Have you ever been to your local town, county or state fair? If not, then not only are you missing out on a ton of fun, but also a ton of fantastic food. Of course, most fair food is fried or unhealthy, so dieters need to be careful. However, even the most disciplined calorie counters deserve a cheat meal, and we highly recommend using it in one of our 25 Favorite Honest Foods of All Time. If you can't make it to an event near you or even a traveling carnival, we've also included some recipes to keep the festivities going in your kitchen!
1 out of 25
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Also known by the names "onion flowers," "onion blossoms," and "onion blossoms," this aesthetically pleasing snack celebrates the best way to eat onions: fried. And since all the pieces stick out separately, it's perfect for sharing (if you have to). Think of it like eating in the Outback, except outside.
Want to make one at home?Try this recipe from The Food Network.
2 out of 25
Boiled peanuts may sound gross, but…oh, who are we kidding? They're totally weird and we almost guarantee you won't like them on your first try, especially if you're used to crunchy ones. But as most Southerners will tell you, it's an acquired taste, and once you start enjoying boiled peanuts, you'll never go back to plain.
3 out of 25
Sweets and caramel apples
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Like regular apples, caramel and caramel apples seem to have a season that runs from late spring to late fall. We can't really explain it, since apples are usually available year-round, but we assume that the shortage causes the core to enlarge. In addition to the usual caramel and caramel-dipped versions, there are versions topped with walnuts or topped with chocolate and/or white chocolate. Since these apple treats tend to get lost in the winter months, save themthis recipe by Food Network's Giada De Laurentiisbecause when the cold weather arrives.
4 out of 25
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Our friends in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the rest of the Midwest know that cheese curds (sometimes called "squeaky cheese") are a year-round snack. For the rest of us, we have to settle for seeing them as just honest food. If you've never tried fried cheese curds, they're like bite-sized mozzarella sticks, except they're made with cheddar instead of mozza.
5 out of 25
steak with cheese
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Much like cheese curds in the Midwest, cheesesteaks are a staple in the greater Philadelphia area. But if you don't live in the land of Benjamin Franklin, "it's always sunny" and America's so-called baddest sports fans, head to the state or county fair for a sliced steak topped with peppers and onions and topped with gooey cheese.
Did you know that you can make your own cheesesteaks at home in the slow cooker? Confirmthis recipe from The Cooking Momfor all information.
6 out of 25
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Churros are choux-coated sugar pastries popular in Spain, Portugal, France, and the southwestern United States. They're the perfect carnival food because they're long, skinny, and firm, so you can easily eat them with one hand while visiting the rides or playing the carnival games (just don't bring them to the actual attraction). If you get the chance to get a dipping sauce like chocolate or dulce de leche, you'd be a fool to pass it up.
7 out of 25
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Corn dogs are not only the quintessentially honest meal, they are also the ultimate summer meal. That's because, like churros, they're easy to eat with one hand and less messy than regular hot dogs. Oh, and if you haven't figured it out yet: they go great with an ice cold beer.
For a unique (and slightly healthier) twist on the classic corn dog,try this no-fry snack version at home, thanks to AllRecipes.
8 out of 25
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You have to believe that the inventor of cotton candy once said of himself, "I love candy, but I wish there was a way to cut out all the non-sugar ingredients." Well, they succeeded, as The New York Times once said that the treat is "almost 99.999 percent sugar, with hints of flavoring and food coloring."
In case you're wondering, machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton, who first introduced it at the 1904 World's Fair as "Fairy Floss." Morrison's fellow dentists have since thanked him.
9 out of 25
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Why are chips available at fairs and carnivals almost always of the curly variety? If you ask us (and few people do), it's because curly fries are the silliest and most fun type of fries available, making them perfect for outdoor events. Of course, they're even more fun when topped with chili, cheese, or both, so be sure to go all out if you can.
10 out of 25
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We can't say that fried butter is one of our favorite fair food in terms of taste, but more so because it epitomizes the food served at these festivals. After all, one of the least healthy foods is butter, and one of the least healthy ways to prepare food is frying. After trying this dish, you might want to make a few trips to the fairgrounds.
Can't go to the fair? Try this at-home treatment for clogged arteries withthis recipe from the Food Networkthanks to, you guessed it, Paula Deen.
