While I was living in New York I had to cover the State Fair for a journalism assignment and I got to rediscover what county fairs were all about with the kind of delight usually reserved for newbies. Before that visit, the only fair memory I could recollect was from when I was about 3 years old and my baby sister wandered off and got lost at the LA County Fair when my dad let go of her hand for a split second to reach for money in his pocket. We eventually located her at Lost & Found but ever since then, our family has stayed away from fairs as if they were a bad reminder of bad parenting.
So, ever since moving back to Los Angeles from NY, I usually make the pilgrimage out to Pomona to get my annual fix of deep, fried food on sticks, barnyard animals and activities and shopping for things on TV that you would never buy on TV but might contemplate purchasing at the fair.
For me, the fair is all about the food. I rarely ride the rides as I’ve seen one too many episodes of “When Carnival Rides Attack” type shows. I like watching the baby pig races though I am always disturbed by the Farmer John bacon coupons they had out after the race.
Here is an abbreviated list of the fair food sampling that I partook in at 2011’s LA County Fair.
First fair food item: Fried potato chips covered in nacho cheese with a side of jalapenos. This was probably my favorite item of the day. Perfect crispness of the potatoes and savoriness of the nacho cheese sauce.
Second fair food item: Deep-fried avocado drizzled with pesto sauce. I could have passed on this. The oiliness of the avocado combined with the oiliness of the oil-drenched batter was just a little too much for me. I did like the pesto though.
Third fair food item: Meat on a stick.
Fourth fair food item: Deep-fried watermelon. I didn’t try this myself since I was too full but stood watching a guy who had just ordered took his first bite. He said it was good. Though I can’t really imagine it being so.
Fifth fair food item: Chocolate-covered bacon. Barely tasted the bacon. It was mostly chocolate. Eh. I wouldn’t get it again.
Sixth fair food item: BBQ corn. My favorite fair food item of all-time. Grilled to perfection, dipped in butter and drizzled with lemon juice, garlic salt and Tapatio hot sauce. Delish!