世界のB級グルメ Class B Foods

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I had my eye on the Ragin Cajun Bayou Grill booth at the Rowan County Fair.

The Ragin Cajun Cook was putting the shrimp on fresh to order, and that does make a huge difference.

My grilled shrimp and rice dinner was fabulous. I did ask for “easy on the cheese,” so expect more cheese generally.

August 13, 2009

The Joys of Country Fair Food

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich....on a stick.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich….on a stick. Photo by Cheryl Carlin.

What are your favorite fair foods? We’ll share our memories if you’ll share yours…

Amanda: In years past, Vermont’s Champlain Valley Fair was one of the highlights of my summer vacation. For just over a week, the fairgrounds filled with midway rides and goofy games, prize-winning heifers and preposterously large pumpkins. There were always booths hawking various crafts, causes and products…and best of all, food!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Fairground wedding

I saw this wedding featured on the Once Wed blog, and I fell in love with it! It looks so fun! If I could get married again I would love a wedding like this. I love the kissing booth!

The fabulous photos are by Josh Goleman

Posted by irregularbride at

Top Ten San Diego County Fair Foods

  • June 24, 2009 2:31 pm ET

Devon Lantry

Zucchini Weenie at the San Diego County Fair

2. The Zucchini Weenie- Everyone loves corn dogs and fried zucchini at the San Diego County Fair. Charlie’s Chicken decided to combine the two. This is a hot dog, inside a zucchini, fried, and put on a stick. The best thing about this fair food is that it tastes great in corndog dipping sauces as well as fried zucchini sauces. So be sure to grab a little plastic dipping cup of mustard as well as ranch dressing. Sometimes the hot dog doesn’t cook quite right and it’s a little floppy on the inside, but when the hot dog gets a nice barbequed texture on the outside, the sweet fried zucchini is an excellent compliment worthy of a gourmet palate. As long as Charlie pulls off a good hot dog in the middle (about 7 times out of ten), unless you’re a nun, you wont be able to resist going back for seconds.

Location: The famous Charlie’s Chicken stand, located right in front of the AgriFair.
<—Back to Chocolate Bacon-  -Forward to Cheese Curds—>

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Top Ten San Diego County Fair Foods – National chain restaurant | Examiner.com

O.C. Fair’s new deep-fried treat: Klondike bar

May 19th, 2010, 8:30 am by Niyaz Pirani

As Jeff said last year when he reviewed the Zucchini Weeni at the fair, my objectivity is shot when reviewing anything from Chicken Charlie’s stand. The King of the Deep Fry and I became great friends when I first covered the fair in 2007 and we’ve been friends ever since.

So, when the fair comes around this year, I won’t be reviewing his eats — I’ll leave that to Jeff — but I do have the pleasure of telling you what he’s bringing to Orange County this year.

First, the bad news: The deep-fried Pop Tart and deep-fried White Castle Cheeseburger are out. Now, the good news: That wacky Charlie thought it would be fun to deep-freeze Klondike bars, dip them in pancake batter and throw them in the fryer.

Check out the results of this, and the other stuff we fried up last night after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Events/Food NewsChicken Charlie’sDeep-fried fair foodOC Fair | 27 Comments »

Niyaz gets a deep fryer, chaos ensues

July 30th, 2009, 7:45 am by Niyaz Pirani


(In keeping with this week’s fair theme, I thought today would be a great day for this post I’ve been saving.)

Getting married is a pain in the you-know-what totally awesome. With the big day a little over two weeks away, we’ve started getting packages in the mail from Macy’s, where we registered.

Soon-to-be-Wifey Nadia picked out bedroom and bathroom stuff that she liked, but I got to go crazy with my kitchen requests. So far, I’ve received a new food processor, a stick blender and the greatest gift of all, a mini deep fryer.

To have a deep fryer on hand is possibly the worst best idea ever. I like making pork tenderloin sandwiches like they do in Indiana, my homegirl Ellyn hooked me up with an amazing fried shrimp recipe and most of all, Chicken Charlie saved the universe when he popularized the deep fried Oreo. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: DessertsStuff to make at homeDeep-fried fair food | 17 Comments »

O.C. Fair food find #2: The Zucchini Weeni

July 28th, 2009, 12:34 pm by Jeff Overley


Deep-fry king Chicken Charlie’s big creation this year, the Zucchini Weeni, hasn’t quite drummed up the amount of press as the Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich or deep-fried Twinkies, but it has a funny name, so we decided to stop in for a bite.