11 out of 25
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People have been throwing food in the deep fryer for as long as this device has existed, but some treats (chocolate bars, pizza, and the aforementioned butter) go a little too far. However, we can honestly say that fried Oreos are the way to go. The chocolate chip cookies blend perfectly with the fried exterior, and the creamy interior becomes tangy, sweet and more heavenly than you can imagine. Don't buy just one or you'll be back in line for seconds. Or thirds.
12 out of 25
Fried dough / Fried dough / Fried bread / Fried bread / Elephant ear / Beaver tail
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It goes by many names, but the idea remains the same: fried bread covered in powdered sugar. Fried dough is a common staple, and it's so popular that even comedian Jim Gaffigan has itplaceabout it Just follow our advice and don't inhale while biting; eventually it will drown and probably lose the rest of the sugar coating.
13 out of 25
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You can always find fried pickles in two places: at fairs and on our plates in every restaurant that serves them. (But this is coming from people who will eat regular pickles straight out of the jar.) As experts on the subject (and not much else), heed this caveat: order fried pickles only if they're bite-sized. medium size form of chips. We love pickles, but if the breading isn't perfectly crispy, the first bite will end up tearing off the entire fried layer and all you'll be left with is a pickle.
If you watch the weight (a little), give it a trythis baked panko versionwith Food.com instead!
14 out of 25
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As they said many times in the sitcom "arrested development": "There is always money at the banana stand". Of course, that was because literally $250,000 in cash lined the walls of Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Shack, but this dessert really is the perfect treat. You can satisfy the desire for sweets with chocolate, the desire for salty chopped nuts, and pretend that you are eating healthy with a banana.
Can't wait for your next visit to the fair? Epicurious has you coveredthis recipe for Frozen Chocolate Bananas.
15 out of 25
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What is the difference between fried dough and funnel cakes? Fried dough is usually a large piece of dough that has been flattened, while funnel cakes usually have a unique shape and texture made up of the interwoven wavy lines created by the dough coming out of the funnel. Finally, both are deep-fried and sugared, so you can't go wrong with either.
Do you have an electric pan or fryer? That's how you can make funnel cakes at homethis recipe from Okus dom.
16 out of 25
burger on donuts
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hamburgers Do you need an explanation or justification? Of course not. Just enjoy the deliciousness grilled over charcoal...especially when it's topped with cheese and bacon and served on a glazed doughnut.
17 out of 25
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If hot dogs are the best fair and summer food, then hot dogs automatically come by association. Additionally, fairs have been known to spice up the original version by wrapping the dog in bacon, topping it with chili and cheese, making it a foot long, and/or deep frying the whole thing. When it comes to dogs, go big or go home. (Literally, since you're at the fair).
Or keep calm and make these Cheese Chili Sausages at home in your slow cooker, thanksthis four-ingredient recipe from mrs. Happy Homemaker.
18 out of 25
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If you live in the southern states or anywhere where shellfish are popular and plentiful, you're bound to find hush puppies at your local flea market. This is true not only because fried cornmeal balls are the perfect side dish for land and sea, but because some versions, e.g.this one from When Harry Met Salad, actually contain fish or scallops.
19 out of 25
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Hot days call for cool treats, and nothing relaxes someone better than an ice cream cone or popsicle. Oh, and if you think ice cream is the only thing on this list that can't be fried... think again!Instructables will tell you how to do it at home here.
20 out of 25
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In our opinion, nachos are one of the most difficult fairground foods to eat on the go, mainly because they usually require a set table (or wing) and about 10,000 napkins. Then again, it depends on how you define "nachos". If it's just cheese spread on fries, you'll probably be fine. Dissatisfied, but ok. Instead, go wild with jalapenos, bacon and tomatoes or salsa. Your taste buds will thank you, even if your cheese-stained clothes won't.
21 out of 25
We tend to think of popcorn as movie fodder, but that doesn't stop many fairgoers from reaching for buckets of the stuff at every event. Plus, when popcorn is topped with cheese, caramel, or both (don't cook it until you taste it), it's suddenly much more appealing.
Want to make your own crunchy and buttery caramel corn?Head to Chowhound.
22 out of 25
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If you didn't know, French fries are like what would happen if french fries and curly pommes had a little food. They're not too thick, but they're not too crispy either, and they look like something Willy Wonka would make if he turned on the deep fryer. (Except without the Oompa Loompa).
