Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The most complete Arkansas State Fair food preview you can find

Posted By on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 9:07 AM

DEEP FRIED WATERMELON:  On a stick, for real.
  • Grav Weldon
  • DEEP FRIED WATERMELON: On a stick, for real.
I think I can honestly say I probably know more about what food will be served at the Arkansas State Fair than any other member of the media. It's not that I learned a whole lot more than anyone else at yesterday's media preview; it's that I've spent the past few years all over the Arkansas State Fair cataloging every food that's served and then attending other fairs in advance to see what's coming.

You want to check out the list I've compiled? It's over at Tie Dye Travels, including links to Eat Arkansas stories I've done on specific items in the past. UPDATE: A photo overview is also below in slideshow form. Come Friday, I'll go back out and do another version, shooting everything once again in its natural habitat. You won't find a more complete Arkansas State Fair food guide.

Slideshow
2011 Arkansas State Fair Food
2011 Arkansas State Fair Food 2011 Arkansas State Fair Food 2011 Arkansas State Fair Food 2011 Arkansas State Fair Food 2011 Arkansas State Fair Food 2011 Arkansas State Fair Food 2011 Arkansas State Fair Food 2011 Arkansas State Fair Food

2011 Arkansas State Fair Food

The most complete preview you'll find anywhere.

By Kat Robinson and Grav Weldon

Click to View 49 slides

Maybe that makes me a little arrogant, maybe not. I show my work. I suppose that's why seeing the fair preview put out by Shea Stewart over at the weekly published Sync Magazine gets my ire up. Take for instance the description of Fried Butter:

So, fried butter. Now, the treat is not just a cholesterol-spiking, glob of yellow fat fried in batter. Well, it is. Kind of. But in truth, the butter melts during the frying process so it’s less a stick of deep-fried butter, and more fried dough heavy on the cinnamon and soaked in butter. Perhaps covered in powdered sugar or a glaze. Doesn’t that sound more appetizing? (If it doesn’t, blame Texan Abel Gonzales Jr., the mad-cook creator of fried butter, and other fair delicacies such as fried Coke and fried cookie dough.)

FRIED BUTTER:  From the State Fair of Texas, not the Arkansas State Fair version.
  • Kat Robinson
  • FRIED BUTTER: From the State Fair of Texas, not the Arkansas State Fair version.
You know, I can appreciate the knowledge of where Fried Butter comes from (and I even tried some at the State Fair of Texas) — but this is where the research fails. The Arkansas State Fair folks brought us on over to meet the food vendors and sample their wares yesterday, which is an awesome thing because that way we get to try and report on the actual food that will be sold at the fair itself.
FRIED BUTTER: On a stick, as youll find it at the Arkansas State Fair.
  • Grav Weldon
  • FRIED BUTTER: On a stick, as you'll find it at the Arkansas State Fair.
The folks from CMS are running the steakhouse near the entry of the Hall of Industry that will feature Steak Boats (a steak and potato creation not actually shown at the preview), Fried Watermelon, Grilled Watermelon, Fried Corn on the Cob, Fried Strawberries and Bananas — and Fried Butter.

The Fried Butter in this case is yes, a stick of butter frozen on a stick, battered like a corn dog and deep fried. It's like cornbread on a stick with the butter inside. It's not sweet. It's a nice savory option... as long as you can get past the idea of there being a plain old stick of butter in the center.

I had a couple of other issues with Sync's Fair reporting — which you can read on the jump. And yes, maybe I'm being cruel. But as I said, I've done my research.

There's also the reporting on the new fair foods. As written on the Sync site:

BEER BUTT CHICKEN:  As seen at last years Arkansas State Fair.
  • Kat Robinson
  • BEER BUTT CHICKEN: As seen at last year's Arkansas State Fair.
So is every Arkansas State Fair food on a stick and fried? No. New foods this year (not on a stick) include Beer Can Whole Chicken, Strawberry Beignets, sugar-free Snow Cones, Saltwater Vanilla Taffy, Letha’s Fried Pies, Batter Fried Veggies, Jalapeño Lemonade and Walking Tacos among the three dozen or so new foods. What about the returning favorites? All the usual suspects such as burgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, nachos, popcorn, chocolate-dipped bananas, fried catfish, kettle corn, Polish sausages, smoked turkey legs and cotton candy along with the weird, including barbecue rabbit sandwiches, lobster, Greek pita sandwiches and roasted corn.

DEEP FRIED VEGGIES:  From last years fair preview.
  • Kat Robinson
  • DEEP FRIED VEGGIES: From last year's fair preview.
Hrm. Okay, some may be new. I'll give it to you on the Jalapeno Lemonade and Letha's Fried Pies (which, by the way, are wonderful). But Beer Can Whole Chicken? Really? One of the top new foods at the state fair last year. Batter Fried Veggies — well, we talked about that last year, too.
WALKING TACO:  Pictured here from the State Fair of Texas, introduced here at the 2009 Arkansas State Fair.
  • Grav Weldon
  • WALKING TACO: Pictured here from the State Fair of Texas, introduced here at the 2009 Arkansas State Fair.
And the Walking Taco? I was getting onto the folks at the State Fair of Texas about that this year — because it was introduced here in Arkansas in 2009.

Meh. I think I've ranted enough for now.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Kat Robinson

Readers also liked…

  • Cache can't cut it

    All sizzle and no steak at Cache in the River Market.
    • Apr 14, 2015
  • In defense of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights

    An op-ed in today's New York Time by Katha Pollitt says what I've been struggling to say about the reaction to the attack on women's reproductive rights launched by means of the undercover videos made by anti-abortion activists.
    • Aug 5, 2015
  • Maddie's Place makes a believer out of a skeptic

    After a long hiatus, I return to Maddie's Place in Riverdale and find the food is a lot tastier than I remembered.
    • Aug 19, 2015

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Trump proposes an unconstitutional ban on flag burning, revoking citizenship

    Donald Trump, the president-elect of the United States, this morning made a public statement, via Twitter, that the flag burning should be disallowed by law: "there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation