The annual list of new State Fair foods has been released, and, once again, none of my suggestions made the cut. Just so you know what you’ll be missing out on, here are some of my submissions:
Braised Carp Noses. A delicacy in some cultures — and a grave insult in others — these delicious morsels are fried in coconut oil, heaped hot into a paper cup and sprinkled with a variety of seasonings to mask their essential awfulness. Bet you can’t eat just one! Seriously, two is too many.
Hot Dog on a Bun. Sound innovative? Of course not. But what if we told you it was deep-fried, wrapped in bacon, deep-fried again, injected with Sriracha ketchup, deep-fried once more and served only to people who had already spread on their chest the conducting gel used for defibrillator paddles? Would you say “Yum”? Of course. Will someone say “CLEAR”? Probably.
Shaved Hoof. A trip to the Cow Barn isn’t complete without a plate of steaming hot Shaved Hoof. Long a favorite among passengers who traveled the Silk Road and ran out of food and self-respect before they got to their destination, these thin wafers are piled high, drizzled with sauce, smothered with cheese, asphyxiated with lettuce and served with jicama slaw and kale garnish.
(Note: Not to be confused with the folk musicians Jicama Slaw and Kale Garnish, who are playing the Leinie Lodge daily at 2.)
Spam in a Can. We heat the cans over a hardwood fire until they burst, then serve them hot and fresh to anyone who brought oven mitts to the fair.
Cob on the Corn. Served to you by a French philosopher who says, “It cannot exist! It is absurd, like life itself! But it would be good with butter. Like life itself, no?” (Shrug to express futility.)
Pretzel Dust. Huff a bag! It’s free! Beer: $40.
Pacon. Every year there’s a new type of bacon. Alligator bacon. Llama bacon. Aardvark bacon, which tasted like a hardcover book. Well, this year there’s something new: bacon from ... pigs. Or, as we’re calling it, Pacon.
“It’s an old twist on a new idea,” said John Torgenson, the inventor of Pacon. “With all these exotic bacons around, we thought it was time to remind people what bacon used to be at the fair — thick, greasy, and 30 percent hickory-flavored nitrites. It might kill you, but you’ll keep until they can get you in a refrigerated drawer.”
Too bad you won’t get to taste any of these. I guess we have no choice, then: It’ll be corn dogs again.