Now, my blogging cohort Niyaz loves Chicken Charlie’s work; in fact, the two big lugs bonded so much during our 2007 O.C. Fair coverage that Niyaz was invited to (and attended) Charlie’s wedding. As a result, Niyaz’s objectivity is shot, so the task of reviewing the ZW fell to yours truly.

I guess the idea behind the Weeni is if you can’t decide between a corndog and deep-fried zucchini, get both. My advice would be to do just that – get them separately.

Don’t get me wrong, the ZW is OK, but it comes across more as a corndog filled with sauteed zucchini; it’s just too watery, and the relatively flavorless zucchini doesn’t really add much to a deep-fried hot dog.

A better choice, I am willing to bet, are Charlie’s zucchini nachos – apparently they are deep-fried strings of zucchini topped with nacho cheese and bacon bits. That’s the kind of food that made him and Niyaz fall in love. Figuratively speaking. Sort of.

Previously: O.C. Fair food find #1: Chocolate-covered bacon strips.

Talk back: How does the Zucchini Weeni sound? What about the zucchini nachos?

Posted in: Unusual eats: Would you eat this?Costa MesaDeep-fried fair foodOC Fair | 9 Comments »

Bizarre deep-fried food coming to 2009 O.C. Fair

June 7th, 2009, 11:47 am by Niyaz Pirani


I called up my buddy Chicken Charlie this weekend to find out, among other things, how his honeymoon was, but as it always is between two big dudes who love to work (and love their food), we ended up talking about the wacky creations he’s bringing to the 2009 OC Super Fair.

Just a quick refresher: Chicken Charlie, the San Diego-based King of the Deep Fry, is a pioneer of fair concessions. Among his many culinary achievements are all things deep-fried, including peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, Oreos, Twinkies, Pop Tarts and White Castle cheeseburgers.

This guy knows his food, especially fried food, but his latest creation, the Kookie Cookie, has even me, a staunch Charlie advocate, wondering if my friend has truly gone off the deep end. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Events/Food NewsCosta MesaDeep-fried fair foodOC Fair | 30 Comments »

Deep-fried frenzy part 2

July 23rd, 2008, 3:34 pm by Kat “I eat ‘til my pants hurt” Nguyen

Deep-fried frenzy part 2

If you were at the OC Fair yesterday, you might have wandered past The Register’s makeshift stand near Chicken Charlie’s shack o’ deep fried goods and you might have noticed a petite redhead giving out an assortment of random fried offerings. That was reporter Chantal Lamers and her mission for a few hours yesterday involved feeding passersby items like deep-fried pickled eggs, deep-fried mac n’cheese, deep-fried rice krispie treats, deep-fried pizza bites, deep-fried fruit skewers and last but not least, deep-fried olives stuffed with feta and walnuts. (Are you still with me?)

Those items were what readers had suggested to be deep-fried in Chantal’s fun fried food series at the fair. Then, fair-goers got to sample the top picks and decide which one will get offered at next year’s fair. Chicken Charlie graciously offered up his deep-fryers while reporter Niyaz Pirani pitched in with some frying duties. My favorites? The pickled eggs (made by Register illustrator dynamo Lisa Mertins), pizza bites and olives (which Chantal spent three hours stuffing the night before.) You can vote on which fried pick should make the cut for next year by clicking HERE. More pictures on the jump …

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Events/Food NewsCosta MesaDeep-fried fair foodOC Fair | 4 Comments »

Deep-fried throwdown

July 11th, 2008, 5:20 pm by Kat “I eat ‘til my pants hurt” Nguyen

2 of 22

Deep fried gluttony

Uggggggh. Folks, don’t try this on your own. Reporter Niyaz Pirani and I had the brilliant idea to try all the new (and old) deep-fried goods at the opening of the Orange County Fair today. I’m a Gluttonista, no sweat right?

Niyaz was supposed to wait for me to try the deep-fried White Castle cheeseburger just before noon. Except that I get this call after 9 a.m. from Mr. Eager Eater, who had already wolfed one down for uh, breakfast: “Dude, it was so good.” Gotta hand it to the guy, that’s some fearlessness right there. I quickly stuffed some Pepto-Bismol chewable tablets in my pocket and we decided to meet at the fair’s mecca of all things deep-fried: Chicken Charlie’s. I rapidly fired off our first order: “I’ll take the deep-fried Spam, Pop-tart, Oreos, avocados and frog legs.” (Round two consisted of the deep-fried cheeseburgers, ravioli, cupcakes and chocolate corndogs.) We quickly recruited a very willing fair-goer to help. Read on if you can stomach it, but it ain’t pretty:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: MiscellaneousCosta MesaDeep-fried fair foodOC Fair | 16 Comments »

Food at Miami-Dade County Fair

Street Eats

Crazy County Fair Food: “The Vandross” Donut Bacon Cheeseburger

By Jacob Katel Fri., Apr. 9 2010 at 8:56 AM

Categories: Bacon Files, Street Eats

Jacob Katel

Alright, so earlier this week we showed you the Pork Parfait, but that’s really just meat and potatoes in a cup. When it comes to culinary advancement in the genre of “fair food” the over the top double Krispy Kreme bacon cheeseburger is a great innovation.

