Let’s Go To The Fair!

Hello all you traveling Foodie lovers.  This week we are talking about going to the fair.  Fairs are a meeting grounds for everything human culture.  Fairs have been around for many years.  It’s all about the show casing.  From arts and crafts, live stock and farming techniques to the crazy foods.  Which type of foods?  Well these days it’s not only fresh but its deep-fried.  Trends evolve from year to year at the state, county and global fairs.

The first fair in the world is not exactly known.  However, the chronicles of mankind are filled with references to fairs, not in an institutional context, but as a part of everyday communal interaction.  Indication in scriptures point to the existence of fairs as early as 500 BC.  Merchants from all over the countries would come together to trade regional goods and native wares.  Later, entertainment and other forms of activity were added to gatherings making them into the fairs that we recognize today.  In 1765, the first Northern American fair was presented in Windsor, Nova Scotia.  Elkanah Watson, from New England, earned the title, “Father of US agricultural fairs” by organizing the Berkshire Agricultural Society.  He created the Cattle Show in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in September 1811.  Today there are more than 3,200 fairs in North America alone, bringing people closure together to share and learn about the agriculture and domestic products.

Let’s not forget about the foods of the fair.  Between all the exhibits and competitions, people get hungry and they want food.  What kind of foods?  Well, it seems every so often fairs foods start a new trend.  Right now it’s everything on a stick and something being deep fried.  Let’s not forget about the classic funnel cake or some local ice cream.  Some of the more interesting treats we have tried were hash brown covered hot dogs, or a banana rolled in a flour tortilla and then deep fried.  Have you ever tried fried beer?  Or fried coke? How about a fried Twinkie?  Next time you are at the fair, explore some of the more interesting foodie goodness.

 

With so many fairs all over the globe I know that many of you will find one close to you.  I’d like to leave you lovely foodies with a corn dog recipe and funnel cakes.

 

Corn Dog

Ingredients

  • 1 quart oil for deep frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 pounds hot dogs
  • wooden sticks

 

Directions:

Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in bacon drippings.  Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg, buttermilk, and baking soda.  Mix until everything is smooth and well blended.  Insert wooden sticks into the ends.  Dip the hot dogs in the batter one at a time, shaking off the excess.  Deep fry a few at a time in the hot oil until they are as brown as you like them.  Drain on paper towels and serve.

 

Funnel Cake

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

 

Directions:

In a deep-fryer, or heavy skillet, heat oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  In a large bowl, beat milk and eggs together.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Stir into the egg mixture until smooth.  While covering the funnel hole with one hand, pour in 1 cup of batter.  Start from the center in a swirling motion to make a 6 inch round.  Fry on both sides until golden brown.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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