UGGGHHHHH this is my second attempt at posting this. I spent nearly an hour writing this out and I forgot to include a title so I got an error and lost everything!
As we've seen in previous years, I am a State Fair Food Junkie. I was denied ANY trips last year as I was traded to the Philippines in early August for a player to be named later, and wasn't back in North America until Christmas.
To make up for it, Emily and I had an epic road trip planned that would have taken us through Texas to visit the Big Tex in Dallas - the largest state fair in the USA. Then I got word I was being deported to the Phillipines for a second year in a row, and we had to change plans in a hurry.
The only State Fair that was close enough to home that we could fit it in to a prospective road trip was the Indiana State Fair. It paled in size to some of the others I have visited, but a State Fair is a State Fair, and I wasn't going to miss out for TWO years in a row.
We started out by nearly getting run over by a trolley pulled by a tractor. This was the best way to see the State Fair Grounds ... allegedly. My son's stroller wasn't exactly Trolley Friendly, so we spent the afternoon playing Frogger with these engines of death.
This was the first booth that caught my eye. The smell of meat over charcoal always getting my motor running, and I was quick to purchase...
Yes, a Pork Chop on a Stick! Just looking at this thing now is making my mouth water.
I wanted to rub my face in the seasoning it was so good.
Emily started out a little lighter, opting for a garlic breadstick. I might LOOK innocuous, but don't be fooled, this thing was packed with garlic flavor. I'm convinced it was inserted intravenously, because these weren't remotely greasy. Awesome!
Ready for her first main course, Emily saunted up and requested a custom order.
Tater Tatchos! She substituted the liquid cheese for fresh grated, to go along with salsa and lettuce over a bed of Tater Tots. Her decision was ... A GRATE ONE!
We wandered inside to look at "pretty quilts".
But really, we mostly did it to give Noah a break from the hot sun.
Miss Indiana might have a future in phamaceuticals. When State Fair Food has you backed up, REACH FOR A BECCALAX!
Now that's a work of art! At only $450, you too can have a never ending craving staring you in the face from the comfort of your home!
I do hope all of these were ethically sourced!
WISCONSIN cheese?!? At the Indiana State fair?!? Not on MY watch! NO BUYS!
Grabbing my attention, however, was an Apple Cider Slush! Much like the Cider Pops from the Minnesota State Fair, this tastes exactly as advertised - rich, sour apple flavor, which went down real smooth in the heat. Delicious!
I only grabbed a picture since they had CFB Fries! French fries named AFTER me? Greatest honor of my life.
Pizza on a stick? Intriguing....
The vendor worked his ass of to try and make a sale, and if I wasn't so full on pork chop, cider slush, and Totchos, this would have been the easiest money of his life. I'll carry the regret of not having eaten this TO MY GRAVE.
Emily needed a treat though, and mini donuts were calling to her. I had a couple, and these weren't cakey - instead they were really flat, almost like a bagel chip, and as a result they were crunchy. The different texture was actually really good. While not expected, I liked this.
I would drain my retirement account to have this smell bottled and pumped into my house.
Meanwhile, in the FOOD PROPOGANDA tent, FEAR MONGERS were predicting a Banana Apocolypse! I shared this horrifying news with Noah.
If that doesn't say it all, I don't know what will.
$50 a week? Low obesity? And I've MOVED here??? I'm gonna be rich AND slim! TIME TO EAT MORE FAIR FOOD!
I was so happy to see this. The Great New York State Fair offered 25 cent milk for YEARS, but the farmers were losing money and couldn't continue. The government was aghast at the idea of raising the price of the beloved 25 cent milk, so they offered to subsidize the dairy farmers - before yanking out the rug from them. The farmers in turn walked, so the 25 cent milk is GONE. Thankfully, these ugly politics haven't seeped into Indiana, and 50 cents in 2017 is still a mighty fine deal.
Mmmmmm chocolate milk.
These guys had all KINDS of options, and in retrospect, I should have gone with the pickles. Fried pickles are universal; they're wonderful, and I've never been disappointed. Of course, I had to get exotic and...
I got the fried Jalapenos. From a flavor perspective, they were FINE - but they're more of a condiment and definitely not a snack. Most of these wound up getting tossed, they belong on a burger.
Every corn dog needs a family.
You wouldn't believe the smells coming out of here. Hot cinnamon and apples caught me, and begged me to eat them. Unfortunately (well, fortunately!), I lost a pile of weight in the last 2 years, and one of the changes is that my body's become very unhappy with sugar. One of these would have knocked me into a coma.
SO MUCH FOOD, SO LITTLE TIME!
In Canada, we call these Beaver Tails. However, I've never seen them stuffed with fruit, which is so simplistic it's BRILLIANT. My hat's off to the State Fair entrepreneurs who never stop blowing my mind.
A giant food stall?
PUT IT ON A STICK AND DEEP FRY IT! LECHON FOR A MONTH!
The day was winding down, and what the heck is a state fair without a corn dog?
I love American Corn Dogs. In Canada, we use a light batter, which is fried until crunchy, and called a Pogo. I much prefer the thick, cakey cornbread batter over a quality dog. Delicious.
Emily had to feed and change Noah, and asked me to surprise her with one more treat before we left. This seemed extravagantly stupid.
Chocolate! Caramel! Pecans! Layered on thick over top a funnel cake. This is the stuff the State Fair was built on. It was rich, decadent and ... sweet as hell. Together, I think we ALMOST finished half of it before deciding the car ride back to the hotel might be pretty awful if we actually consumed the whole thing. I don't think I know anyone who could eat this whole thing.
Noah tried his best to help us, but his lack of teeth and no idea what the hell a "solid food" is kinda made this futile.
And that's it! Until next year! Unless I get FedExed to the Philippines again!
WHAT DID YOU EAT?
Kick of FEAR - An exaggerated recounting of professional wrestling's network of B-shows and colorful jobbers.
This year, on September 23, at 3pm I will be competing in my very food eating contest. White Hut (a Springfield, Mass institution for yummy hamburgers) is having an official Major League Eating contest, and I was accepted to participate in the amateur round. Joey Chestnut will be there for the pro round, and I'ma gonna get my picture with him! If any of you live in the New England area, come cheer me on. I know I'll do better if I have to impress a stranger form the internet.
It's the most important meal of the day.
Jack LaLanne, Founder of Modern Fitness Movement, Dies at 96 (nytimes.com) Does it make me a bad person that my first thought was... "And George Burns lived to 100!" Yes, I have a Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer in my cupboard.