Or as it's known locally, the State Fair of Texas.
My blood is still pumping cooking oil.
State fairs are much like the Royal Shows in Australia, so the basic concept was familiar – carnival rides, agricultural displays (and their attendant, ahem, smells) and seething hordes of people. But the Texas version of it is famous for its food, which comes in two forms:
- Fried; and
- Deep fried.
Now admittedly, fried food is a staple of any show (speaking as a person who worked a Dagwood Dog van at a Summernats one year – hey, I was young, I needed the money), but the Texans decided some time ago that instead of the usual fare, they would provide all sorts of culinary delicacies for the crowds. And by culinary delicacies I mean the innovative and curious attempts to deep fry all manner of foodstuffs, no matter how outlandish the results.
Then there were the queues for the parking lot. Then the queues for the tickets to get in. Then the queues for the coupons that you use to pay for food and drinks. Then there were the queues for the food and drink itself, which in one case took over half an hour.
I actually managed to queue for, buy, and imbibe two beers in the time it took for Noël to get to the front of that particular queue. I’m sure if it were possible to have a queue for queuing, they’d work it into the mix (and charge good money/coupons for it).
By far, the best food we tried (in my opinion) was chicken-fried bacon. You heard right, bacon covered in fried chicken coating, then deep fried until super crispy. Bacon’s pretty awesome to begin with, but these guys went and took it to a whole new level. It was simultaneously insane and mind-blowing. Oh, and disgustingly greasy, but you get over that.
The sweet food winner out of the lot was the deep fried S’mores. For the non-Americans, a S’more is a dessert made of marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched between two cookies, which is already sweet and unhealthy on its own, but cover it in batter, deep fry it and then powder it with sugar and you’ve got a heartstoppingly sweet and tasty dessert.
It didn’t help that we saved the most indulgent and decadent food until last, deep fried cookie dough (better described as pure sugary death with occasional pecans).
Even today I am still physically recovering from the experience.
None, nothing. Not a Bertie Beetle in sight. I guess I had just assumed that they’d be there, laden with cheap candy, crappy toys and those stupid oversized inflatable hammers that tear apart after three hits. If I were a more enterprising man I’d be setting up a business right away.
Maybe I can pitch it once I’ve got my MBA. Speaking of which, it’s time to get back to study. My brother is visiting from Australia this week, and I’ve got to get ahead on my reading.
I could use some more of that bacon though… you know, study food and all…