As it always does, the end of the Texas State Fair’s run has caught me unawares. I sincerely thought I had more time, but then I always do.
The plan was (and maybe still is) to hit the fair this year. The idea seems to be a big hit with the family unit and I find myself not objecting too much to having to drive into the downtown Dallas and brave the traffic. Will the weather hold out? As I write this, I don’t know.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been to the fair. And by awhile I mean decades (I really have to stop using the "D" word, it makes me sound older than I am.) I’ve only been a few times, but the lingering memories are, not surprisingly, of food. I had my first taste of German food at the fair; the authentic stuff. I’ve not had German food as good since. And funnel cakes. Who doesn’t love those? Meat on sticks. Yep, that too.
So it is then that the wife and I aren’t so much interested in the rides. We’re going for the food. If it can be fried it will be. And if it can’t, it will be. There is even a Big Tex Choice Award for the top food items at each year’s fair as fairgoers consistently rank food as the No. 1 choice for attending the fair (I’m not alone!)
Winning the Most Creative award this year was an entire fried thanksgiving dinner, while the Best Taste award went to the creator of a deep-fried Cuban roll. In 2012, deep-fried jambalaya and a fried bacon cinnamon roll took home the top honors, respectively.
Notice a fried trend here? We love our food fried and we love it extremely bad for us. Fried butter anyone? Going down the winner’s list for the past eight years some of the more memorable items to grab my attention are fried bubblegum, fried beer, deep fried peaches & cream, fried banana split, chicken fried bacon, deep fried latte, fried cookie dough, fried coke, fried praline perfection and — wait for it — a fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich.
We may get mocked on late night TV but fairgoers know what tastes good.
As I get older (there I go again) I find myself liking two things less and less: crowds and traffic. Of course, the trip to the fair has plenty of both. But this time it’s worth it, I think. Plus, I don’t believe my kids have been. I feel as though I’ve failed as a father in this regard, but it’s not too late to make it right.
So, will I go this year? As long as the rain stays away I don’t think my stomach can say no. Aside from the food there is a new Big Tex to say hello to, and he strikes me as my kind of guy.