Fair and Open Competition

So let me ask you, Gentle Reader, does a second helping count as seperate item?

‘Cause if it does, I blew it today.

I think people on other planets are aware that I love, love, love the State Fair.  In the middle of August when I am so over the summer I could swoon or go on a heat-induced rampage, the only thing that keeps me going is the thought that every day is one day closer to the State Fair.

Honestly, there are people walking around not dead because I didn’t want to be on a chain gang during the fair.

For a long time, there was one part of the fair that I couldn’t be a part of; the media preview luncheon.  I’d turn on the news a few days before the fair opened, and happy journalists would wax rhapsodic about all the crazy, wonderful fair food they’d sampled.

 It made me so jealous.  It felt like not only could I not sit at the cool kid’s table, I couldn’t even get into the cafeteria. 

Then I started writing about food and one day, I received an invitation to the lunch.  It was like the opposite of getting a draft notice.  I was over the moon. 

It was a ridiculous, gluttonous dream come true.

Today was the fair preview luncheon for the 2019 North Carolina State Fair—and we got to ride the new mountain-sized Sky Gazer Ferris wheel.

View from the Sky Gazer.
The fairground view from the Sky Gazer.

There were almost thirty new foods for sampling.  I wanted to try every single treat and report back, there was a lot of food.  So, I had at least a few bites of almost all of them, and for the first time, gave myself permission to finish my three favorites.  I’ll start my roundup with those.

The tray, from top left and going clock-wise: The JoCo HoHo from Fat Boys BBQ,
 La Farm’s house-made S’more, the fried Rum Runners from Gobblin’ Gourmet, La Farm’s Stuffed Cubano Baguette, the fried garlic cheese curds from The Cheese Curd Shack, 
The
F&W Concessions Reese’s Doughnut , Korean BBQ Pork Belly Egg roll from 
Woody’s Wing Wagon,
 then a fish sandwich, Party Under the Sea from Party in a Pita.  In the center is the Dole Whip from Tropical Delights.

The first item was a complete surprise; it was the fried Rum Runners from the Gobblin’ Gourmet.  It was like a boozy brown sugar pound cake had been made into cake balls, battered and fried.

I sat there and ate the entire thing.  It was delicious, different, and not as in-your-face-fried-fair-food as many of the others.  They’ll also be serving chicken corn fritters which I’m really eager to try.

The second item I polished off was La Farm’s scratch-made s’mores.  Every component is handcrafted by Chef Lionel and make me, somebody who is at best unenthusiastic about s’mores demolish one in three wolverine-like bites.  The man’s wizard and every year creates a delicious, buzzy treat.  His new offering this year is a Cuban sandwich baked into one of his classic baguettes.  Brilliant and crazy tasty.

The Cubano.

Number three is the one I had seconds on.  I’m not alone in my adoration, as today’s attendees named it best new fair food.  It was delicious resplendent, and probably the healthiest food you’ll find on the midway.  It’s a treat found in every Disney park,

It’s Dole Whip (From Tropical Delights).

Winners with Dole Whip, Tropical Delights.

For the uninitiated, it’s soft-serve pineapple sorbet, if pineapple sorbet was made by angels who love you.  I could eat a gallon of this stuff and look for more.  I cannot recommend it strongly enough. 

This win was the first-ever for a sweet treat.  But I was not even a little surprised it won, because as The Kid said, “It’s Dole Whip”.

Some of the other favorites were the jerk chicken rice bowl from Cool Runnings Jamaican, the deep-fried garlic cheese curds from the Cheese Curd Shack, and the Crack-n-Cheese® stuffed turkey leg from Hickory Tree BBQ.

Summer’s over, the fair’s in town, and there’s Dole Whip.  Really, what more could a girl ask?

I’ll see you at the fair.  WooHoo!

Thanks for your time.

Contact debbie at d@bullcity.mom.

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