When I lived in Utah, I only remember going to the county fair once. It was uneventful. We took a picture of a man wearing overalls without a shirt and giggled. We watched a little bit of a demolition derby and the friend we were with made a man from a political campaign feel incredibly uncomfortable with some direct questioning. That’s it. That was the extent of my fair-going.
And then I moved to Indiana and my friend Casey introduced me to the Indiana State Fair. I don’t know what I love more – the idea of the fair or the actual fair itself. Whatever it is, I LOVE it. I went twice in one day and even went back again later in the week for a the Kelly Clarkson concert. (If you just sang, “Since you’ve been gone” out loud, don’t be embarrassed because that was the most common reaction whenever I told someone that I was going to that concert.)
One of my favorite thing about the fair is the food. Last year, I was amazed to see deep-fried Pepsi, deep-fried Twinkies and deep-fried candy bars for the first time. Then there was the Pork tent. And the ginormous turkey legs. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And here’s my confession: I’ve only had a bite of a deep-fried Twinkie and a bite of a deep-fried candy bar. I don’t have much standing to say that I love fair food since I don’t eat it but, oh how I love the idea of it all. It kills me. I honestly don’t know how they come up with this stuff. The signature food this year was deep fried pizza. And a new food this year was chocolate dipped bacon. Yes, you read that correctly. Chocolate covered bacon. I heard about it before I even went to the fair and I had to actually see it. We happened upon the booth and I plopped down on the bench directly in front of “Pigs in the Mud”. When I came to my senses, I noticed an unfinished portion of the chocolate covered bacon. Seeing that a person couldn’t finish it, that they couldn’t even throw it in the garbage two feet away made me laugh even more. It must have been just as disgusting as it looked. And that my friends is the essence of fair food – there is no hiding, no subtlety, it’s exactly what you would expect, fattening and over-the-top in all of it’s deep-fried glory.