23 out of 25
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At the fairs, various types of sausages are served in countless ways, but our favorite is the hot Italian one with peppers and onions in a ring. The crackling of the sausage goes perfectly with the crunch of the peppers and onions, all well contained in a soft, fluffy and, hopefully, freshly baked patty.
Do you have a pan?Try making this dish at home.Thanks for all the recipes.
24 of 25
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You're more likely to see turkey drumsticks (especially comically large ones) at Renaissance fairs than at state or county fairs, but all's fair when fairs are concerned. This might be the messiest meal in the slideshow, mostly because the best way to eat a moist, crispy turkey breast is to bite into it like a barbarian who doesn't mind the juice oozing everywhere. Try to enjoy both the meat and the look you get from eating it.
25 out of 25
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Pronounced "ZEP-o-lee," this Italian dessert is perfect for fairs because the fried dumplings are so easy to eat on the go, shareable, and of course, there's the whole fried aspect. Traditionally, zeppole is eaten on St. Joseph's Day in Italy (often called "St. Joseph's Day Cake"), but there really is no bad time to eat this classic dessert.
If your fair lacks Italian flair, try making zeppole at homethis recipe from Food Republic.
Corn Dogs. There's no fair food that's more iconic than a crunchy corn dog on a stick.What is the most famous carnival food? ›
Corn Dogs. There's no fair food that's more iconic than a crunchy corn dog on a stick.What is the most popular Carnival treat? ›
The corn dog may just be the most popular carnival food. This iconic recipe is said to have been invented at the Texas State Fair in the late 1930's. Even today, this delicious and portable hotdog remains a fairground favorite across the country.What you would eat at a fairground? ›
- Triple cheeseburger donut. ...
- Deep-fried butter. ...
- Fried Coca-Cola. ...
- Fried green beans. ...
- Deep-fried Oreos. ...
- Corn dogs. ...
- Pickle dogs. ...
- Coney Island chili dogs.
In France, crepes, waffles, and beignets are traditionally consumed, with beignets being the most notable confection during the carnival season. Beignets are similar to doughnuts in that it's made by deep frying dough and coated in lots of powdered sugar.What kind of food are served at a school carnival? ›
- Corn dogs. Use frozen corn dogs and bake them in the oven for no-mess party food. ...
- Popcorn. Serve popcorn in small boxes, striped paper bags, or fresh from a mini popcorn machine.
- Soft pretzels. ...
- Veggies arrangements. ...
- Caramel apples. ...
- Walking tacos. ...
- Chicken nuggets. ...
- Chocolate dipped marshmallows.
- Crostoli (Chiacchiere) di Carnevale. ...
- Graffe Napoletane (Italian donuts) ...
- Sfingi Siciliani (Sicilian style doughnuts) ...
- Crespelle di San Giuseppe. ...
- Blueberry and ricotta pancakes. ...
- Pignuccata Siciliana.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
It's the world's largest Carnival celebration, attracting participants in the millions for a week of explosive, flamboyant, samba-shaking fun.
Rio de Janeiro Carnaval (Brazil)
The most famous Carnival celebration in the world dates back to 1723 and attracts more than two million people each day of the festivities.
Brazil's Rio Carnival is a festival that is held every year before Lent. It is considered the biggest carnival in the world, with two million people per day on the streets. The first Rio Carnival occurred in 1723.
