Saturday, October 14, 2006

North Carolina State Fair: A Day in Food Pictures, Part 1

The North Carolina State Fair is a regular event for the Traveling Roths since 2001 when we first came to the state. There's something there for everyone, from the contests, to the animal judging, to the concerts, to the rides, to the games, to the food. For us it's all about the animal judging. There's nothing like a good cow show. Yeah, right. It's the food, of course.

So here's a summary of the day, in food. I've designated 10 Fair Food Categories over the years (with help from others), and now pay attention to how many we can attain. The categories, in no particular order, are:
  1. Fried Savory
  2. Fried Sweet
  3. Variety Meats
  4. con Queso
  5. Sugar, Sugar, Sugar
  6. Fundraiser
  7. Baked
  8. Food-on-a-Stick
  9. Ethnic
  10. Roasted/Smoked
Could we hit them all, let's see.

We started by parking at the SAS Soccer Park in Cary, avoiding the parking nightmare caused by the NC State football game. Good thing the Wolf Pack plays at such a small stadium. We took a CAT bus for $4 a piece round trip ($2 for seniors, Oma and Opa.) The day was absolutely gorgeous, with deep blue skies, dry air, and a little chill. Some years it's ridiculously hot at fair time, and that's miserable. Being on the cool side is definitely preferable.

Entering the fair near the permanent buildings, the place was surprisingly uncrowded. This would change once NC State's little football game ended, but for now it was nice. Since it was still fairly early (before noon), a biscuit was in order.

First stop, the restaurant of St. Paul's Christian Church, where Andy and Shelley used to attend. Andy had the distinct misfortune to work in the restaurant on one of those hot years. That must have sucked. But anyway, at St. Paul's, ham biscuits are only a breakfast item, so down the street we went to Cary UMC church. We got ham biscuits (a Southern treat) for Jennifer, one for Tristan, and a sausage biscuit for Zoe. (3. Variety Meats, 7. Baked, 6. Fundraiser)
The next stop was for a London Broil sandwich. I found out about these from Shelley the first year we went to the fair. They have become a staple. (3. Variety Meats, 4. con Queso, 7. Baked)
The kids started spending their 48 ride tickets each, with the occasional pause for refreshment. They spent their own money on ice cream. Raspberry vanilla for Tristan, and Oreo for Zoe. (5. Sugar, sugar, sugar) We went into one of the permanet buildings to see what was afoot. It turns out rocky road fudge was afoot. (5. Sugar, sugar, sugar, 6. Fundraiser)It was also a little gritty. Down the aisle was a candy stand called "Davey's . . . . ." Despite the errant "e" in his name, his stuff looked cool. Jennifer got a really tarted-up candy apple, with stuff like white chocolate, cinnamon, and walnuts. (5. Sugar, Sugar, Sugar, 8. Food-on-a-Stick)

We also sampled a couple other things that were not photographed, including spicy hot peanuts for Opa (10. Roasted/Smoked), and maple cotton candy.

Back outside, we made for the area near where the grandstand field used to be, for some Wisconsin Fried Cheese (1. Fried Savory, 4. con Queso). I chose the jalapeno cheddar, with jalapeno ranch dippin' sauce, and some jalapeno iced tea. Just kidding about the tea. It was regular brewed tea from a nearby fried dough merchant.
to be continued. . . .

2 comments:

Andy Roth said...

Man, I miss those London Broil sandwhiches. Tasty!
Was the ice cream from NC State?
Did you get the free hush puppy on the way in?

The Roth Family said...

We've never had the NC State ice cream, usually due to the huge lines there, so it must be good. The shuttle dropped us off at the opposite end of the grounds from the hush puppy mill unfortunately. We did get our fried dough fix later though. . . .

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