15 Craziest State Fair Foods
The fair! What a wild time. State fairs are often lawless places, locations where you can shatter social norms and ride giant pieces of machinery run by teenagers. While the rides basically stay the same, fair food culture has really morphed over the years. And let us tell you, people are getting inventive. Did you know you can fry Kool-Aid? Or put jelly beans in funnel cake like some kind of heathen? If either of those things pique your interest, the state fair is the place for you.
Moreover, fairs are filled with games and celebrity performances. In that way, they’re fun. But the summer events also expose the underbelly – as well as genius – of some food concoctions. There’s a careful balance between innovation and making a product for shock value, though. And that’s a lesson we can all learn from deep-fried bubble gum, for example.
As much as we’d love for all foods to be fry-able, that’s just not the case. But the more delicious-sounding creations on this list outweigh the bad eggs. Spaghetti on a stick, for instance, uses developments in recent spaghetti technology for good. An Oreo covered in chocolate chip cookie dough and fried? There’s no way it could be less than delicious. If you consider yourself a foodie, these fair foods will broaden your horizon.
1. Leave It To Florida To Give Us Deep-Fried Ice Cream On A Hamburger
This high-calorie treat is sure to put you in a food coma.
The Florida State Fair’s ice cream burger tops a classic cheeseburger containing tomato, onions, and bacon with a scoop of fried ice cream. This crazy snack is actually pretty efficient if you think about it. It’s dinner and dessert all in one.
2. Scrapple Is Just What It Sounds Like – Scraps
But Delaware residents love it.
The Delaware State Fair pays homage to a colonial tradition. The saying “waste not, want not” perhaps best describes scrapple. The dish is made of the “unmentionable pig parts” people typically dispose of, as well as cornmeal and spices. If scrapple alone isn’t enough questionable meat for you, fairgoers can order their hot dogs topped with the concoction.
3. The Do-E-Oreo Has A Lot Of Vowels And Even More Sugar
Illinois has the right idea.
The Do-E-Oreo sounds like pretty much the perfect treat. Deep-frying an oreo covered in chocolate chip cookie dough is something only a true genius could have ever thought to do. If you’d like to enjoy this inventive fair food, head to the Great Mississippi Valley Fair.
4. Moink Balls Are Meat Balls But Meatier
If you’ve ever thought, “I should really put a little meat on this meat,” these are for you.
At the Kansas State Fair, visitors can enjoy delicious bacon-wrapped meatballs, more commonly known as moink balls. When you order moink balls, you’ll get five of them on a stick. And, of course, they’re dipped in barbecue sauce. What’s more, they have a pretty adorable name.
5. Deep-Fried Peanut Butter And Jelly Is A Messy Treat
This one is all your childhood dreams come true.
At the Iowa State Fair, you can order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich fried until it’s golden brown. Senator Corey Booker, who is vegan, enjoyed one during a visit to the Iowa State Fair and called it “a little slice of heaven.” After his first bite, he immediately ordered another.
6. Put Jelly Beans In Funnel Cake Batter And Fry It, You Simple Boy
This one seems a little out there, but fairgoers love it.
Originating in West Springfield, MA, this deep-fried jelly bean is coated in funnel cake batter and dropped in a vat of high-heat oil. From the outside, this treat doesn’t look like anything special, but the inside is like an artificial, sticky fruit-flavored funnel cake — every person’s dream.
7. A Maggot Melt Sandwich Is A Lot Like A Grilled Cheese… But There’s One Major Difference
Who doesn’t love putting bugs in things for the novelty?
The kind people down at the Utah State Fair have embraced an establishment forebodingly named “Jungle George.” And Jungle George is responsible for the maggot melt sandwich, which is just a grilled cheese with maggots in it for some reason. The business owner, Rodney Wright, told The Salt Lake Tribune he went through 23,000 maggots while preparing his sandwiches. That means thousands of humans bought $4 maggot sandwiches, and that’s dark.
8. Deep-Fried Butter Is Just What It Sounds Like
Now you can crunch into your butter ball.
The deep-fried butter ball revolutionized the butter ball industry. Before, people bit into soft butter balls, and called them disgusting. Now, we can bite into hot butter balls as God intended. At the Iowa State Fair you could even get a deep-fried butter stick if that sounds like something you’re interested in.
9. Deep-Fried Kool-Aid Balls
Although it sounds crazy, it actually makes perfect sense to fry Kool-Aid. Mixed with a little water, flour, and powdered sugar, the drink mix basically turns into a donut hole. And if you think about it as a Kool-Aid-flavored donut, that sounds kind of cool. It’s like when people make Rice Krispies with Fruity Pebbles – pure innovation.
10. Fried Goo-Goo Clusters Aren’t As Weird As They Sound
No affiliation with the Goo-Goo Dolls.
The Tennessee State Fair sold fried candies called Goo-Goo clusters. The Goo-Goo Clusters are battered and dropped in a vat of oil. They’re similar to deep-fried Oreos but chocolatey and melty. Consequently, they may be better than Oreos. Know that if you just can’t stand eating candy that’s room temperature, you have other options.
11. This Treat Is Called A Spam Curd (And It Would Be A Great Nickname For Your Firstborn)
If you say “Spam Curd” three times fast, a heart attack appears in the mirror.
The Spam Curd is created by battering a ball of cheese Spam and dropping said ball into a vat of oil. If a mere ball isn’t enough to satisfy your Spam Curd cravings, you could also get a Spam burger. Fortunately for us, they really have thought of everything. This fair treat, if you could call it that, has a home at the Minnesota State Fair, where the Spam factory is located.
12. Someone With Trauma Came Up With Deep-Fried Bubble Gum
Frankly, this crosses a line.
In fact, the name of deep-fried bubble gum is a little misleading. The balls are actually bubble gum-flavored marshmallows coated with bubble gum-flavored batter topped with a bubble gum-flavored icing. The taste is so strong, one writer who tried it at the Texas State Fair, said she could taste the wild state fair food for an entire day.
13. Mealworm Covered Caramel Apples
Let’s just save the mealworms for when global warming has ravaged the Earth, and they’re our only source of food.
If you’re chasing those crunchy, sticky, then crunchy again textures, head to the Arizona State Fair to grab a mealworm-covered caramel apple. More than a fair snack, it’s a reflection of the human condition. We don’t have to do things like sprinkle dry mealworms onto delicious caramel apples. But we do. It makes you think.
14. Spaghetti And Meatballs On A Stick
It defies gravity.
Okay, in truth when you bite into the stick, spaghetti, meatballs, and sauce don’t come out like the center of a Boston cream donut. Instead, chefs grind up all the ingredients, pack them into a ball shape, then batter and deep-fry the whole thing. So it’s kind of like a spaghetti lollipop. You don’t have to think about it that way if it makes you uncomfortable, though.
15. Reindeer Hot Dogs
W.W.S.T (What Would Santa Think)?
Reindeer hot dogs have become popular in Alaska. And they can be hot items at the state fair. This unique treat is served in other places too, though. Food trucks across the Alaskan state began offering reindeer hotdogs in 2009. It might be a little difficult to think of eating an animal that represents a joyful holiday, but clearly, it can be done.
Would you try any of these state fair concoctions?
If so, you’ll love these other wild foods.