Fair Food: Try a Campfire on a Stick

Published 7:37 pm Friday, October 4, 2019

As I sat down to find a column topic to write about this week, my stomach growled quite loudly. I took this as a sign from the universe that I should probably write about food this time, and luckily for me, I’m just in time for the NC State Fair to release the list of new foods that will be featured this year.

If you remember last year, I dug through the “new for 2018” list and found such gems as the “crack and cheese waffle cone” (a waffle cone stuffed with mac-n-cheese, turkey barbecue, turkey cracklings, and coleslaw) and “unicorn bacon” (bacon-on-a-stick dipped in glaze and rolled in Fruity Pebbles cereal). I have no idea how popular these two offerings were last year, but they certainly catch people’s attention with the names alone.

Once again, I doubt I will get a chance this year to make a trip out to the State Fair in Raleigh, so I choose to live vicariously through reading the list of new crazy food combos available this year. After all, isn’t the best part of a fair just getting the opportunity to ruin your healthy eating for a few hours with all the wondrously disgusting food they have to offer?

Here are a few of the strangest new foods the State Fair has to offer. It’s up to you to decide whether or not they’re actually tasty!

Billies Baked Potatoes will offer a variety of different baked potato toppings outside of the usual cheddar and sour cream. The most eye-catching seems to be “Billies Veggie” which is a baked potato stuffed with a “zesty” vegetable medley. I assume this may be the healthiest food featured in this column. It’s all a sugary, artery-clogging ride downhill from here.

The “JoCo HoHo” from Fat Boys BBQ already has my vote for the most ridiculous (and rather misleading) name. The food itself is simply a deep-fried jalapeno on a stick stuffed with cheese and brisket. No actual HoHos were involved in the making of this offering. At least… I hope not.

“Campfire on a Stick” is another fun name brought to fairgoers by Hot Chix Hotcakes and Chicken. It seems like it’d probably be really messy, but I’d actually like to try this one. It features mini-pancakes skewered alongside toasted marshmallows, all covered in a chocolate and graham checker topping.

The Mediterranean Grill is offering a mishmash of flavors in the “Red Velvet Cheese Enchilada Funnel Cake,” or described less confusingly: a red velvet-flavored funnel cake with cheese and enchilada sauces on top. I think I have heartburn just from reading that description.

Do you ever wake up some mornings and think “I’d love something Cheerwine-flavored”? If so, you might want to check out Ragin Cajun’s booth this year because they’re offering “Candied Apple Hushpuppies with Cheerwine Sugar Glaze.” Personally, I preferred last year when the new hushpuppy flavors simply involved adding chocolate chips.

Bubba’s Bacon is offering something called “The Sloppy Pig” this year, which is a sloppy joe covered in cheese sauce and bacon because, as the description states “everything’s better with bacon!” Usually I’d agree with this sentiment, but if you look back at the rest of the items on this list you’ll see that bacon probably can’t save all of them.

Lastly, I want to give a shoutout to what looks to be the simplest new item this year: “Deep Fried Olives” from Old Style Foods. It’s fried olives on a stick. That’s it. That’s the food. While everyone else might be trying to outdo each other with the craziest combination of flavors, we simply have here the tried-and-true method of “you can fry literally any food and then put it on a stick.”

If you’re going to the State Fair this year, which runs from Oct. 17 through Oct. 27, it might be fun to be adventurous enough to try a couple of these new attractions. If not, maybe you can just be like me instead and experiment at home with your own unusual combinations!

I wonder what the State Fair will do if they ever run out of weird food ideas…

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at holly.taylor@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7206.