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These specialties will take some time at the gym to burn off
The All-Time Craziest State Fair Foods
Every summer, millions of Americans flock to their state’s annual State Fair. Some come for the carnival rides, some for the concerts, some for the rodeo, some for the giant vegetables. But in recent years, some state fairs have become renowned for one gut-busting reason: the food.
State Fair of Texas: Deep-Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll
The Texas State Fair is legendary for its commitment to clogging its patrons’ arteries, and this deep-fried cinnamon roll, covered in glaze and topped with powdered sugar and plenty of crumbled bacon, certainly fits the bill. This was such a hit that it was a winner at the Big Tex Choice Awards.
California State Fair: Caveman Turkey Leg
We have to admit that this one is pretty brilliant. Why eat a plain turkey leg when you can gnaw on one that’s been wrapped up in bacon and deep-fried?
Ohio State Fair: Deep-Fried Buckeyes
Buckeyes, balls of peanut butter fudge partially dipped in chocolate, are a popular regional treat in Ohio and surrounding states. So it makes perfect sense that someone thought to batter and fry them at the Ohio State Fair.
The Great New York State Fair: The Defibrillator
If you’re going to create a dish called The Defibrillator, you better make sure that it’s the type of food that can clog your arteries just by looking at it. We think the one served at Jim Hasbrouck’s Fried Specialties at the New York State fair gets it right: an Angus beef burger topped with deep fried bacon, deep fried pickles, and deep fried cheese curds, with two grilled cheese sandwiches serving as a bun. Introduced in 2015, this gooey and greasy monstrosity has been estimated to contain more than 1,600 calories.
North Carolina State Fair: Miss Debbie’s Specialty Apples
Miss Debbie’s Specialty Apples has a stand set up at the North Carolina State Fair, and these definitely aren’t your grandma’s candy apples. Just take a look at these: They’re covered in chocolate, nuts, and coconut, and yes, those are indeed doughnuts on top.
Arizona State Fair: Deep-Fried Pecan Pie
Pecan pie is well-established as basically the unhealthiest pie in existence (its filling is primarily nuts, butter, and corn syrup, after all), so of course it makes sense to batter and fry the thing. At the Arizona State Fair, the batter is so thick that you’re basically eating a gooey pie-filled doughnut (here’s a photo of the inside).
Colorado State Fair: Mexican Funnel Cake
Funnel cake is a carnival and state fair staple (and is even occasionally used as a hamburger bun), but at the Colorado State Fair they take it one step further: Instead of traditional funnel cake batter, the mix is dropped into the oil through a churro extruder. The end result is essentially a several-foot-long churro.
Wisconsin State Fair: Fried Cheese Curds
Cheese curds, which are basically just chunks of fresh cheese, are a Great Lakes regional specialty. As you might have imagined, there’s no shortage of deep-fried variations at the Wisconsin State Fair. These get a light tempura batter and taste like the best mozzarella sticks you’ve ever eaten.
State Fair of Texas: Fried Butter
The creation that arguably started it all earns Texas two spots on this list. Introduced in 2010, many assumed that the concept of “deep fried butter” was too ridiculous to be true, but it’s indeed a real thing: Balls of butter are mixed with cinnamon and sugar, dunked in batter, and deep-fried. The end result contains a molten center of melted butter, some of which soaks into the shell. Nearly every state fair has its own version, but it all started in Texas.
Oklahoma State Fair: S’Mores Cinnamon Roll
This one’s a mashup for the ages: a giant cinnamon roll, brimming with chocolate, crumbled graham crackers, and a whole lot of marshmallows.
Minnesota State Fair: Sautéed Alligator and Fries
Yes, it’s real alligator, sautéed and served atop alligator-shaped fries. Yes, it’s certainly wacky, but considering the fact that alligator is notoriously tough and chewy, we can’t vouch for its flavor.
Texas State Fair: Chicken Fried Bacon
In Texas, thick slices of bacon get the chicken-fried treatment, getting coated in a thick crust before making their way into the deep-fryer.
Wisconsin State Fair: Pulled Pork Doughnut Sandwich
Doughnut sandwiches are a state fair staple by this point, and they’ve been filled with some really ridiculous things, usually involving burgers. But we’ll stick with pulled pork in ours.
Minnesota State Fair: Fried Fruit on a Stick
Why just eat a piece of fruit when you can put it on a stick, batter it, and fry it? This place knows the answer. It’s also selling deep-fried bacon-wrapped cheese-stuffed olives, which are a big hit.