You can find the donut burger at the Carousel Foods booth at the Dade County Fair. Look for the Burger Beast Approved sticker on the cart and you’ll know you’re at the right place.

If you’re wondering, the donut burger has an estimated 800 calories, whereas the giant turkey leg carries 1,200. That’s acording to Carousel Foods management, who say the giant turkey leg is by far their best selling item.

In any case, the donut burger is delicious. Some people call it “The Vandross” because as legend has it Luther Vandross invented it after running out of bread. Here are some more pictures of it being made.

Miami-Dade County Fair
10901 Southwest 24th Street, Miami

Photo Gallery: L.A. County Fair Food, or How to Live Longer by Looking at Pictures of Food Instead of Eating It

By Amy Scattergood Mon., Sep. 28 2009 at 3:12 PM

For all you chocolate-covered-bacon devotees, a subtle reminder that the L. A. County Fair is still going on. There’s a lot of weird stuff–Elvis nesting dolls, Dodger coffins–on display, in addition to the vast sea of humanity, which can get pretty odd too. And then there’s the food. Check out these pictures from photographer Shannon Cottrell. If you can’t make it down to Pomona before the fair ends on October 4th, you can at least live vicariously and imagine eating these funnel cakes and Whoopie pies and, yes, Huell Howser dogs. Hey, at least you’ll live longer.

Shannon Cottrell
Whoopie pie

Shannon Cottrell
Meat-lovers ice cream

Shannon Cottrell

Shannon Cottrell
Celebrity hot dogs

Shannon Cottrell
Deep-fried White Castle

Shannon Cottrell
Flat bread

Shannon Cottrell
Beef jerky

Shannon Cottrell
Pork butts

Shannon Cottrell
Bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers

Shannon Cottrell
Turkey leg

Shannon Cottrell
Extra-long wieners

Continued from page 1

Shannon Cottrell
Blooming onion

Shannon Cottrell
Corn on the cob

Shannon Cottrell
Chocolate-covered bacon

Shannon Cottrell
Funnel cake

Shannon Cottrell
Onion rings

Shannon Cottrell
Brick of curly fries

Shannon Cottrell
Fried everything

Los Angeles County Fair 2008 – Pomona, CA

Posted by Chubbypanda at 9/19/2008 11:43:00 PM

(Pictures for this review taken with my Canon Rebel XTi.

The Los Angeles County Fair runs from September 5-28 this year. There’s only one week left. Check it out while you still can!)


The arrival of autumn is also the start of fair season here in California. The largest fair in the United States, the Los Angeles County Fair is also one of the oldest on the West Coast, having begun in 1922. Every year, over a million people travel to Pomona to enjoy the food and fun.

County fairs have a long and rich history in the United States. Held around harvest time, they were a way for dispersed agrarian communities to gather and socialize through contests, activities, and communal events. Rides and games were slowly incorporated following the Chicago World’s Fair, held in 1893.


Food has always been an integral part of county fairs, sold from stalls, served during events, and as the focal point of numerous cooking or eating competitions. Unfortunately, the vittles at modern county fairs have slowly been taken over by large food service companies that hold exclusive contracts with the corporations running the fairs. The result is the standardization of mediocre food that mirrors the slow death of traditional American foodways at the hands of fast food and chain restaurants. The food served at the Los Angeles County Fair is exactly the same as that sold at the Orange County Fair. Even the food stalls are the same, down to their decorations.


There are three major food groups at fairs; grilled, fried, and sugary. As a general rule, you’re pretty safe sticking to the grilled fare. It’s somewhat lower in fat and the flavors tend to be better.


There are even healthy vegetable options for herbivores or dieters. Good luck trying to find fruit or salad at a county fair. The odds are stacked against you.


Keep in mind my cardinal rule about fair food – Nothing served on a stick can possibly be bad. Stick == good. Remember that.


