The Florida State Fair 2012
Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on February 21, 2012
the title is to be read “twenty-twelve”. because that way it’s like this year’s florida state fair… TOOK PLACE IN THE FUTURE!!
now that that important business is out of the way, i can begin. after last year’s state fair visit was such a rousing success, leaving me with many an erotic, food-entrenched memory, i decided it must become a tradition. so we went back this year, hoping to find all sorts of new, disgusting foods, and pet all sorts of new, disgusting animals.
sarcastic. fucking. goat. i hate you, sarcastic fair goat.
i met with a bunch of people, and pretty much all we did on our fair visit was eat food. we almost watched some stupid X-TREME BMX MOTOCROSS SPORTZ event, but our spidey senses told us the show was going to be far too bogged down with christian undertones to be worth sitting through. oh, and because it was a bmx sports show. so all we did was eat food. and maybe a couple grown adults went down slides. FUN FOR ALL!
tiki tea, the purveyor of 75¢ sweet tea, was my first target. their tea proved to be the lubricant of last year’s fair, and this year was very much the same. i counted three stations around the fairgrounds, each serving up delicious, perfectly sweetened tea (also in a variety of flavors!!). and at seventy-five cents for a twenty ounce styrofoam souvenir cup, you can’t afford not to buy this! multiple times!
and then was the state fair hand-dipped corn dog. last year’s corn dog was ruled as butt by all involved parties (me), so i made sure to go to a place that specialized solely in corn dogs this year. and i was not disappointed. this one kicked so much ass. i wish i had the ability to leap through time, so i could pit this year’s corn dog against last year’s corn dog in a corn dog battle royale. just to watch last year’s corn dog lose like the bitch it was.
note the subtle pool of bubbly saliva resting atop the dog’s inner meat sanctum. mmm corn dog.
and fried pickles!! AGAIN with the fried pickles! god i love these guys. light batter, fried crisp and hot right before your eyes. the perfect way to settle into the “i’m going to eat everything fried” mindset.
here we have fried cheddar cheese curds! what a little delight. the frying on these bad boys is nigh professional! just look at that battered exterior. nice. they were fairly pleasing, with stretchy cheese like 90′s pizza commercial. the only problem here is that cheddar cheese is so lame. they had jalapeño cheddar as well, which i also tried, and it was exponentially better. they also had mozzarella, which i’m sure was great, but i mean come on what is this tgi fridays SERIOUSLY FOLKS AM I RIGHT?
and the year’s special event: fried bubblegum. wow. yeah. that sounds just awful. but it was all the buzz! because it’s so outrageous! so crazy!! well, you know what? it wasn’t that crazy. because they basically lied to you. it’s not bubbled gum at all! it’s a marshmallow, dipped in a pink bubblegum-flavoured goo. then fried. so it’s pretty much just the man fucking you over once again.
in theory, a fried marshmallow should be good! it’s got all the makings of a perfect fair treat. their misstep was the bubblegum sauce itself. oh, the hubris! the slime they used coated the marshmallow, making it look kinda cool, but melted in such a way upon frying that it combined with the marshmallow’s exterior and became a frothy cream. which STILL wouldn’t have been such a problem, had a.) it not tasted disgusting (worst approximation of an artificial flavor ever), and b.) my friend not mentioned its similarity to pepto-bismol (whose website is actually pretty awesome). the texture was dead on, and even the taste was almost similar once i had it in my mind. oh god why.
it was not a pleasant experience. avoid this one.
right next door to the pepto-balls was a bacon hut, serving up bacon with chocolate dipping sauce. somehow, despite my constant food monstering, i’ve never properly had chocolate-covered bacon. this christmas, a sexy sexy lady exposed me to the wonders of bacon peanut brittle, but the chocolate connection had yet to occur. and, officially, i’m gonna say the connection is still unmade. the choco-paste they provided with the well fried bacon was more like a chocolate body paint than a real chocolate dip. it was low quality. and honestly, the right form should be a fully hardened chocolate bar rather than a dip, to encapsulate the bacon. the slathering did not work for me.
by this point, i was beginning to feel like this suicidal bear, who apparently had been experiencing the fair full on until he collapsed and started contemplating his life. what a mess! but unlike my bear friend, i had to power through. there was yet more food to be had.
fried mashed potatoes. we missed it last year, but swung by to pick it up this time around. and we were probably better off last year. these things sucked. i can’t speak to the quality of the mashed potato itself (not good), but the overall experience here was just disappointing, a half-assed attempt at finding the perfect fair food. the ball was fried using the same batter they use for the fried bubblegum, the fried oreos, the etc. now, i may have been wrong to go in expecting this, but i was really hoping for something more along the lines of a potato ball. this was presented like a sweet treat, containing shitty quasi-potatoes, and coated in a gross canned gravy. bluh.
but things soon were looking up! i got the italian sausage that i always love so dearly, as always cooked to disgusting and served with awful onions and peppers. god help me i love shitty food. the onions were so slimy and old that i ended up dumping them, but the sausage was awesome and i regret nothing.
i again had the magic lemonade you can only find at the fair, with so much delicious sugar and fresh squeezed lemons. what a beautiful treat.
and finally, for dessert this year, and WINNER OF THE FAIR, i present: the fried pop-tart. it came out looking like a flat, rectangular hot pocket with nothing to lose. after a short struggle to rip a chunk off, i popped this bad boy into my mouth and experienced pure fair food bliss – sweet, deep-fried goodness, lightly dusted with powdered sugar. the pop-tart is the perfect thing to fry, being designed to be heated, already sweet, and offering a fruity center. it’s got layers of fun. coat it with a satisfying batter, and you’re golden. the strawberry “jelly” insides oozed out temptingly and mixed with the fried batter and sugar, becoming something greater than any kellog’s exec could ever have dreamed. just a delight. this is what wacky experimental fair food is all about.
so all in all, it was once again a great experience. i did pretty well, sampling a good amount of food. and we all had a good amount of fun, thanks in no small part to our determination to be the very best like no one ever was (regarding food conquests). food truly is the entire purpose of the fair. oh and stupid animals. stupid, angry, sarcastic fucking animals.
RIP SARCASTIC GOAT
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