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article imageOp-Ed: U.S. state fairs 2012 — This year's food creations

By Leigh Goessl     Sep 5, 2012 in Food
Every year people across the U.S. attend the various state fairs that take place throughout the year, but many are held in the weeks leading up to and subsequently following the Labor Day weekend holiday.
State fairs are notorious for fried foods, with previous years seeing everything from fried Oreos to fried butter to fried beer. This year has, so far, produced some unique ways to cook or use food items. Here are the ways fair entrants are having fun with food in 2012:
Maryland State Fair
This past weekend a group at the Maryland State Fair broke their own record for the World's Largest Crab Cake, as reported by Digital Journal. The previous record was a 253-pounder in 2009, but at this year's fair the company, Handy International, was reported to have created a massive 300-pound crab cake.
Texas State Fair
According to Everything Lubbock, the creation that won a local contest is Deep Fried Jambalaya. Developed by Chef Abel Gonzales, this is his fifth time winning the Big Tex Choice Award. His earlier fried creations include Fried Butter, Fried Coke, Fried Cookie Dough and Fried Peanut Butter, Jelly and Banana Sandwich. Competitor recipes included Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll, Deep-Fried Divine Chocolate Tres Leches Cake, Deep Fried Mac-N-Cheese Slider, Chicken Fried Cactus Bites and Picnic on a Stick.
The Texas State Fair opens on Sept. 28 and will run for three weeks.
Utah State Fair
Fried green Jell-O and and Moo-Cheesie Rings appear to be one of the top headliners at the Utah State Fair this year.
"You’ll never be able to get deep fried Jell-O anywhere else," said Jon Searle, who will be serving this creation at this year's state fair.
If you're wondering what Moo-Cheesie Rings are, these are deep-fried onion rings topped with melted cheese, sliced cherry peppers and a specially made jalapeno sauce by "Moochie’s Meatballs".
The Utah State Fair starts tomorrow and runs through Sept. 16.
New York State Fair
Held for about two weeks leading into Labor Day is the annual New York State Fair. This year the fair celebrated its 44th Annual Butter Sculpture. This year's sculpture was “New York Goes for the Gold with Greek Yogurt”. The sculpture was described as having a cow wearing a toga, carrying a New York State flag. The butter monument was completed with two children carrying torches and medals with a giant cup of Greek yogurt in the center.
California State Fair
Held earlier this summer, the California State Fair highlighted fried watermelon on a stick. Not its first year shared at the fair, but this year it made a comeback in a big way.
In related food news, up in Carlton, Minnesota, a record was reportedly set at the Black Bear Casino Resort for the world's largest hamburger. The burger weighed in at 2,014-pounds, was 10-feet in diameter, and included cheese , bacon, lettuce, pickles and onions, reported Duluth News Tribune.
State Fairs always seem to bring out the best or worst, depending upon your perspective, in fried foods. But no matter how you feel about them, you're likely to agree there are some unique concoctions. Just when you think you'd heard them all, something totally off the wall appears. This writer never in her wildest dreams would never have thought she'd ever hear of something like "fried butter" or "fried coke".
What's the weirdest food creation you've seen at a fair?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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