Fried Fare Just One Fair Attraction

By Beacon Staff

One allure of fairs is that they provide patrons with an excuse to consume calorie-packed foods that they would otherwise never consider. From funnel cakes to candy apples, all are horribly fattening, but once a year that matters little. And concessionaires, understanding this, have become even more creative in luring fair-goers into trying the latest regular food made irregular by frying it and putting it on a stick. At the Iowa State Fair, the latest fad is fried pineapple, which is selling well. In Minnesota, the number of offerings borders on absurd.

Poynter.org linked to a YouTube video that documents 59 different foods that are sold on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair. The menu includes cheesecake, pickles and alligators, just to name a few. Most of them are coated with fried batter. Yummy.

When their nutritional value is broken down, the reason most of us only eat these once a year is obvious. A fried Snickers, for example, has 444 calories and 29 grams of fat, funnel cake 760 calories and 44 grams of fat, fried Twinkie 420 calories and 34 grams of fat. Top that off with a giant turkey leg (1,136 calories and 54 grams of fat) and you have consumed more than all the calories you need for a day and enough fat grams for about three. And your arteries are out of breath.

The Northwest Montana Fair is modest in both its size and number of food booths – no fried alligator. But it shouldn’t be hard to find a food oddity. So head on down to the fairgrounds this week and, while walking off a fried meal, stop by the Beacon booth. Along with food, we can discuss other fair charms that we allow ourselves to enjoy just once a year, such as the poultry exhibit and rabbit show.