In case you didn’t hear us in our last episode: IT’S SUMMER TIME! This time of year hits and most people think of pool parties, barbecues, camping trips, and goin’ to the local fair. (TBH, we also think about air conditioning and how soon Halloween will be here.) And when you think of fairs, you think of… Rides? Weird people beckoning you to throw balls at things? Petting baby goats? The world’s biggest horse? Blue ribbons for best in show livestock, crafts, pies, and art? Yes, yes! Yes to all that amazing stuff. But one of the biggest draws to boogie on down to carnival-town for is the fantastic, fabulous, fried FAIR FOOD! (They have healthy options as well, but, CHYAA, AS IF! #eyeroll).
If you are particularly interested in the marvel that is carnival food, and you have saved up a wad of cash and have prepared by fasting for two days, one of the most fun (we refuse to say funner…ew) things to do is eat your way through the fair. We would advise a well thought out plan for your day of stuff-n-play. Let us help with this: In a nutshell, do not eat your way around the fair and THEN go on rides. No one wants to deal with that. No. One. Ever. Don’t do it. Ride first, eat after. Morning = rides, afternoon into the night = fry coma. Stay hydrated. Take your acid relief medicine with you. Pro tip: SHARE. Do not try to go into that platter of Fries/Tots Brick topped with Jalapenos, Bacon and Cheese Dip solo. Split that foot-long dog drenched in four kinds of weirdness with a buddy or six. Share, people. There you go. Plan complete.
Our local fair – The Orange County Fair (12 July – 11 August 2019) – has been around a lonnnnnng time (129 years to be exact) so their list of foodie-goodness is equally long. With the help of foodbeast.com we go through 125 OC Fair Foods you may or may not have heard of. Cotton candy? Check. Fried Pickles? Check check. Kettle Corn? Check Check CHECK! Fried Slimfast Bar? Where’s our pen…we can’t…there’s…no check-marking implement here. *looking…for…pen* Nope. No checkmark for Fried Slimfast Bar. Nope.
We also go through foodnetwork.com’s not-in-chronological/alphabetical-order list of many (sorry, Kris may have missed a couple) of the state fairs in the US with the food they’re most famous for. We throw in dates and locations from travelawaits.com for your convenience. There are some states we’re on board with (Hello Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Utah, and Tennessee…winkwink) and some we will be avoiding. Sorry Nevada, you just keep your Basque Fries to yo’self.
Basically, if you’re hungry, this episode is gonna make you want to drive to your nearest fairgrounds and dig right it. If you don’t have time for that (or the extra cash…because we don’t know about YOUR fair, but OUR fair is not cheap) we’ve got this handy-dandy link to foodiecrush.com with 25 fair food recipes you can replicate right in the air-conditioned, Netflix-blaring comfort of your own home.
But before we cut you loose to check out this fair foodgasmic episode, here are some links to people and restaurants we mention:
- Go check out listener Jill’s and her daughter Ruby’s prize winning table decorations at this year’s OC Fair!! Check out Jill’s Instagram page with photos from their Blue- and Red-ribbon tables.
- The tiny Nathan’s Hot Dog champion Kris mentioned is named Sonya Thomas – nicknamed The Black Widow – and she is a Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Hall of Famer!
- To see two people eat a Depression Era-style sandwich mentioned in our episode – pickles and peanut butter – watch this YouTube video with Ali Spagnola and Shira Lazar. Let’s just say Kris might give it a go after seeing these two naysayers finish their sammich with nums and yums and much disbelief at the goodness.
- Wikipedia does a much better job than Kris in describing the lovely Basque region and peoples.
- What’s a Bierock? This is a bierock.
- What’s a Koolickle? THIS is a Koolickle.
- For chicken and waffles in Old Towne Orange, CA, (and other various locations in California, Las Vegas, NV, and SEOUL, KOREA) go to Bruxies. Be prepared to stand in line awhile with a bunch of
20-something hipstersnice Chapman College students.
- For the best lobster roll on the west coast (according to Kym…well, she didn’t say THAT exactly…anyway, keep reading…), try Provisions Deli & Bottle Shop in Old Towne Orange, CA. It’s a bit pricey at $16 but…hey…it’s LOBSTER.
- If you’re in the mood for an amazing dessert after gnoshing on a lobster roll or chicken & waffle (or both if you’re trying to beat Sonya Thomas), pop into The Aussie Bean – get your coffee while you’re there – and plant your lips around a scrumptious ice-cream cookie sandwich from Chunk-N-Chip.
- If you’re going to the OC Fair, take Kym’s advice and get your Ten Pound Buns while you’re there because according to their Facebook page, they’re only available “at the fair.”
- And if you’re a fan of the T.V. show The OC, please check out a great podcast called “Let’s Talk OC” where three friends – obsessed fan Michelle, Liss who has seen the show once, and Ingrid the newbie – get together to discuss each episode of The OC. If you loved that show and miss it, this is the podcast for you! Follow along as you stream on Hulu.
CORRECTION We erroneously cited the devastating news that multiple children died from Salmonella after visiting a petting zoo or other animal area at the San Diego County Fair in June. Sadly, one 2 year-old child did die after being infected with the E.coli bacteria after visiting the petting zoo. Four other children were infected after visiting the same animal areas, but thankfully are recovering. All five children visited animal areas between June 10 and June 22. Our sympathies and condolences go out to the family of the child who passed. Please read this full article which lists symptoms of E.coli and ways to prevent becoming infected.
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