Having partaken of many grilled items during our visit to this year’s Orange County Fair, Cat, Nahoko, Mr. Big, and I had a different objective at the Los Angeles County Fair. We were there to sample the fried end of the fair food spectrum as part of our search for the legendary and elusive Deep-Fried Coke.


Before I could immerse myself in the golden, brown, and delicious world of fried fair fare, I needed to indulge in a personal sin; Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers. Served sizzling hot from the grill, each dull green capsicum was the size of my thumb and encircled by a wide belt of crispy bacon. The innards of the peppers had been hollowed out and filled with thick cream cheese, waiting to burst forth from their meaty confines and sear my mouth with lipid napalm love. Thus fortified, we set off.


Our first stop was the outdoor shopping area, full of strange gadgets, silly t-shirts, food products, cooking supplies, hot tubs, jet skis, cosmetics, jewelry, etc. Everything from nuts to candy to jerky to hot wax was for sale. No Deep-Fried Coke here.

We did, however, get a great look at the magnificent Budweiser Clydesdales. I’m no fan of the company’s beers, but the horses are absolutely gorgeous.

(Radio cake.)


Our search took us indoors, where entries in a variety of competitions were displayed. There were cakes, quick breads, cookies, pastries, breads, and preserves. Some of the submissions for the cake decoration contest were close to professional grade. Too bad we couldn’t sample any of them.

(One person’s trash…)


The craft contests were truly spectacular, with insanely elaborate table settings, skillfully made quilts, and a table of milliners demonstrating their work. The most interesting area was titled “Trash to Treasure”, featuring decorations made entirely from discarded objects. It showed both the wastefulness demonstrated by what Americans throw away and the resourcefulness of the creators.


I was amused by the holiday and Christmas tree decoration contest, given that the temperature outside the building was in the mid-80s. Unfortunately, the lighting was very bad in the exhibition hall. Most of the rest of my pictures didn’t turn out.


Once outside, we found ourselves near a series of displays meant to educate fairgoers about pioneer life in California. We explored a bit, but had to flee to avoid being roped into a storytime performance for children.


Famished, and with no Deep-Fried Coke in sight, we stopped at the largest fried food stand we could find for some grub. I picked up a plate of Frog Legs and Fries to share. Well, plate is a bit of an overstatement. For close to $13, we got two pairs of spindly, soggy, fishy, and bland frog legs that were a chore to eat. The cold, limp, and greasy fries were equally bad. They’d obviously been sitting in a tray for a while and the heat lamps had done nothing. Nothing!


I also ordered a plate of Fried Vegetables to provide something we could delude ourselves into thinking had some health benefits. They turned out to be surprisingly ok, albeit bland. The batter was crunchy and the vegetable were quite large. We enjoyed the artichoke hearts and the mushrooms, but the zucchini had soaked up too much oil to be eaten.


Feeling bloated from all the grease, we staggered towards “Fairview Farms”, the Los Angeles County Fair’s produce and farm animal display. The entire area was sponsored by, of all companies, McDonald’s.


Unlike the animal exhibits of other county fairs, which consist primarily of meat animals waiting to be auctioned off and displays by local 4-H clubs, McDonald’s Fairview Farms was an idyllic fantasy-land far removed from the reality of the slaughterhouse. The few animals of each type were kept in pens with potted plants for decoration. Cedar shavings covered the floor to disguise the odors of the animals, while staffers were assigned to remove droppings on a regular basis. Brightly painted backdrops with picket fences and rolling green hills attempted to give the impression that the animals lived luxurious lives in an agrarian paradise.


Product branding was everywhere, attempting to associate the illusion of the happy farm with McDonald’s food. For example, several varieties of show chickens with gorgeous plumage were allowed to run free in pens while signs next to them touted the quality and freshness of the chicken in McDonald’s offerings. Every display had a placard containing some reference to the “healthiness” of the ingredients used by McDonald’s in their restaurants. Rather than educating LA’s children about farming or animal husbandry, the entire exhibit was a colossal, Disney-fied advertisement for the Golden Arches.


Disappointed, we headed towards the rides and games. By now, we’d already covered most of the fair, but had yet to get even a whiff of the Deep-Fried Coke advertised by the fair brochure. I’d even gone online with my iPhone to see if I could find any news about Deep-Fried Coke being removed from the 2008 Los Angeles County Fair. This area was our last hope.


In addition to the usual collection of Ferris wheels and roller coasters, we saw some inflatable hilariously horrible inflatable slides. I was tempted, but $3 for one slide ride seemed a bit steep.

(His headband says, “Karate Panda”.)


