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NC State Fair 2011 (Raleigh)

Thurs. 10/13 is the preview day, opening at 3 p.m. Admission will be discounted - same as advanced ticket purchase.

The N & O Fair Blog mentions a few new foods this year (the term food is debatable :-D) -
*Lemon stick - basically a peppermint stick in a lemon
*Deep-fried Kool-Aid - described as a hush puppy with sweet cherry flavored filling sprinkled with kool-aid
*Deep-fried bubblegum - kind of a fried batter with marshmallow and chick-lets

Let's post our fair eating news here.

Let the eating begin!

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  1. Sadly, the "new" food offerings seem quite unremarkable. As usual, I'm looking forward to the cider and kettle corn, both sold in the Village of Yesteryear. Those are by far my favorites.

    There will be at least one breakfast at the Fair. My problem is that I can never remember which church stand has the food items I like. One has better biscuits, another has link sausage. Yet another has non-watery grits and another has real milk, as opposed to powdered creamer, for the coffee. Ah, but which one is which? Something to ponder while watching the pig races.

    1. Where!!!

      Yes, I can find it on the net. But I am really lazy. Ask my ex. I have never been to a state fair in 56 years and will be close to NC tomorrow.

      What is a must see. If possible, NC will bust my cherry.

      1 Reply
      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

        It is in Raleigh, not far from I-40. Raleigh is about an hour from I-95.


      2. In the first industry building is cotton candy made out of maple syrup...mmm...

        2 Replies
        1. re: tryityoulllikeit

          Take it from me, former Vermonter, and skip the maple cotton candy and head for the Honey cotton candy in the next building. Sublime!

          1. re: aeron75

            You know, I saw that right after getting the maple. There were quite a few folks lined up. I was going to try a sample but didn't...ah well, next time. Thanks for the tip!

        2. I was just about to revive the fair thread from last year!

          I'll be there Saturday and Sunday, and will try to pace myself this year. There are a few traditions - a ham biscuit for breakfast, a polish sausage for lunch, NCSU ice cream somewhere in the middle. I had a disappointing cinnamon roll last year, so I leaning towards mini donuts instead this time around.

          For 'hounds who work near the fair grounds, they are offering a special lunch entry pass on weekdays this year. Enter through gate 12 after 11:30am, instead of regular admission buy a lunch card for $8, enjoy lunchtime at the fair, exit through gate 12 by 1:30pm and return your lunch card for an $8 refund.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mpjmph

            Wow, that's crazy...and good to know!

          2. There's a food vendor in front of the ag building (where they house all the prize winning produce and livestock) that serves hand-dipped corn dogs. Only one that does this as far as I know. It's always my first stop.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Leadmine

              There is also one across from the Kerr Scott Building

              1. re: chazzer

                Thank you for that tip b/c our preferred vendor changed their batter this year. Almost like the dog was surrounded by fried dough. Some might like that but we prefer a batter with more corn meal. The other by the Kerr Scott was better. Although I noticed a visible increase in the amount of vendors that hand dip corn dogs now, or at least that advertise it.

                Found myself reminiscing over when the price of a turkey leg was $6 and then $7. Now they're $8 or $8.50 (McBride's - why in the world would you want your employees dealing with that many quarters?). I suspect they'll be $10 if not next year then by 2013.

            2. We went tonight - first time going on opening day. I rather like it. Wasn't crowded, venders weren't frazzled, produce and floral displays looking their best.

              We had a blooming onion from Dr. Veggie (near ag build with green/yellow flags) It was almost oil free with a nice light batter and a mildly spicy sauce. Country ham biscuit from Cary Methodist (1.75) was excellent. Tried a 4-H Campfire flavor ice cream from NC States booth by the handicraft building. It was gram-cracker ice cream with mini chocolate chips and marshmallow creme - a take on s'mores. We liked it a lot. Their ice cream is so creamy and delicious.
              Ended things with the wonderful little donuts from the booth near the ag center. First time ever we have not had to wait in line for them!

              BTW, thanks for mentioning the pig races, Rockycat! They were hysterical. The animals race in order to munch on cheese puffs at the finish line! The ducks were the funniest...

              4 Replies
              1. re: meatn3

                ^ +1

                There's almost nothing funnier in nature than watching a duck run.

                1. re: Leadmine

                  I am so looking foward to going this weekend and eating myself silly. Does anyone know a deep fried candybar vender who serves them still hot, it is no fun after they have cooled down.

                  And for you duck race fans http://youtu.be/hMeGtKc6Yqg

                  1. re: chazzer

                    I think getting hot fried candy is most good luck and timing. There is a booth across from the row of church restaurants that asked me if I wanted to take what they already had made last year, or wait a few minutes for fresh/hot. I think most places will give you one fresh from the fryer if you're willing to wait a few minutes.

                2. re: meatn3

                  I also went on Friday night--it really was a pleasant night to be there. I also stopped in for some NCSU Howlin' Wolf ice cream. The chocolate peanut butter swirl was very good. I think they use actual peanut butter instead of some kind of peanut butter flavored syrup like a lot of brands out there, because the PB wasn't salty (that's not necessarily a bad thing.)
                  I also had my first funnel cake in about 15 years...just the basic with powdered sugar. Yup, crunchy and sweet, just like I remember. ::drool:::

                3. OK, went last Sunday and had something new for me...Texas Frito Pie I think it was called. It was in the same booth as the killer strawberry shortcake just up from the Village of Yesteryear. They had a sign that claimed it was voted 2010 Best New Fair Food. Doesn't look like it would be but quite delicious. Somehow a frito scooper shape is filled with a very nice flavored chili and bit of cheddar, lightly rolled in a fine cornmeal and deep fried and served with your choice of sour cream and/or salsa.

                  1. See, here I am in Germany trying to get all Hound-like with the strudel, schnitzel, and pork roast. And now y'all made me homesick. I love the NC State Fair. Oh well *sniff* I guess I'll have to make do.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Sue in Mt P

                      Just have them deep fry it all and it will almost seem like the fair!

                      Sounds like a fantastic trip!