Fair food is great food because the two main food groups are so well represented: Fat and, my dear friend, Sugar. Oh so many vats of oil wait to sizzle behind the curtains of pop-up tents and portable carts that it nearly drives me wild with delight. The grease mixes with the stagnant scent of sugar sitting in the air, creating a pleasure beyond the sensation of the Witch’s Wheel.
Sugar visits the fair in almost all of its wondrous forms. There is the powdered sugar that gets sprinkled over the tops of glistening fried dough, the caramel of the caramel apples, the break-your-teeth coating of the unnaturally red candied apples, and last, but not at all least, the cotton candy…sugar heated and spun to perfection. They are simple confections, but a fairground tradition, as vital to the atmosphere as screaming children and giant plush prizes.
Variations of the carnival classics appear scattered in the mix, such as the Maple-flavored cotton candy I came across. A winning combination. Although it looked like I was munching on insulation, my worlds were colliding with each dissolving bite. I’d reached Sugar Heaven. The two sugariest confections in existence were uniting together in delicious harmony: Maple Candy and Cotton Candy. The perfect pairing.
Rules of Fairground Eatery:
- There is never too much sugar
- Never try to order the “healthier option.” You will just be lying to yourself.
- Be open to eating to all things fried. Examples include: Twinkies, vegetables of any variety, snickers bars, dough of any variety…
PS: I would also like to thank the First World’s Fair of Chicago (AKA: The Louisiana Purchase Exposition) for introducing pizza, the waffle-style ice cream cone, peanut butter, iced tea, the hot dog and COTTON CANDY to the American dietary lexicon.