Carnival is linked to the Christian calendar and it was originally conceived as a period of revelry and frolics before Lent, a period of austerity and abstinence. The expansion of Christianity took the festival to many places in America, where it was mixed in with various local traditions.What kind of things are at a carnival? ›
A traveling carnival (US English), usually simply called a carnival, or travelling funfair (UK English), is an amusement show that may be made up of amusement rides, food vendors, merchandise vendors, games of chance and skill, thrill acts, and animal acts.What is traditional Spanish carnival food? ›
In Spain, carnival is the chance to enjoy torrijas (slices of bread soaked in milk, sugar and egg, then fried in oil). Local fritters, called buñuelos or pestiños, are plentiful.What is the most universal food? ›
A truly universal food, the egg is a primary ingredient in the cuisine of every culture, be it Indian curry-stuffed eggs, Greek avgolemono soup, Tex-Mex huevos rancheros, Russian kulich bread, Moroccan bastilla, German zwiebelkuchen (or onion tart), Italian mushroom frittatas, Chinese egg foo yung, French hollandaise- ...What is local fair food? ›
Fair food means eating clean, local, healthy food, having food that's equally available and affordable for everyone, farmers getting what they deserve for their work: recognition, respect, fair payment.What is leisure food? ›
Leisure Food: Derive Social and Cultural Entertainment through Physical Interaction with Food.What are exotic meals? ›
Exotic foods are generally foods that are not native to your country. Exotic foods are not foods that you find in most dishes. Spices are a great example of exotic foods. These can add fragrance and flavor.What food is eaten at Venice carnival? ›
Fritelle, or fritters, with or without pastry-cream filling are the most common sweet associated with Venetian carnevale. Savory foods served during this period tend toward pasta such as gnocchi, lasagna, and tortelli.What do they eat in Brazil carnival? ›
BRAZIL. Brazil famously hosts the world's biggest carnival party. Top foods include traditional Brazilian recipes such as feijoada (slow-cooked pork and beans with rice), moqueca baiana (a fragrant fish stew) or carurú (a dish similar to gumbo made with shrimp and toasted nuts).What are carnival fries? ›
$7.49. Tasty funnel cake sticks sprinkled with cinnamon, powdered sugar, and your choice of raspberry, caramel, or chocolate dipping sauce.
Carnival was created in response as a celebration of pleasure and abundance — so too was carnival food. Since Lent was a frugal period, Carnival food allowed people to stock up on their fats ahead of time.Does carnival serve lunch? ›
The Main Dining Room is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, though breakfast and lunch hours can vary depending on the ship's itinerary. The expansive Seaday Brunch is also offered in the Main Dining Room.What are the main meals for prom? ›
Some options for a sit-down meal include, a main course (meat/side dish/vegetables, lasagna, baked ziti, pot roast); soup (vegetable, broccoli and cheese, tomato, chicken and rice); dinner rolls or bread; salad (green tossed or Caesar); and dessert (cake, pie, cobbler).What do Italians eat for Carnival of Venice? ›
- Chiacchiere di Carnevale. Chiacchiere is the most traditional carnival dessert in Italy prepared on Fat Tuesday. ...
- Graffe Napoletane. ...
- Sfinci Siciliani. ...
- Cicerchiata. ...
- Pignolata. ...
- Baked Sweet Ravioli. ...
- Cannoli from Sicily. ...
- Fritole Veneziane (Venetian Carnival fritters)
Argentina Carnival Activities
The Argentina Carnival features a wide selection of traditional Argentine dishes such as asado and parrillas, choripán, chimichurri, and milanesa.
- Homemade Gnocchi. Fans of Italian food know that gnocchi made from scratch is unbeatable. ...
- Pappardelle and Seafood. ...
- Stuffed Peppers. ...
- Salmon in Wine Sauce. ...
- Risotto and Lobster. ...
- Veal Scaloppine. ...
- Pizza Margherita. ...
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Perhaps the most iconic of all Carnival celebrations, Rio de Janeiro's Carnival beckons visitors with its feathered, flashy costumes, distinctive samba rhythms, and long-standing traditions.
Even among Caribbean islands that are fiercely proud of their carnival celebrations, many will say that the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival — the oldest in the Caribbean — is the biggest and best.What country did Carnival originate from? ›
Historians say they believe the first "modern" Caribbean Carnival originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the late 18th century when a flood of French settlers brought the Fat Tuesday masquerade party tradition with them to the island, although Fat Tuesday celebrations were almost certainly taking place at least a century ...What is the 2nd largest Carnival in the world? ›
Carnival of Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Spain
For 15 days in February, the streets come alive with extravagant parades, joie de vivre, expression and extravagance in what is widely regarded as the second biggest carnival in the world, after the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
Known as the 'Greatest Show on Earth', Trinidad Carnival is one of the most popular carnivals in the Americas. With beautiful costumes and huge parties, expect to hear plenty of soca (an offshoot of calypso) and steel-pan music, both of which were invented in Trinidad.
