eccentric food vendors. There are a few running themes in fair fare this year, though. First, if you can batter something like a corn dog, it can be deep-fried and subsequently sold at a booth. Second, food is better sold with qualifiers like jumbo, super, or brick. (That's right, a brick of cheese fries.) Third, bugs are food. So many of the treats are so unique they deserve a little recognition.
First stop on the fair food train is caramel apples. We took ours covered in marshmallows and didn't regret it.
|A crisp green apple covered in ooey gooey caramel and 'mallows.|
Not strange enough for you? Well, that's why we tried a reindeer corn dog with all the amenities. The reindeer meat was hearty and flavorful, but a bit gamey. Maybe because it was cut with beef and pork.
|The reindeer dog before we slathered it in ketchup and mustard.|
Staying in the battered, deep-fried, and shoved-on-a-stick vein, we tried the deep-fried pickle next. Holy guacamole. The spicy, juicy pickle was completely delicious, and the corn dog treatment it got only made it better. It came with ranch dipping sauce, which we were skeptical about, but they actually complemented each other nicely.
|The deep fried pickle is so wrong, but it feels so right.|
Deep-fried dessert brings too many choices. There are Twinkies, moon pies, cheese cake, tiramisu, brownies, cookie dough, and a lot more. We decided to get the Oreos. They're delicious, but we're pretty glad they only come once a year.
|The oreos are not only covered in fried batter, but also powdered sugar and chocolate sauce. Yes, please.|
Perhaps the grail of all fair food comes in a tiny condiment cup. It's small, but it costs $4. We thought the chocolate-covered scorpion was just too odd to pass up. Fortunately, we had our trusty fair food companion there to sample it. He said it tastes like Malibu rum with a distinct chemical after taste. Lucky the little fellas are bred without stingers.
|It was pretty crunchy, about what you'd expect from eating a bug.|
Certainly this isn't all there was to eat at the fair. For less adventurous, there were hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, and the obligatory funnel cake. There were also a lot of freshly grilled meats and roasted corn. There's nothing wrong with taking the safe route.
|It smelled as good as it looks, we promise.|