Wednesday, July 13

Fair Food 2011

Deep-fried Klondike Bar
More than your child’s blue ribbon, winning a goldfish or watching a tractor pull; the most looked forward to item at state, county and local fairs is the food.

Fair food is in a food group all its own and not to be found on the nutritional food pyramid. Metamorphosed from real food, it is junk food on steroids. Noir movie director Tim Burton could not conjure the weird extremes which have been taken with once reasonably edible stuff.
Nothing is too far out, nothing is off limits, and anything healthy can, and will, be turned into the sinful delights we dream about the rest of the year.

So what’s out there for the official Indiana State Fair Food 2011?
Ice Cream Burger
Fair food royalty, and Indiana-based, Dennis and Cheryl Reas are part of the family owned Carousel Foods. The king and queen of the gastro lab are keeping loyal subjects satisfied with this year’s menu of burgers, including fair attendees' favorite the Donut Burger, the French Toast Burger and the Ice Cream Burger.
Not a typo, folks, this burger comes with its side of milkshake on top. Lift up the bun (if you dare) and you’ll see a chunk of deep-fried, cinnamon-coated frozen dairy product.

Deep-fried Kool-Aid
Keeping pace with the outrageous offerings of last year’s deep-fried butter, the southern Indiana family continue to push the gastro limits with Deep-fried Kool-Aid. Somewhat like a doughnut hole, it is made from a thick batter heavy on the cherry-flavored Kool-Aid powder drink mix. Dropped in fair food-required hot oil, it’s presented sprinkled with powder sugar.
Orangeade Shakeup
Orangeade Shakeups return and are guaranteed to replicate exactly the flavor of the favorite drink from Indy's Tee-Pee restaurant which once sat in front of the state fairgrounds.

Other items in Carousel's arsenal include Deep-fried Brownies, small, molten deep-fried (of course) chocolate treats and a southern helping of chicken and waffles...fair style.
Eggo Chicken

The Eggo Chicken makes its debut on the menu with a deep-fried chicken breast nestled between two Eggo brand waffles. First dipped in an egg wash, the waffles are breaded with crushed Cap'n Crunch cereal and served hot off the grill.
Carousel concession stands are located west of the Pavilion.

Other gastro goodies to ingest on the fair circuit this year are deep-fried, beer-filled pretzels, deep-fried spaghetti and meatballs and for dessert? Deep-fried Tiramisu on a stick…chocolate coated.

*Special note-The food fair crew lost a member recently. Cheryl Reas' father Larry Orme, of Carousel Foods, passed away in March of this year while doing what he loved: running food concessions. His wife Olivia will continue working with the family business.

For more information, events, schedule and tickets for the Indiana State Fair, visit

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @ejmusgrave1 and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.


Rhonda said...

Some of those might not be bad-but did I see mustard and pickle with that ice cream?!

Elizabeth J. Musgrave said...

Hi Rhonda, yes on the pickle, no on the mustard. That is cheese. They invited me stop by if I make it to the fair this year and try everything out. Will keep you posted.