Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fair Food, Foul Food

It seems to be a law that food at State Fairs and County Fairs have to be as unhealthy as possible. And that is, perhaps, as it should be. Fairs are, after all, agricultural celebrations. After winters of struggling with cold and ice to keep stock alive, winters of eating the food preserved over the past growing season and hoping it will hold out (at least, in the days before grocery stores), after springs of hoping to get the crops planted in between ground frozen with cold and soggy with rain, hoping conditions are right for the seed to sprout and the crows don't eat them and the rabbit and deer don't nibble them to the ground, after summers of fighting raccoons and drought and rain and blight, fighting animal disease and predators--after all this, it's finally time to bring in the harvest, finish off the growing and grooming of the stock and celebrate!

So you take a week or so off and go to the fair. You bring your best preserves and bake your special cake, put a final polish on that piece of furniture you've been making in the evenings to unwind before bed, enter your prize livestock to challenge your peers as to who's the best farmer/rancher, and you indulge yourself in food you only eat once a year.

Used to be. These days, most fair-goers indulge in bad food most of the time, so fair food has to get weirder and worse for you. But, although it sounds like it, this isn't a diatribe against bad food. It's no crank statement to say that most of us should eat more sensibly, and that food that's bad for us ought to be an occasional indulgence. That said, it's always fascinating to see how bad fair food can be for you. Chocolate-covered bacon. Hamburger on a donut bun. Deep-fried Snickers bars.

Personally, corndogs and cotton candy are deliciously, wickedly bad enough to suit me. :) How old-skool is that?

Marian Allen

3 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Corn dogs and curly fries are the best part of the fair.

Marian Allen said...

Oh! I forgot about curly fried! With spices on! And elephant ears, of course.

CA Verstraete said...

no not an elephant ear, had my turtle ear - even worse: with chocolate and nuts. haaa!
yes corn dog and tater/ribon fries too. boy good thing that was the last one!