I’m notoriously bad at fair games, but I was tempted to squander some cash trying to get this little guy. Unfortunately, all the booths that had him were running games I had no hope of winning. Maybe next time…


With the entire fair canvassed and still no Deep-Fried Cokes, Mr. Big and I were forced to admit it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, we settled for an order of Deep-Fried Oreos. It was a mistake. Deep-fried items rely on the steam released by the cooking food to keep the oil from permeating the batter. But, Oreo cookies have no water content. What we got were dense, pasty balls of fat that sat heavily in our stomachs for the rest of the day. Very disappointing.

The Los Angeles County Fair – The crafts and contests are the best part of the fair. The displays about pioneer life are fun, but Fairview Farms is a joke. The kids should have a good time petting the animals, though. Stay away from the fried foods and stick the grilled items. Your taste buds and arteries will thank you.

Los Angeles County Fair
1101 W. McKinley Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768

The Food of the 2010 Orange County Fair

Trying out the deep-fried butter. Yum?

Brick of french fries, anyone?

One healthy baked potato—swim in a pool of sour cream and cheese!

What about some deep-fried, chocolate-covered bacon?

Pick your heart attack.

Salt water taffy.

Roasted corn, a perennial fave.

Now that’s a photo for Facebook. And Grandma.

A bald eagle made entirely of bread. Useful!

Two pound buns… of sourdough, that is.

A must-stop for many fair-goers.

One chili burger with slaw!

Meet the meat!


LA meets OC.

Sushi at the fair? Sure!

17 of 21

The Food of the 2010 Orange County Fair

And no, it’s not deep-fried!

Pulled pork sammie.

The Food of the 2010 Orange County Fair

Slightly healthy: The chicken pesto crepe.

Australian Battered Potatoes! Yes!

Deep-fried Snickers!

The Dane County Fair in Madison, Wisconsin: The Quest for the Blue Ribbon

July 20, 2009, 2:15 pm   1 Comment



Photographs by Paula Forbes

EMD’s Paula Forbes is in the Midwest doing research for her Up North Cookbook. She’s going to report back from the field from time to time, and here’s her report on the Dane County Fair in Madison, Wisconsin.

It’s summer, which, among other things, means that it’s time for rural America’s best jams, pies, quilts, steers, piglets, and llamas to make the trek to the closest thing to a big city and duke it out for the almighty ribbon. That’s right, it’s state and county fair time.

I recently visited the fair of my childhood, the Dane County Fair in Madison, Wisconsin, to find out what has or hasn’t changed in the world of competitive canning, and whether I can still hold my cream puff after going on the Tilt-A-Whirl. Answers: not much, and yes! but probably not twice, so don’t make me do it again.

First, we ate lunch — we being myself, my eleven year-old cousin and her friend, brought along because I figured eleven year-olds are the only demographic who can handle more than one type of fair food in a single day. The selection of local delicacies was small yet potent, and heavy on the saturated fat. First, we ate the cheese nuggets.


Wisconsinites pride themselves on cheese nuggets, also known as fried cheese curds. The cheese for these was produced in Kiel, Wisconsin. They were delicious dipped in thick German mustard.


Next up: cream puffs. These guys came from a Stoughton, Wisconsin producer. I estimate there was about 3/4 of a pound of cream in each of these.


After the cream puffs, my junior escorts ditched me in favor of rides and left me to my own devices. Which meant sweet corn, but as the pictures turned out blurry, I present you with this cupcake stand-in, and a fine specimen of the junior competitions.


The competition exhibits were awesome; largely 4-H and FFA clubs from the area battling in the ancient arts of compost manufacturing, table setting, cake-decorating, or the all-mighty canned preserves. They also had a produce box category, and I wondered if this were a recent addition due to the growth in popularity of CSAs, or if it was simply a showcase of what each competitor could produce. Either way: check out that cabbage!

I didn’t spend as much time in the livestock areas — it was the food I was interest in, after all — but they were as full of big-eyed cows, freaked-out horses, bemused llamas and fat, panting hogs as you might suspect. They were also fairly paved with manure. Authentic!

In the end, the Dane County Fair ended up being pretty much exactly as I remembered from my childhood: full of artery clogging food, nausea-inducing rides, and fierce culinary competition.

Auf wiedersehen from Wisconsin, for now!


