With the state fair just two weeks away, it is time to prepare your stomach. With everything from traditional funnel cakes to this year’s new Crack-n-Cheese Stuffed Turkey Leg, there is no shortage of options for any fairgoer.
“We have a bunch of new offerings at the fair this year when it comes to food," said Heather Overton, assistant director of the press office at the State Fair. "Whether you’re into sweet or savory, we have something for you.”
Overton said she is excited to try the JoCo HoHo, a new delicacy being offered by Fat Boys BBQ. It is a North Carolina jalapeño filled with brisket and cheese, deep fried and served on a stick. Having never been before, Bobby Scott, the owner of Fat Boys BBQ, is excited to bring his menu to the fairgrounds.
“We are also going to serve a blue-ribbon, award-winning Jalapeño Whopper, which is a jalapeño stuffed with pepper jack cheese, wrapped in sausage, wrap that in bacon and grill it,” Scott said.
Another interesting food choice is the Baketo Pizza Pie. It is a 6-inch personal pan pizza with pepperoni, avocado, mozzarella and green olives. Overton recommends it as a healthy option, as it has a keto-friendly meat crust and only five carbohydrates.
UNC students are also excited to try the foods being offered this year. An early favorite is the Crack-n-Cheese Stuffed Turkey Leg.
“What I’m really interested in going for is the Crack-n-Cheese Stuffed Turkey Leg," said Evan Tanner, a senior business journalism major at UNC. "It looks like it’s loaded with calories, but loaded with flavor at the same time.”
UNC senior Jakob Oury also said he is excited to see what the fair offers this year.
“I’m excited to try the Campfire on a Stick. It looks ridiculous,” said Oury, a frequent fairgoer.
Overton suggests the Campfire on a Stick for any fairgoer with a sweet tooth, and James Bennett of Hot Chix Hotcakes and Chicken is looking forward to serving it. The Campfire on a Stick takes the traditional s’mores treat and serves it fair-style.
“We’re bringing what we call a Campfire on a Stick, which is our mini pancakes layered with toasted marshmallows covered in a chocolate sauce topped with graham crackers, on a stick,” Bennett said.
For ice cream lovers, the options seem endless. The Old Style Foods truck will be debuting a cookie dough and s'mores cookie dough cone. Tropical Delights is offering Pineapple Dole Whip, a soft-serve, dairy-free and gluten-free vegan option. North Carolina State University Howling Cow Ice Cream is also serving its Coco Choco Cafe, a coffee ice cream, and its Cherry Brick Road flavors for the first time.
Tanner and senior Cameron Ulmer said they are looking forward to trying the Fried Rum Runners, rum balls covered in a pastry batter and deep fried.
Robin Smith, owner of The Gobblin’ Gourmet, is ready to showcase her new dessert, but does not want people to forget their classics.
“One of the things that has been very successful for us in the past at this fair is the Flyin’ Mayan, which is a black bean and sweet potato burrito," Smith said. "So that’s a vegetarian option that’s very healthy at this fair."
With so many new food options, the biggest problem that fairgoers will face is deciding what to choose.
“I don’t even have enough money to try everything I want to try,” said Ulmer.
This year’s state fair will take place at the N.C. State Fairgrounds from Oct. 17-27. For more details on all of this year’s food options, visit the State Fair’s website.
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