The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro (Portuguese: Carnaval do Rio de Janeiro) is a festival held every year before Lent; it is considered the biggest carnival in the world, with two million people per day on the streets.How old is the oldest carnival? ›
Perhaps the oldest carnival in existence, Kukeri from eastern Europe dates back to Pagan times. Celebrated in Bulgaria, it is one of the oldest traditions of the region that could have originated over 6000 years ago and is held even today! The festivities are conducted between New Year's and Lent.Where is the second largest carnival held? ›
Main Colombian festivals, fairs and carnivals. Barranquilla's Carnival (Carnaval de Barranquilla), with a century-long recorded history it holds the second largest carnival parades in the world after Rio de Janeiro's.Where is the 2nd largest carnaval held? ›
Discover this Caribbean coast city in Colombia, and enjoy the Barranquilla Carnival, which is the second largest in the world!Why does Carnival start on 11 11? ›
November 11 is also the Feast of Saint Martin, which in the Middle Ages was the beginning of a period of fasting until Christmas, before which, of course, people wanted to indulge. In the carnival tradition, 11 represents the equality of "fools": two ones next to each other, no number has a higher value.What is the difference between Carnival and Carnaval? ›
The word Carnival is of Christian origin. The Latin-derived name of the holiday is sometimes also spelled Carnaval, typically in areas where Dutch, French, Spanish, and Portuguese are spoken, or Carnevale in Italian-speaking contexts. Alternative names are used for regional and local celebrations.What's the difference between a Carnival and a fair? ›
While carnivals – like a circus – are typically traveling shows, a fair is larger and often sponsored by an entire state. Rather than outsiders coming in to entertain a community, a fair is usually the community coming together to entertain themselves.What are carnival rides called? ›
Amusement rides, sometimes called carnival rides, are mechanical devices or structures that move people to create fun and enjoyment.Why is carnival so famous? ›
Because traditionally many people go on a fast during Lent, giving up meat, sugar or other foods and drink, carnival is an opportunity to enjoy these treats for the last time. It is a time to celebrate and party, with music and dancing in the streets.
A carnival is magical and mesmerizing for a very young child, and adults will love the nostalgia that comes from revisiting a carnival experience. Carnival games and rides are fun to just watch, so if you aren't feeling adventurous you can still have a great time.What is the famous Spanish national dish? ›
Many consider Paella as the National dish of Spain, that has as many variations as there are cooks! One thing every variation of paella has in common besides the rice and saffron is that it is a very social culinary occasion.What food can you get from a fair? ›
- Corn Dogs. One of the most quintessential favorite fair foods is corn dogs. ...
- Fried Oreos. Fried Oreos are one of those carnival foods that is a sweet treat and fun snack. ...
- Funnel Cake. ...
- Caramel Corn. ...
- Kettle Corn. ...
- Soft Pretzels. ...
- Caramel Apples. ...
- Candy Apple.
- Boeuf Bourgignon.
Pizza is the topmost-liked food in the world. Today you can find pizza in almost every corner of the world. This traditional Italian dish is made of flattened round dough topped with cheese, and tomatoes, and additionally garnished with basil, olives, and oregano. What is this?What is the most eaten food on earth? ›
Rice is a food staple for more than 3.5 billion people around the world, particularly in Asia, Latin America, and parts of Africa. Rice has been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years. Scientists believe people first domesticated rice in India or Southeast Asia.What is the most universally loved food? ›
Italian food. According to an International survey conducted by YouGov, 88 percent of Americans surveyed said they have tried and like Italian cuisine. Judging from the fact that pizza and pasta are undeniable U.S. diet staples, that's not surprising.What is the most photographed dish in the world? ›
Tetsuya's cuisine is based on Australian, Japanese and classic French cuisine, and makes use of Australian ingredients. The restaurant is known for its signature dish, the Confit of Tasmanian Ocean Trout, referred to by Financial Review as "the world's most photographed dish," and has been offered since 1987.Which country has tastiest food? ›
- Italy. #1 in Has great food. #14 in Best Countries Overall. ...
- Mexico. #2 in Has great food. #33 in Best Countries Overall. ...
- Spain. #3 in Has great food. #16 in Best Countries Overall. ...
- Greece. #4 in Has great food. ...
- Thailand. #5 in Has great food. ...
- France. #6 in Has great food. ...
- Turkey. #7 in Has great food. ...
- India. #8 in Has great food.
pizza! Whether it's piled high with pepperoni, cheese, or other toppings, many people around the world reach for this marinara-covered pie come dinnertime. Of course, pizza has several delicious competitors. The second most popular food in the world is sushi, and burgers are third.What is a mans favorite food? ›
Steak and potatoes
An obvious guy favorite. Just saying those three magical words will cause most men's mouths to water. Typically saved for a night out or special occasion, make this on a Tuesday evening and become legendary.