Sunday night was a bittersweet evening for the folks in Springfield, Illinois: the last night of the Illinois State Fair. This year’s festivities ended with a Draft Horse Pull, Chili-Cook off, and concert by Lady Antebellum. While the fair brought many great musical acts, livestock, and a 500 pound cow made of unsalted butter, the best part of the fair was the fried food (obvi). This year the state fair offered over 50 fried items including Battered Butter (you heard me), Deep Fried Head West Brownies, and Fried Kool-Aid. You are probably wondering the same thing I did, how could one possibly deep fry Kool-Aid? According to Trisha Faulkner, a Springfield native, the trick is to freeze the Kool-Aid first and then to flash fry it for less than 30 seconds. In fact, all the food is usually flash fried in order to cook the outside while leaving the inside barely melted.
Trisha also promotes the Deep Fried Snicker as the best food at the fair because “it gets the right amount of melty” while Trisha warns “The Deep Fried Milky Way tends to fall off the stick.” Beyond fried candy, one of the most popular stands at the fair is Vose’s corn dogs, where our contact in the field recommends the corn dogs and lemonade.
Concerned for your health? Try the Fried Strawberries. Craving a steak? Try the Kentucky-Fried Steak Sandwich. Feel like some of Mom’s cooking? Go for the Fried Mac & Cheese. In fact, you can check out the full menu of fried items here.
If you are anything like me, you are already planning a food crawl around the 2012 Illinois State Fair.
Alex Milling writes about booze for Small Kitchen College. She recently graduated from Northwestern, moved into the city, and is trying to soak up every last drop of sun before Chicago turns cold.