There’s a phenomenon here in the U.S. It’s called the Fair. It could be a state fair or a county fair, but either way, you will find thousands of folks roaming these meccas of carnival fun and food. And they are in full swing in the summer months. The Del Mar Fair here in San Diego is here for 3 weeks. My husband and I took the kids last week and soaked in 10 hours of it.
We hit the rides, the vendors, the shows and the food. The kids pet farm animals and saw over 20 different varieties of chickens and roosters. The hubby took them to watch the pig races and I got a foot massage for 25¢ from the vibrating foot massager.
But what always steals the show at the fair is the fair food. Most of the time it’s deep fried and unhealthy. But, it’s the variety and the absurdness that really catches everyone’s eye.
Last year, bacon stole the show. From chocolate covered bacon to desserts sprinkled with bacon. You could still find the bacon treats at the fair this year. And you could also find the same absurd fad of deep frying everything:butter, candy bars, pickles, oreos, twinkies and debuting this year: kool-aid. It made the news, too!
My husband wasn’t impressed with all of this, so we stayed clear of the funnel cakes and other artery-clogging treats. But everywhere you turned, sugar and fatty foods followed you and their smells enticed you.
For our meals we stayed with the classics: smoked turkey leg, corn dogs, brats & a carne asada burrito. The kids got some ice cream cones and I got my Diet Coke to keep me caffeinated through the day.
But, I went home unsatisfied. As a food blogger, I felt like I let myself down by not trying these wild and crazy fried concoctions. Luckily for me, I had Matt Armendariz’s cookbook waiting for me at home to review: On A Stick! If you aren’t familiar with Matt’s work, visit his amazing blog: Matt Bites. You’ll feast on his pictures and drool all over your keyboard.
Matt sacrificed himself with tireless research of exploring fair food throughout the states. He tried everything, bless his heart, and he developed this fabulous and fun cookbook. Because, it’s no surprise that everything is more fun to eat when it’s on a stick (this is one of my party-ready tips I showcased in this previous post).
Not everything in this cookbook is fatty or deep fried. He has healthy kabobs, fresh fruits and even salads on a stick. There are frozen treats, breakfast treats and everything in between. Macaroni & Cheese on a stick? It’s in there! Pancakes & Sausage? Yup, that’s there, too. Tofu? Vietnamese food? Waffles & Chicken??? It’s all there! I chose to sample some of the fried flavors I missed at the fair: Fried Pickles (because Middle-Child LOVES pickles) and Fried Candy Bars.
Lucky for me, I had some mini candy bars. I used mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, a Butterfinger & a Nestlé Crunch Bar. They were the perfect size to endulge in some seriously fun food.
And the fried pickles? They were too exotic for Middle-Child. He prefers the grilled olives he developed. Yes, he skewers olives and Daddy grills them.