Fisher Flour will sell over one million scones during this year's edition of the Puyallup Fair, but there's more to eat at the fair than pastry. This week, Voracious spotlights four new-to-the-fair foods worth seeking out should the scone lines grow unbearably long.
The iconic image of fair disappointment used to be a child who had lost his balloon, or a young farmer whose goat failed to impress the 4-H judges. But there's currently no clearer picture of fair misery than a fried-food booth unequipped to fry its advertised butter, macaroni-and-cheese, cookie dough, and calf testicles.
"We're waiting for a part," a Totally Fried staffer told hopeful customers at the fair last Friday. "Come back in an hour or so."
When I returned for fried bubblegum, one of the concessionaire's newest foods, the booth was empty, save for a hand-lettered "closed" sign.
So I didn't get to try fried bubblegum, which earlier this month won the "most creative" prize at the State Fair of Texas' prestigious Big Tex awards. Yet I'm not sure a serving of fried gum would have allayed my initial disappointment.
According to press reports, there isn't any gum in deep-fried bubblegum. The treat is made with gum-flavored strawberry marshmallows dipped in batter and fried, so eaters don't end up chewing a stretchy ball of greasy fry for hours. Assuming Totally Fried uses a technique similar to the method originated by inventor Justin Martinez, expect pastel-pink slugs of fry garnished with powder-blue icing.
But don't expect a pleasant taste sensation. The Big Tex "most creative" prize is annually bestowed on whichever entry is judged oddest, regardless of how it tastes. That's how fried gum beat out fried salsa and fried pineapple upside-down cake this year.
"If you remember Bazooka Joe bubble gum, you'll know exactly what this dish tastes like through and through," a blogger who attended the competition reported. "Personally, it's not my favorite."