One of my favorite cartoons growing up in the 80’s was the movie Charlotte’s Web. There was a scene where Templeton the rat ravaged the empty fairgrounds at night looking for leftover garbage to eat. Even as a child I loved animated food, so that scene was super entertaining to me. Plus, I respected a proper gluttonous rat.
Going to a County Fair is an American Tradition, like a band of Gypsies the County Fairs roll through each American city leaving behind a trail of grease. Nothing is more Americana than crazy (questionably safe) rides, crazy (questionably safe) fried food, barn animals and feeling like a barn animal yourself after consuming thousands of calories. Just take a look at these ridiculous food stands, I love the fact they are giant overwhelming fake food facades. Only in America.
Now once you enter the fairgrounds you smell all the delicious BBQ smoke and all the other foods just cooking away. Then you begin to come to the realization. I’m going to eat like a pig. Like a PIG.
Naturally you’ll start off with a few craft beers with your buddies. Now remember, the fair is crucial for the buddy system if you want to come out of this food tour alive. The key is delegating the expensive snack/meal purchases so you don’t overeat and don’t overspend. I’m a fan of “tapas” style food, I like getting little bites of things. I’ve never been a big fan of dedicating to just one meal.
Along your journey you will encounter many temptations. Now, feel free to indulge your cravings, but keep in mind you have a long way to go. If you see any sort of “bacon wrapped” or “bacon battered” item, STOP! The Nike brand would encourage you to ‘Just Do It’. Besides you’ll walk a lot, burning tons on calories, yada, yada, yada.
The bacon wrapped pickles are worth a try. The bacon is delightfully crunchy (because its deep fried) and the pickles have a crisp wet feel at the end of your bite. Sounds kinda strange. Because it is. But still rather good.
Now bacon wrapped shrimp?! Oh my dear swine. The bacon wrapped shrimp. It was heavenly. Super crispy.
Grilled corn on the cob may be the healthiest option at the fair….well that’s before you lather mayo, Parmesan, chili and other condiments all over it. It’s totally Mexican street Paleta style.
(Don’t forget the garlic salt and the Tapatio…an absolute must!)
The LA County Fair now has various food trucks serving new trendy food options. A teriyaki ramen burger is all the rage right now. Not bad, but I’m still not sure what all the fuss is about.
Now, let me discuss the heavyweight class. The quintessential ‘MERICA’ FUCK YEA’ food. The Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger. This is one you must share with several of your friends. If this is something you polish off solo…well I’m sure there are ambulances nearby to help resuscitate your poor heart. But I would recommend at least tasting this once in your life, the sweet and savory go surprisingly well together. But really, lets call a spade a spade, this beast is a disgusting sticky mess.
The county fair is nothing without a bunch of sweets to get all the kids hopped up on way too much sugar. Like these cinnamon and sugar donuts. Mmmm do-nuts.
If deep fried dough is not your thing. How about pure unadulterated liquid RED? Pure sugar straight tapped to the veins. This snow cone will leave you looking a mess. Make sure you choose your color wisely because that will be your new tongue and lipstick color for the next few hours.
Now my favorite dessert. I’m usually not a big fan of sweets AT ALL. Well, except for macaroons and soft serve ice cream. Not regular ice cream. Soft serve ice cream! Soft serve is like the down comforter of the desserts. Soft, smooth and creamy enough to melt into.
Luckily this event is only once a year because my heart can only handle this insanity but once a year. This is not the way to live, eating this way will certainly clog your arteries. Riding the scary makeshift rides that are folded up and built by carnies is probably not the safest thing to do everyday of your life. But once a year? Hell yea, I’ll eat like shit and get on the sketchy Ferris wheel to marvel at this stunning view.