For me, the anticipation of the State Fair is right up there with Christmas. Every year as the week approaches, I practically lie in bed while visions of corndogs and snow cones dance in my head.
And yes, I know there are so many more things to do at the fair besides eat…but I’ll stick to stuffing my face instead.
So here are 10 favorite fair foods found at the Missouri State Fair. Hurry fast because you only have until August 17 to try it all!
1. The Glorious Jumbo Corndog (Fan Favorite)
I have to start with my favorite fair item because I want you to be able to wrap your head around just how amazing a fair corndog is. With the first bite, you’ll fall in love with the juicy hot dog wrapped in a warm blanket of crisp, warm corn bread. Make sure you get the jumbo one, which is easily the same length as my head and neck combined. For the record, I polished mine off this year in less than 45 seconds.
2. The Popular Candy Apple
Now, this isn’t your average caramel-coated Red Delicious Apple. This apple is drenched in a thick layer of gooey caramel and then covered in a colorful rainbow of sprinkles. (And yes, the sprinkles make it better, okay?) This mouth-watering treat is also served on a stick so you can walk around and enjoy the fair while munching on your apple.
3. The Larger Than Life Turkey Leg
When I say larger than life, I mean that leg came from a BIG bird. I almost had to hold it with two hands to really sink my teeth into the leg at times. This bite of bird will practically fall off the bone and you better be ready. A juicy turkey leg will easily fill you up, so be willing to share!
4. Cinnamon Coated Roasted Nuts
As you move through the buildings and vendor booths at the fair you will know when you’re getting close to this treat. The sweet smell of candied coating fills the air and the faint clink of the finished product against a metal scoop is undeniable. The only question remaining as you approach is – cashews, pecans or almonds? Every bandana patterned paper cone filled with this treat is a sure sign of the Missouri State Fair. (Found in the Agriculture building.)
5. Local Produce
Missouri is known for having wonderfully delicious fresh produce, so why wouldn’t there be a massive fresh produce stand inside the air conditioned Agriculture building (right next to the prize-winning giant pumpkin and squash!). You could spend a lot more time than your kids would like deciding if you want a cup full of fresh, straight-off-the-vine heirloom cherry tomatoes or a juicy peach or two. It all looks so good. Have time to grab a lunch? You can also purchase a sandwich or salad from this fairyland of a booth.
6. Honey Ice Cream
Ice cream is ice cream, right? Wrong! This fair favorite, brought to us by the Missouri Bee Keepers Association, is made with the purest of ingredients. Raspberry, peach and traditional vanilla flavors result in a “you-can’t-just-have-one” mentality. With this sweet treat I share my number one tactic for eating your way through the fair – alternate. Salty, sweet, savory, sweet, cheesy, sweet, buttery, sweet and some fudge for the road. (Found in the Agriculture building)
7. Rainbow Snow Cone
I know this is the second rainbow item on the list, but in my opinion it just makes everything taste better. I guess you could say that I always have to get a snow cone to let my inner child come out to play while I’m at the fair. With flavors like grape, cherry, green apple and blue raspberry, prepare to have a colorful explosion in your mouth of all of your favorite childhood flavors.
8. Spiral Cut Potato Ribbons
As much of a performance as a snack, if you can sneak a peek at the fry masters as they swirl a potato into a heap of thinly sliced delight, consider yourself lucky. There must be secret tricks of the trade to create such a perfect middle ground between potato chip and french fry. With an extra tray for catsup and a side cup of nacho cheese you’ll be a favorite among friends as you share a generous portion of this seasoned dish.
9. Deep Fried Red Velvet Oreos
I can guarantee you that this dessert tastes just as good as it sounds. Some creative spirit decided to take America’s favorite cookie and deep fry it in the deliciousness that is Red Velvet funnel cake batter. Topped off with powdered sugar and cream cheese icing, this treat will melt in your mouth and leave you wanting more.
10. Giant Corn on the Cob
When watching the vendor peel back the husk and drizzle on the butter, I think that there cannot be a more traditional, home-grown fair food. Sweet and crisp with savory steam rising off the cob, there’s no way to be dainty about it. Just clean the cob and wipe your face as you move onto the next adventure.
My advice to you? Come to the Missouri State Fair with an empty stomach and an open mind, ready to chow down on some delicious fair food. And eat another corndog for me, will ya?