Paula Forbes

Friday, February 26, 2010

Osceola County Fair Food 2010

The Police
I visited the Osceola County Fair in Kissimmee, FL. They had all the good stuff that a fair should have such as a huge selection of farm animals, circus acts, and plenty of rather scary rides. But this blog is not about any of that stuff, it’s all about the food. While I didn’t see any of the famous fair foods like doughnut burgers or deep fried butter, the Osceola County Fair still had a pretty good selection of food served from trailers. The following are random photos of some of the various food vendors at the fair:
Fair Pizza
Chinese Food
Turkey Legs
I tried the Ribbon Fries from this cart. Fresh potato chips like this are normally pretty tasty, but the potatoes near the bottom of this plate were somewhat soggy.
Fried Potatoes
Ribbon Fries
I also got some roasted corn from this stand (Little Richard’s?). How can you go wrong with an ear of corn roasted on a grill, dipped in butter, and then served by grumpy carnies?
Grilled Corn

You might also like:

Central Florida Fair Food 2009

Space Coast State Fair

Zellwood Sweet Corn Festival 2010

Fair Food at the Broward County Fair

photo by C. Stiles

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Elephant ears, fried Oreos, candy apples, corn dogs and kabobs. We look into the best part of the Broward County Fair — the food.

photo by C. Stiles

photo by C. Stiles

Chocolate Bacon at the San Diego County Fair

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Top Ten San Diego County Fair Foods – National chain restaurant | Examiner.com

Deep Fried Cheese Curds at San Diego County Fair

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Top Ten San Diego County Fair Foods – National chain restaurant | Examiner.com

Crazy County Fair Food: The Pork Parfait is Like BBQ Pig Ice Cream

By Jacob Katel Wed., Apr. 7 2010 at 9:00 AM

Jacob KatelMade by Porky’s at the Miami-Dade County Fair 2010.

Fried Wisconsin cheese curds from Mike’s Cheese Shack and Hill’s waffles, all from the Lorain County Fair, made a great midnight snack as I wrapped up my blogging last night. (Photo by Rona Proudfoot, The Chronicle-Telegram.)

Fried Oreos and Snickers bars are very popular

Or, try this 4lb "Belly Buster Burger," made by Dominic Palmieri Or, try this 4lb “Belly Buster Burger,” made by Dominic Palmieri

This burger requires a half head of lettuce and a custom-made bun This burger requires a half head of lettuce and a custom-made bun


My homage to county fair food cupcakes

I had some leftover cake batter and decided to make cupcakes. Since the fair just ended in Orange County, I thought it would be cute to make little versions of the fun foods we ate at the fair. I made all of them with fondant and painted them with some brown color for the cooked looked.


Pretzel cupcake

here is a fondant pretzel with real salt


Funnel cake cupcake

Here it is on the cupcake


Corndog cupcake

Here is another shot of the “corndog” cupcake

Sausages on the grill, hot dogs, bratwurst. Del Mar Fair, Del Mar, California, USA

Hot Dog on a Stick, corn dog, greasy fried fatty food. Del Mar Fair, Del Mar, California, USA

Hot dog, great spicy polish. Del Mar Fair, Del Mar, California, USA

Grilled corn, corn cobs. Del Mar Fair, Del Mar, California, USA

Ultimate Guide to Best San Diego County Fair Food

Posted on 06/24/2008 By:Craig Slike


  Craig Slike

The San Diego County Fair is upon us once again and while world-class entertainment, endless carnival rides, a midway larger than The Midway, as-seen-on-TV shopping, pig races and globally dominating athletes may be a draw for some, the overwhelmingly popular reason to return annually (not unlike the salmon of Capistrano) is food.

For those new to carnival cuisine, the majority is battered, deep fried, served on a stick and most probably based on a dare.

If the Fair is like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for fried food – they’d need a Charlie. Luckily, they have one: Charlie’s Chicken on the Concourse is a deep fried food lover’s paradise. Half of the crazy new food options you hear about each year comes from this stand, and with a brand new state-of-the-art booth complete with a giant animated LCD screen – you can’t miss it, really, you can’t.

Charlie is where your culinary fair-venture begins, and the menu includes:

Deep Fried White Castle Sliders $4.95: served with fries, bigger than expected and dripping with grease. Good, but I got the feeling it would have been better if left un-fried.

Deep Fried Frog Legs $12.95: also served with fries, this is the exotic portion of your trip. You get it because you just have to try it. They say it tastes like chicken, but it’s more like fish – flavor improves with lemon and tarter sauce.

Deep Fried Spam $5.95: thick slices served with sweet and sour sauce and a couple slices of pineapple. It wasn’t bad, and if I liked spam to begin with, I’d probably enjoy it a whole lot more.

Deep Fried Oreos $4.50: it’s exactly what you’d expect – awesome and you get four of them. Just remember to bring your own milk, trust me you’ll need it, and Charlie doesn’t have it.

