Summer isn't just peak time for international travel — 'tis also the season for the ever-popular state fair. Although county and state fairs first began as exhibitions of livestock, they've quickly morphed into a catch-all celebration with local performers, amusement rides, carnival games, crafts competitions, and, of course, signature fair food as well. You may be well-versed in ordering elephant ears and garlic fries, but how many tidbits do you know about state fair food? Take our quiz to find out whether you can master the facts — or if you'll wind up deep-fried.Take the Quiz
Ah, state fair season! I can still feel the bruises on my forearms from scooping ice cream at mine when I was in high school. Though they're good old fashioned fun, fairs are kind of a suck on the planet. Just because that fried Twinkie on a stick has less packaging than the one you'd open at home, the generators required to heat up the fryers, the napkins — the carnival of waste is almost endless.
Some states are working to combat the rough on the earth reputation the way John McCain wants to cut out porkbarrel spending. (Get it? McCain? By a giant pig?) The Illinois State Fair is giving a green vendor award for the first time — the Donut Family won for serving in paper instead of styrofoam — and California and Washington have installed solar panels to make electricity, and turn all of their cooking oil into biofuels. See?! That deep-fried Twinkie is good for the environment.
Recycling is beginning slowly — and given the cost to fairs to haul trash — $165,000 in Illinois for 37 tons a day for 10 days, the move toward conservation could be perfect for man, beast, and pies alike.
Are you heading to your state fair?
When I think of food on a stick, I think of state fairs, corn dogs and Summer. That's why I'm a bit confused on how an early day in Spring became Something-on-a-Stick Day. But hey, I like food-on-a-stick, so I'll play along.
To celebrate, I found this fantastic video from the 2006 Minnesota State Fair. From salmon steaks to key lime pie, the video features 59 different things-on-a-stick. It's really quite unbelievable and there's actually something for everyone. It doesn't take long to walk through them all, so watch the video now, just read more