by Kat Robinson
You want to check out the list I've compiled? It's over at Tie Dye Travels, including links to Eat Arkansas stories I've done on specific items in the past. UPDATE: A photo overview is also below in slideshow form. Come Friday, I'll go back out and do another version, shooting everything once again in its natural habitat. You won't find a more complete Arkansas State Fair food guide.
Maybe that makes me a little arrogant, maybe not. I show my work. I suppose that's why seeing the fair preview put out by Shea Stewart over at the weekly published Sync Magazine gets my ire up. Take for instance the description of Fried Butter:
So, fried butter. Now, the treat is not just a cholesterol-spiking, glob of yellow fat fried in batter. Well, it is. Kind of. But in truth, the butter melts during the frying process so it’s less a stick of deep-fried butter, and more fried dough heavy on the cinnamon and soaked in butter. Perhaps covered in powdered sugar or a glaze. Doesn’t that sound more appetizing? (If it doesn’t, blame Texan Abel Gonzales Jr., the mad-cook creator of fried butter, and other fair delicacies such as fried Coke and fried cookie dough.)
The Fried Butter in this case is yes, a stick of butter frozen on a stick, battered like a corn dog and deep fried. It's like cornbread on a stick with the butter inside. It's not sweet. It's a nice savory option... as long as you can get past the idea of there being a plain old stick of butter in the center.
I had a couple of other issues with Sync's Fair reporting — which you can read on the jump. And yes, maybe I'm being cruel. But as I said, I've done my research.
There's also the reporting on the new fair foods. As written on the Sync site:
So is every Arkansas State Fair food on a stick and fried? No. New foods this year (not on a stick) include Beer Can Whole Chicken, Strawberry Beignets, sugar-free Snow Cones, Saltwater Vanilla Taffy, Letha’s Fried Pies, Batter Fried Veggies, Jalapeño Lemonade and Walking Tacos among the three dozen or so new foods. What about the returning favorites? All the usual suspects such as burgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, nachos, popcorn, chocolate-dipped bananas, fried catfish, kettle corn, Polish sausages, smoked turkey legs and cotton candy along with the weird, including barbecue rabbit sandwiches, lobster, Greek pita sandwiches and roasted corn.
Meh. I think I've ranted enough for now.