Deep Fried Twinkie $3.50: topped with chocolate or strawberry sauce and powdered sugar. It’s even better than the Oreos, and is their best seller.

Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich $5.95: the sandwich voted most likely inspired by a Jim Gaffigan bit – this was my favorite thing on the menu. It’s a raspberry jelly filled glazed doughnut with a fried chicken patty stuffed inside of it. This was one of those things I just had to try, but had low expectations for. It was surprisingly delicious – I wanted another, but had to pace myself.

We asked Charlie’s brother Tony how they came up with all these crazy ideas. Tony explained, “We have fry parties. We get the deep fryer going and tell everyone to bring something to toss in, whatever comes out great – we put on the menu.”

Along with everything being deep-fried, many ideal items can be found “On a Stick” for the convenience of on-the-go fair enthusiasts.

These foods include, but are not limited to: Hot Dog on a Stick, Foot Long on a Stick, Polish on a Stick, Pizza on a Stick, Garlic Battered Mushrooms on a Stick, Garlic Battered Artichokes on a Stick, Deep Fried Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese on a stick, Pork Chop on a Stick, Fudge Puppy on a Stick, Ice Cream on a Stick, Meat Balls on a Stick, and my personal favorite: Frozen Cheesecake on a Stick dipped in chocolate and covered in your favorite topping.

Insider Tip: The booth just outside of the Plaza de Mexico offers Captain Crunch cereal with Crunch Berries- but it’s not on the menu, you have to ask for it.

If you’re looking for something grilled instead of fried with the convenience of stuff on a stick, turn your attention to the perennial favorite: The Turkey Leg. A relatively healthier option, you can get your caveman fix by gnawing huge chunks of delicious meat right off the bone. The best place to pick one up is Tony’s Southwest Grill, but the Outlaw Grill serves them up as well, cooked on the largest BBQ in the world.

Stop by the Finger Steaks stand if you’re looking to get everything you need on one plate. The Fat Darrell open-faced sandwich boasts chicken strips or finger steaks, fries, mozzarella sticks, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on one desperately overloaded hoagie roll for only $8.00.

Insider Tip: The Fat Darrell is a sandwich so amazing – local band Reeve Oliver named a song after it on their latest album.

The worst gastric disaster of the day came from an unexpected source: $3.00 Koolickle. The Koolickle is a giant dill pickle marinated in red Koolaide. I actually had high hopes for the Koolickle, hoping it would cut the grease accumulating in my esophagus. It turned out to be an epic disappointment. The nicest thing I can say is that it’s a clever way to ruin a pickle and stain your favorite shirt all in one regrettable bite.

Researching a story about fair fare is not unlike being in an episode of bizarre foods on the travel channel and whilst Mr. Zimmerman may have us beat in the exotic category – we blow his doors off with caloric intake. Many offerings you can’t wait to try – others you just have to eat for the experience.

Check out the San Diego County Fair photo gallery here and the Fair Food photo gallery here. And, learn more about what’s new at the 2008 San Diego County Fair here.

What’s a fair without food, right!?.

We were on a mission to eat as much fair food as possible. Fair=Deep Fried! This is Deep Fried Avocado, one of our faves of the day. Runner up: Deep Fried Twinkie. Too Gross for Words: The Krispy Kreme Donut Chicken Sandwich.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Orange County Fair – Food Blog Contest & Churros with Cinnamon Orange Chocolate Sauce

12:38 PM Karen news

Hurry and enter,  you only have until June 1st ! I’m thrilled to be coming back to the Orange County Fair for the second year as the Orange County Fair Chef.  I’m even more excited to share with all of you the Orange County Fair’s first online Food Blog Contest. 

Fair Food Roundup at the Orange County Fair in California

Posted by Liz Gutman, July 21, 2010 at 2:15 PM


SLIDESHOW: Fair Food Roundup at the Orange County Fair in California

Some of the best guilty pleasures can be found at your local county or state fair. In a spectacular show of gustatory bravery, a couple of pals and I tackle the most daunting treats at the Orange County Fair in California. As the chocolate columnist, I stick to chocolate as much as I could—that’s just a life choice, really—but these treats span the spectrum of sweet.

There’s a little something for everyone at the fair, and chances are you’ll be able to find most of this at a fairground near you. Here’s a visual journal of my feast.

Let’s go visit the OC Fair, shall we?

