Nothing says “definitive American summer” like the good old-fashioned state fair. And while we may enjoy the carnival rides and best in show pigs and cows, we all know that state fairs are really about the food. Every year it seems that state fairs come up with wackier fair treats (Texas, we’re looking at you), proving that pretty much anything can be fried or served on a stick. Some of the stranger state fair snacks include deep-fried bubblegum in Texas, fried Girl Scout cookies in North Carolina, and, of course, deep-fried butter at multiple Southern state fairs.
Crazy state fair foods aside, sometimes you just want to stick with the classic carnival foodstuffs, like fried Oreos or caramel apples. The Daily Meal has rounded up recipes for nine of the most iconic foods that you’ll spy at just about any state fair across the country. That way, you can bring the best fair fare home and chow down without having to worry about making yourself sick from the lethal combination of unhealthy food and spinning teacup rides.
From the fried and sweet to the classic Southern treats, these recipes will allow you to enjoy the best parts of the state fair long after the cows have gone home and the fryer has been turned off.
What would a fair be without caramel apples? Also popular at Halloween, these sweet treats are the stuff dentists' nightmares are made of. Even so, they’re not too hard to make if you have the right ingredients. Remember to always start out with Granny Smith apples, and check out our caramel apple guide here.
Corn dogs are the quintessential edible element to most American summer outings. You can find them at street fairs, on the boardwalk, and, of course, at your local state fair. Sure, you could go for the classic corn-battered frankfurter, but why not kick it up a notch with our recipes for bratwurst beer-battered corn dogs? Or, get tiny with these mini corn dogs.