Deep fried or not? State Fair cuisine changing it up
All the old battered and fried classics will be at the N.C. State Fairgrounds this year of course, but the new products rolled out at the media lunch were noticeably more of what you might identify as "real" food, albeit in their more extreme and decadent forms which one would expect at the fair.Posted — Updated
Well I was wrong, and I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing, but I’ll let you decide.
All the old battered and fried classics will be at the N.C. State Fairgrounds this year of course, but the new products rolled out at the media lunch were noticeably more of what you might identify as “real” food, albeit in their more extreme and decadent forms which one would expect at the fair.
Dominated by seafood (no stranger to the deep fryer I suppose), sandwiches and dare I say normal desserts, the list of new delights seemed better characterized as “culinary” rather than the usual “crazy."
A few I tried:
You might notice that the foods above almost seem at home on a brick and mortar menu, not the list of wacky treats on the 2015 or 2014 fair new item lineups. So what does this shift to more mainstream foods mean?
Raleigh’s explosion of world-class New South cuisine and innovative foodie startups was eventually going to trickle down to the fair, and just like how American culture values what's on its menu more and more as the years pass (even sports stadiums are getting the hint), this change was naturally inevitable.
The important thing about shift though, regardless of how you feel about it, is that it’s authentic. This clearly isn’t McDonald’s or Domino's trying to sell you a salad straight out of a focus group. The innovators like La Farm Bakery and Baguettaboutit (which is serving up a chicken sausage baguette) are simply showing up to the party now and bringing their culinary discipline to the recreation side of cooking.
Some new items will go full on deep fried decadence this year. We didn't get to try them though.
- Deep Fried Jell-O - Cherry gelatin will be surrounded by a biscuit-like batter. You can get this at S2 Concessions in Kiddieland.
- Man's Sandwich - A grilled cheese sandwich wrapped in bacon. It can be found at Bubba's Bacon near Gate 11.
- Fried Chicken and Waffle Kabob - Chick-N-Que near the Scott building is serving this item up and drizzling it with drizzled it with sriracha maple syrup
Which is better? Old school or the new school style of fair food? I don’t know. But for the first time, you’ll have both options and will finally be able to decide for yourself.