Updated Thu, Aug 7, 2014 10:01 am
You walk into the fair and it hits you almost right away; the smell of freshly fried potatoes, Oreos, funnel cake, and every other food you would normally avoid in excess unless you were spending a day out in the sun with family, friends and animals all around you.
Like most other fairs, the Athens County Fair offers a variety of deep fried concoctions that are not always for the faint of heart. But what qualifies as the very best deep fried, heavenly dish?
Throughout the week I have been sampling a variety of foods from different booths and hopefully I can help you narrow down what you should try when visiting the fair.
Friday was a simple day with very few events and such a simple day meant a simple food to try that everyone knows and loves; a corndog. Coming in at $2, this freshly made dog on a stick is perfect for lunch in the sun.
It was so warm I had to wait a couple minutes before delving into this classic. For the price and freshness, it would be highly recommended for lunch in the grass.
No corn dog would be complete without a side of fries, right? How about kicking it up a notch and adding another skewered item for the side dish.
Tornado Potato Fries appear to be a popular item amongst fairgoers so, naturally, I had to try one. For $3 you can enjoy what appear to be potato chips spiraling down a stick. The catch is these potato chips are soft and packed full of flavor.
Workers say the most popular flavors are bacon and cheese or parmesan and garlic while the most flavorful, and the one I tried and loved, is dill. For fans of mild flavoring, white cheddar is the best bet.
By Sunday I was feeling more dangerous and decided to try a taco dog and deep fried cookie dough.
The taco dog consists of everything you would find on a taco but thrown onto a hot dog, including the shell. Mine had lettuce, Doritos, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese and onions. Although jalapenos can be included, I decided not to be any more adventurous. Coming in at $2.75, this hot dog combines the glory of American and Mexican food for a multicultural experience.
Perhaps the best part of the meal was the cookie dough. For $3 you can enjoy six large balls of deep fried chocolate chip heaven that might put your mother’s baked goods to shame. Chocolate chip and macadamia nut are available to try and both would be highly recommended.
The chocolate chip cookie dough tasted fresher and hotter than the freshest cookies you have ever had from the oven and the drizzled chocolate and powdered sugar complete the deal. No fairgoer should leave the grounds without trying it.
I ran into the taco burger by dinner time and thought I’d compare it to the taco dog. Both are extremely good. The burger consists of lettuce, onions, cheese and taco sauce and, again, allows for the glory of multicultural food.
What made the meal came from Eve’s Daiquiris. These alcohol-free drinks are fun for the whole family and, for $5, you can enjoy the creamy, flavorful drink complete with a specialty cup with umbrella, both of which are yours to keep if you please.
Although the strawberry is most popular, I decided to try fuzzy navel simply because it sounded so bizarre. The mixture of orange and peach flavoring gives it a delicious tropical taste and temporarily took me to Hawaii.
On a hot afternoon the best way to cool off is with a slushy. For less than $4 you can enjoy a large slushy from the Mister Softee truck. To put it into a slight perspective, the cup was roughly the height of my head, giving you plenty of bang for your buck.
So what is a guaranteed food to try while visiting the fair? After much deliberation and sampling, the best answer I can give is all of it. Fair week is the perfect opportunity to enjoy something you wouldn’t typically try. So go out and have fun with the food at your Athens County Fair.