Fun and funnel cakes at the State Fair
April 19, 2017
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The Florida State Fair celebrated its annual celebration this February. Above all else, the bizarre foods offered at the festival seem to be the mind blowing attraction that enlightens the taste pallets of children and adults alike.
Whether it’s deep-fried or served on a stick, the food vendors tirelessly test new recipes to serve each year at the Florida State Fair.
To appease the growing appetite of Florida natives that attend the fair, anything that can be deep-fried is. Fried Oreos, are often the leading fan favorite as they get a boost in taste, flavor, satisfaction and calories.
Joining the deep-fried Oreos are peanut butter cups, cookie dough, Klondike bars, Snickers, and Twinkies.
One vendor, Everything Gator, offers a menu boasting recipes incorporating alligator meat into it. Gator sausage, burgers, and gumbo draws a large crowd to their shack. Sweet Cheesus, another vendor, deals with offering customers a wide variety of food dealing with cheese.
One delicious and appealing fair treat that has risen in popularity over the past few years is the funnel cake. The snack is fried dough with powdered sugar sprinkled on top of it.
It has now turned the fair food sales into a creative competition with vendors attempting to make the funnel cake an even more delectable treat. Across the fairgrounds, the varieties included maple bacon, birthday cake, red velvet, Reese’s peanut butter fudge, and turtle funnel cakes.
Just as you enter the fair you find, “The Best Around’s,” concession stand. Janes Harris, known as “Mama Jane,” was been in the industry for over 30 years and has been serving Floridians at the fair for 15 years.
“Red Velvet was the game changer,” Mama Jane said, referring to the industry spark in creating new types of funnel cakes.
When asked what her most popular selling food was, Harris, replied with a grin, “Cheesy Fried enchilada.” It is made with fried tortilla cake, white queso, and chorizo, so it is not as much of a desert as other funnel cakes and more of an entree.
The enchilada funnel cake won the award fan fair favorite for No. 1 food to try. “Sometimes we sell four to five at a time,” Mama Jane went on to explained the large amount of food her company sells. As she was speaking, she was interrupted by a customer. “I’ve been looking over two hours for you!” Bob, an avid fairgoer exclaimed as he walked up to the food trailer. He saw Mama Jane’s new funnel cake and food award story on channel 13 news.
While working the fair and other large event circuits, Mama Jane has fed many stars. Her favorites include country singers Craig Morgan, Sarah Evans and Cole Swindell.
Swindell actually requested that she notify him if she was selling food at any of the venues he was playing. She also said Morgan normally doesn’t like fair food, but loved her bacon maple funnel cake.
Although she was very warm, inviting and open, Mama Jane made it clear there would be no leaks on what she has planned for next year’s state fair. “People will try to copy it!” she exclaimed.
So, when you are at the fair, give a new fair food a try. You won’t be disappointed.