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Oct 11, 2010 12:15 PM

NC State Fair!

It's almost time for the fair, one of my favorite events each year. Who's going and what foods are you most excited about?

I'll definitely get my traditional treats - a ham biscuit from one of the churches, sweet potato fries, and NCSU ice cream. The Fair website has a list of new foods this go 'round and a map with all of the food stands, rides, and exhibits marked.

I'm most excited about beignets showing up this year (far better than funnel cake, IMHO), but may also try the chocolate covered twinkie. I saw an interview with the woman behind the twinkies - they are frozen, then dipped in chocolate and rolled in your choice of coconut, sprinkles, or nuts. She said the frozen creme filling is like soft serve ice cream.

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  1. I can see that about the filling. I know that Joe's Diner is giong to be representing with their giant hot dog. Not sure if we are going to have deep fried beer at ours. Will have to check out that link.

    Joe's Diner
    8332 Old State Rd, Holly Hill, SC 29059

    4 Replies
    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

      No deep fried beer. This is the Bible Belt, after all. I didn't think there were too many interesting new offerings. There are just so many things you can deep fry. I am looking forward to my cider, kettle corn, and sausage biscuits, though.

      1. re: rockycat

        From what I've read it's more of a patent issue than a bible one. The guy who invented deep fried beer is patenting the process, and not selling the product on the road. In all fairnes they have started selling wine at the fair (bottles to open later only) and I've heard rumors of a beer garden in coming years, similar to what they had at the NC ag festival in May.

        1. re: mpjmph

          The patent issue is something of a red herring. It's not too hard to figure out how he did it nor would it be infringing on the currently non-existent patent to use a different method to achieve a similar result. But look at how much publicity that statement got him.

          We still have too many vestiges of our legislated Sabbath-observing past to see alcohol at the State Fair any time soon. A biergarten would be nice, but I won't be holding my breath.

          1. re: rockycat

            I'm reasonably certain that they had beer at the Fiesta del Pueblo(which is held at the fairgrounds) a few years ago.

    2. I am intrigued with the koolaid pickles. They were discussed in a thread sometime ago and seemed like one of those items that are so strange that they must be good!

      4 Replies
      1. re: meatn3

        Koolickles as I believe they've been called have been around for ages. I'm surprised that most people maybe hadn't heard of them. This would be a great spot for food trucks to sell their wares or a makeshift taqueria though I'm sure there are some legislative/monetary issues that make it more of a pain. I want to try Garlic Ice Cream though I know they don't have it.. I know that at Garlic festivals they do. Looks like pleasantly cool weather for this weekend at least.

        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

          It can 5 years or more to get a spot at the fair. They receive hundreds of new applications a year, but only have a handful of openings. Preference is given to non-profits and they try to mix up the types of food that are available.

          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

            To add to chazzer's comment, once a vendor gets a spot at the fair, it's theirs until they don't want it any more. Some vendors have been setting up their trailers in the exact same spot for decades. New vendors only get a spot if an old one leaves or the fair grounds in use expand.

            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

              All I meant to say is that there seems to be some mechanism behind the difficulty of getting a spot in the rotation. Thankfully things like taco trucks have their own outposts on a constant basis.

          2. I'm also looking forward to the Fried Gator Tail an potentially The Emu meat stand. I'm gonna laugh at almost everyone that tries to walk around with those giant gummi bears. Those things from what I've heard can be quite hefty. Unlike the stuff variety of bear, you don't have to try and win one.

            2 Replies
            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

              Popalops candy store at Crabtree Valley Mall sells what they claim is the world's largest gummi bear for a number of years now. I'm sure they're cheaper at the mall but somehow things taste better at the fair.

              1. re: rockycat

                The company that owns Popalops also runs the booth at the fair... It's an interesting fair souvenir, but I may wait until Christmas and get one at the mall. Should make a good gag gift/party center piece.

            2. The Krispy Kreme burger really wasn't that bad. I wouldn't call it the greatest thing ever, but it was better than average. The sweet and salty combination actually worked, and ate lighter than I thought since it was donuts instead of a bun.

              Krispy Kreme
              2706 Watson Blvd Ste A, Warner Robins, GA 31093

              1 Reply
              1. re: dkst0426

                Had two family members try it today (I just couldn't bring myself to do it). The Offspring, who generally does not eat red meat, scarfed one down in no time flat and couldn't stop raving about how awesome it was, No condiments other than cheese on this one. It was bought at the stand across from the church restaurants and every single component of it was room temperature. Kinda grossed me out. Cost with cheese - $6.50

                Two hours later The Spouse went for the same. This time, though, at the 'Grille" that's in-line with the church restaurants. Little bit of a wait but it was made to order and everything was hot and melty. Cost with cheese and bacon - $6

                He was much less impressed than the kid. Not terrible but he's not willing to do it again.


              2. I more or less stuck with the classics - a ham biscuit, an Italian sausage, and lemonade. I also did a fried food swap with friends. We each bought a different fried item and shared so everyone could sample more. Together we had fried pickles, mac and cheese, cookie dough, and oreos. The pickles were good, pretty standard Southern treat. The mac and cheese was surprisingly good, definitely something I would get on my own and eat the whole serving. The fried cookie dough was amazing. The funnel cake crust was cool to the touch, but insulated the dough, so the it stayed warm and gooey for a long time. The oreo was OK, but not something I would spend my own money on. I will probably go again next weekend, and look forward to trying more things...