Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Day One: All's Fair in Love and Food

I hadn't planned on writing my first NaBloPoMo post so close to the daily deadline, but we just got home from the San Diego Fair.

This is an annual event of some magnitude, and the last couple of years we've gone with the Rupperts, and Jarrah and Joy, of course. It's been extra-fun to watch their glee on the midway rides, especially since the SD Fair has a separate midway just for little kids. By the time they've ridden the boats and the cars and the trains and the hot air balloons and the spider swings (and I'm leaving a few out) we've spent about a million dollars, but as Mary put it, "It's good that the fair only comes once a year."

The real titillation of the San Diego Fair, if titillation there is to be found, is the culinary offerings that change slightly from year to year. Certain items are classics, like the hot cinnamon rolls slathered in cream cheese icing and candied walnuts, the "Texas-size" donuts, and the Australian Battered Potatoes. Others are introduced annually to create buzz and incredulity amongst the fair patrons.

A few years ago, the hot ticket was Deep-Fried Twinkies. I've never had one, but I guess they are still going strong because there was a long line for them. The same place that features the Twinkies went big this year with several other deep-fried items, like frogs legs and Spam. The most talked-about D-F of 2008 is the Deep-Fried White Castle slider, which seems like overkill. I mean, why gild the lily?

One D-F that actually calls to me (though I will never, ever let myself buy one) is the Fried Chicken Sandwich served between two Krispy Kreme glazed donuts. Let me defend myself--I adore the relationship between sweet and savory, and that sounds like an example that makes no apologies and just goes for it, like a couple who gets married after dating only two weeks. There's a certain thrill in the very idea. But idea it must remain, at least to me.

Usually, I come home from the fair with a vague belly ache brought on by a non-compatible melange in my belly, everything from Funnel Cake to Shave Ice to Spiced Corn-on-the Cob on a Stick. This year, I was determined to not only go virtuous, but to arrive home with my belly intact.

I almost succeeded. When I first arrived, I spotted a huge grill with fat, crispy kebabs sizzling away, and they looked mighty good. Paul and I both ordered the Chicken Kebabs, and they appeared succulent but sauceless, skewered with orange, green and red peppers and sweet onion chunks, palette arranged on a bed of pita. Tasty, filling and not at all gross, it went down all the sweeter at our quiet, clean terrace table away from the madding crowd. I even drank water, of all things.

I wish I could say that this virtue persisted throughout the evening. But we stopped at the staggering line for cinnamon rolls on the way out, and Paul and I bought the special Tuesday "Taste of the Fair" mini. That doesn't mean it wasn't robed in sauce and nuts, because it was. And the mini is a surprising mouthful. Even when you drop the last bite in the dirt.


Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

You're doing it! Yay!

And you're off to a marvy start with the topic of fair food!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sam,

I have had a deep-fried Twinkie, and though it was also sprinkled with powdered sugar, all it tasted like was deep-fried. After two bites, my belly was feeling like yours at the end of your typical fair day. So IMHO, you're not missing anything there.

But you never explained why exactly you didn't go for the fried chicken on two Krispy Kremes concoction. The very idea makes me a bout nauseous, but you didn't actually state anything against it.

Just curious, I am your friend in food & so much more,

Anonymous said...

Oh my, I can see I will have to time my blog reading carefully, as you're making me want to eat everything in sight!

So glad you're doing this.

By the way, if it were me, I'd try to find someone else with one of those chicken sandwiches so that I could try just one bite! Can you really go to your grave without having tasted one? :-)

Miss J

film said...
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Smitten Knitten said...

Ah yes, we also spent what seemed like a million dollars on the kids midway and the pony rides. Sounds like you had way more self control than I did in the food department :).

The Wades said...

Man, now you have me craving fair food. We have to wait until September!

I am so happy you will be posting daily! :) Off to get a life...