C'mooooon over, folks! Step right up!
That's right, it's almost that time of year again. So, gather up the kids, put on your stretchy pants and grab some Pepto-Bismol. The Arizona State Fair is on its way, opening Friday, October 14. And we are ready to eat.
This year, the genius minds that came up with such classics as deep-fried Twinkies, chocolate-covered scorpions and alligator on a stick have a new menu of oddities, curiosities and just plain crimes against nature for us to force down out gullets.
We can't wait. Here are five of our favorites -- in a shake your head and hold your stomach kinda way.
5. Maggot Melt Sandwich
In the grand tradition of grossing out your friends and family by eating the inedible, the Arizona State Fair presents, the Maggot Melt Sandwich! Seriously. We have a picture. Take two hamburger buns, a few slices of cheese, a healthy dose of fly larvae, toss it all on the grill and chow down. There's no prize that comes with this particular delicacy, but we're pretty sure that if you paid to eat it, you don't need one.
Get it deep-fried and chocolate-coated after the jump.
The Deep-Fried Fair Food Phenomenon has reached a new high (or low) this year. It turns out you can coat just about anything in batter and dunk it into a vat of boiling-hot fat! New on the menu this year are deep-fried Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, bubble gum, watermelon (on a stick) and Viking Balls (that's deep-fried meat balls, just in case you were worried). Those are weird enough, but then there's deep-fried Kool-Aid, deep-fried energy drinks and - wait for it, this is the kicker - deep-fried gravy! We can feel a heart attack coming already. Mmmmm.
3. Mambo Italiano
It wouldn't be a state fair if you couldn't win a cheap prize doing something truly humiliating. The Mambo Italiano is your chance. At 6 feet long and 24 inches wide, this is the world's largest wood-fired pizza. It is the equivalent of 17 regular sized pizzas, but who needs those? Here's the challenge: If two people can scarf down the whole thing in less than a half-hour, you win two T-shirts and the cost of the pizza. But, lose and you're out the $100 cost of the pizza - and your bragging rights over that guy on Man v. Food.
2. Things that Shouldn't Be Chocolate-Dipped
Adding a coat of chocolate-y goodness on top of almost anything makes it taste better - usually. There are wonders to behold in chocolate-dipped ice cream, raisins, almonds, caramels, and espresso beans. Chocolate-dipped ice cream is delectable. But we're not so sure about two new items on the fair's illustrious menu: chocolate-dipped pickles and chocolate-dipped cheese. It's so wrong - an affront to the taste buds, flavors that should not be combined, ever. But, this is the state fair, friends. And that's the point. So we'll try it.
1. Just Add Bacon
If there is anything sacred in our world, it is bacon: The greasiest, crispiest, tastiest cut of pork ever created. And we'll take it with just about anything - including a new concoction the fair is serving up this year: the Granddaddy of bacon/dessert decadence: the Chocolate Chip Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich. We don't think there's anything left to say, but enjoy, Arizona. And thank you, State Fair.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.