Sunday Food: Fair Fare
This is the season for community fairs, and one of the big draws for the crowds that attend is the prolific food offerings. A lot of it is fried, and the ‘corny dog’ is famous for being born at The Fair. Of course, so is Fried Snickers and Fried Coke, the kind of invention that State Fairs advertise so you’ll come again this year.
Yesterday, I went to Pymatuning State Park Festival, in Ohio, and enjoyed a bunch of fair character along with pulled pork, a huge tub of fries – which is de rigeuer in these parts – and a raspberry milk shake. I could have had gyros, corny dogs, wings, funnel cakes, sausage sandwich, pizza, nachos, and a bunch of other wonders the fair brings, but hamburgers are a scarcity anymore.
We were in luck, as there was a southern barbeque stand near the front of the food booths, and after wandering through the entire length of them, we returned for very fine pulled pork, slathered in sauce. I stood in line for the sandwich while my fellow fairgoer stood in line for fries.
In case you haven’t had it, pulled pork is made by long simmering in a hot oven, preferably over coals and cooked outdoors, then pulled apart with forks and covered in long simmered barbeque sauce.
The fries are a big attraction in NW PA and NE OH, every fair offers a large paper tub of them, with all the ketsup or vinegar you want to pour on top. In our case, we went half and half, and I go for the side with the vinegar.
At the larger state fairs, there will be more ethnic booths, and I’ve avoided the long line at the TX State Fair corny dog concessions to enjoy Cuban and Polish meals. They’re made with a lot of care, in my experience, to create a clientele for their related restaurants in the towns throughout the state.
The food isn’t the only reason to go to the fair, of course, but usually the community fair raises money for a local organization like the fire department. In yesterday’s fair, we were contributing to the Pymatuning state park’s public campgrounds, beaches and maintenance.
Eat up, you’re going to love the lake more when it’s kept up.
(Picture courtesy of looseends at flickr.com.)