More from the State Fairs


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Tags: California, fair, fried, funnel cakes, ice cream, Orange County, Serious Chocolate, soft-serve, state fairs

Top 10 Fair Foods of 2010

Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for cotton candy, corn dogs and funnel cakes at the state or county fair. But these days, fair food vendors are whipping up new treats to please the crowds and they are pure gluttony. New creations like deep fried klondike bars and corndog pizza are making traditional fair foods seem like the salad bar option. Imagining the amount of grease, sugar, calories and fat in these foods is giving me a stomach ache as I write this.

To see a list of the top 10 fair foods this year, check out this article on Huffington Post. I found the excerpt below too amusing not to post. Enjoy!

Some observers thought state fair cooks had hit their peak last year, when the Texas State Fair debuted Deep Fried Butter. But in 2010, they outdid themselves once again, proving that if it’s edible, it’s even better battered and fried.

Gallery: County Fair Foods As Exciting As Fried Beer

299 days ago by Jennifer Wright | 7 Comments | Share a Tip

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he Kookie Cookie

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BBQ Pulled Pork Crepes

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A lot of crepes are sissy crepes, because they are French. Not these crepes from the OC Fair. These are freedom crepes.

Deep Fried Cupcakes

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For too long, deep fried Oreos and Twinkies have dominated the “deep fried sweets at a country fair” catagory. Today is the day cupcakes say “no more. No more.”

Bacon Donut Burger

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Momma always said that life is like a bacon donut burger. Because it’s sweet and full of bacon. Momma died of a heart attack, but really enjoyed her time at the Miami-Dade County fair.

hocolate Covered Bacon

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Chocolate covered bacon – like this, from the LA County Fair – is legitimately my favorite food. If you can’t get to a coutry fair because you don’t have legs or access to transportation, I recommend the milk chocolate variety from Vosges.

Hot Beef Sundae

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The hot beef sundae from the Iowa State Fair could be a lot more disgusting than it is. The meat is covered with mashed potatoes, gravy, and a cherry tomato.

Deep Fried Butter

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It’s from the Texas State Fair. Of course it is.

Spaghetti and Meatball on A Stick

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From the Minnesota State Fair. First you mash up meatballs and Spaghetti. Then you form it into balls, dip them in garlic batter, deep-fried them, and finished with marinara sauce. And then you look like this happy bald man.

Chocolate Covered Cheesecake on A Stick

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Actually, scrap what I said about chocolate covered bacon. This is probably my all time favorite food. You bite into it and you’re like “oh, an ice cream bar!” But then it is so. much. more. delicious. I think it has a lot to do with the crust being in there. Alas, I cannot find anyplace that supplies it outside of every county fair.

The Will County Fair features many vendors selling traditional county fair food, such as the taffy shown here.

From Sal M.,

Morel mushrooms $29.99


Chicken Charlie (a.k.a. Charles Boghosian) holds deep-fried frog legs. He sells about 2,000 legs in a typical, three-week county fair. (Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)

You are an opinionated bunch, so I bet you have your own picks for the best fair food. Does the battered, deep-fried salami at The Kings Fair excite you? What about Chicken Charlie’s deep-fried Klondike bars? Or do you really want the Tulare County Fair’s huge waffle cones with two pints of gelato?

Tell us your faves, please, so we don’t miss something sinful. And mark your calendars. It’s too late for the Porterville Fair’s strawberry shortcake (pictured below), but all the other dishes I mentioned have yet to be served.


[photo credit: Mark Crosse, The Fresno Bee]

range County Fair Food Trip

August 15 is the last day for OC Fair so we all went yesterday to enjoy the games, rides and specially the food.

For lunch we had foot long sausage and mountain of french fries.

Check out this foot long sausage. Served with sauteed onion and bell pepper and all the condiments that you want.

How about this mountain of fries? It was so good specially we ordered it topped with chile and cheese. Super yum!

Husband wants to order this grilled turkey legs almost a pound each but later changed his mind.

Food everywhere. Grilled, barbeque, deep fried and sweets. It’s like food haven.

For dessert we had funnel cake and cinnamon. We got too excited I forgot to take pictures.

Pass 6 pm. and the boys wants to have another serving of chile cheese fries. I guess it was that good.

Check out the bill boards.
This I really had to say NO!

Next year again OC Fair!

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Orange County Fair Food Trip

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

King Cake

Orange County Fair Food Trip

                     Here are some pictures taken yesterday at OC County Fair, California


This huge plate consist of every thing fried!

Not only fried but also sweet!

Chocolate Covered Bacon?

Butter Deep Fried?

Texas Turkey Legs

Turkey legs almost as big as a paper plate.

Just looking at those food makes me want to call my doctor.


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