Deep Fried Everything: Finding the Craziest Fair Food


The Arizona State Fair always seems to attract some rather eccentric food vendors. There are a few running themes in fair fare this year, though. First, if you can batter something like a corn dog, it can be deep-fried and subsequently sold at a booth. Second, food is better sold with qualifiers like jumbo, super, or brick. (That's right, a brick of cheese fries.) Third, bugs are food. So many of the treats are so unique they deserve a little recognition.

First stop on the fair food train is caramel apples. We took ours covered in marshmallows and didn't regret it.


Not strange enough for you? Well, that's why we tried a reindeer corn dog with all the amenities. The reindeer meat was hearty and flavorful, but a bit gamey. Maybe because it was cut with beef and pork.


Staying in the battered, deep-fried, and shoved-on-a-stick vein, we tried the deep-fried pickle next. Holy guacamole. The spicy, juicy pickle was completely delicious, and the corn dog treatment it got only made it better. It came with ranch dipping sauce, which we were skeptical about, but they actually complemented each other nicely.


Deep-fried dessert brings too many choices. There are Twinkies, moon pies, cheese cake, tiramisu, brownies, cookie dough, and a lot more. We decided to get the Oreos. They're delicious, but we're pretty glad they only come once a year.


Perhaps the grail of all fair food comes in a tiny condiment cup. It's small, but it costs $4. We thought the chocolate-covered scorpion was just too odd to pass up. Fortunately, we had our trusty fair food companion there to sample it. He said it tastes like Malibu rum with a distinct chemical after taste. Lucky the little fellas are bred without stingers.


Certainly this isn't all there was to eat at the fair. For less adventurous, there were hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, and the obligatory funnel cake. There were also a lot of freshly grilled meats and roasted corn. There's nothing wrong with taking the safe route.



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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch