Gone are the days when fair food was limited to elephant ears, corn dogs and cotton candy.
You can still find these staples, but these days fairs around the nation are featuring bizarre combinations of anything and everything that can be shoved between two buns, fried, put on a stick, or wrapped in bacon — the weirder, the better.
Here are six crazy fair foods and where you can find them around the U.S.
How do you fry a liquid? Stuff it in pasta for a start. Fried ravioli filled with beer is famous at the State Fair of Texas.
A “bickle” is a battered, bacon-wrapped pickle on a stick. It’s popular at the Kansas State Fair.
Pickle juice pops
For some reason, pickles are a big deal in Kansas. Those watching their waistlines at the Kansas State Fair can opt for a pickle juice popsicle instead of a bickle.
Ice cream burger
No need to save room for dessert at the Florida State Fair where people voted the ice cream burger a top favorite 2016. It’s a cheeseburger topped with a crunchy scoop of Mexican-style fried ice cream. Could I get a bickle on that?
Hold the bun and bring on the donuts. Two donuts, a beef patty, a slice of ham and bourbon glaze make up the Big Clifty Bourbon Donut Burger, one of the top attractions at this year’s Kentucky State Fair. Trains of thought like this may be why Kentucky has one of the highest heart disease death rates in the nation.
Spaghetti and meatballs on a stick
Spaghetti and meatballs on a stick sounds exciting at first because the mind must ponder how slippery noodles would perform this feat. When the answer is: mash them up with meat, glom that into a ball and fry it it, it becomes considerably less exciting, unless you live in Minnesota.
— by Jennifer K. Bauer and Michelle Schmidt
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Nez Perce County Fair
WHEN: Sept 20-23, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Nez Perce County Fairgrounds, 1229 Burrell Ave., Lewiston
COST: Free to $8
FAIR FOODS INCLUDE: Funnel cakes, dirty fries, tornado potatoes, turkey legs and more
WHAT: Latah County Fair
WHEN: Today through Sunday, Sept 13-16, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Latah County Fairgrounds, 1021 Harold St., Moscow
FAIR FOODS INCLUDE: Fried Twinkies, elephant ears, cotton candy, catfish, gumbo and more
Other area fairs include the Clearwater County Fair, today through Saturday; the Garfield County Fair, Friday through Sunday; and the Lewis County Fair, Sept. 27-30. Find more information in the Inland360 print version event calendar.
Fair food is all about excess. Here are the ingredients for Inland 360’s ultimate fair food burger.
Inland360’s Original Fair Food Burger
As seen on the cover, from bottom to top:
Glazed doughnut, bottom half
Nacho cheese sauce
Ice cream bar
One whole pickle
Glazed doughnut, top half