What's fair is fare

This weekend kicks off two of my favorite food festivals – Epcot Food & Wine Festival in Orlando and The Great State Fair of Texas.

Now these are two completely divergent culinary experiences. The Great State Fair of Texas has always featured real food for real people (hello, Chili Pavilion!), whereas Food & Wine offers more traditional culinary experience – fair versus fare, if you will.

Some of my returning favorites at Food & Wine are:

  • New Orleans, LA: Spicy Cajun Crawfish and Vegetable Stew; Chicken and Andouille Gumbo; Praline Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
  • Cape Town, South Africa: Mealie Soup with Crabmeat and Chili Oil; Seared Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Purée and Mango Barbeque Sauce
  • Montreal, Canada: Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup; Maple Glazed Salmon with Lentil Salad; Spicy Chicken Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta; Maple Sugar Candy
  • Wellington, New Zealand: Seared Sea Scallop with Vegetable Slaw and Lemon Oil; Lamb Slider with Tomato Chutney

Whereas my "hit list" for the State Fair would be:

  • CORN DOGS!!!
  • Stuffed Wings on a stick – Texas sized, boneless, seasoned stuffed wings, fried and served on a stick.
  • Texas Bar-B-Que Boomerangs – Tender, hickory smoked brisket, chopped and mixed with BW’s special sweet, smokey flavorful BBQ sauce. Brisket is scooped into a light pastry won ton wrapper, folded, sealed and deep fried to a delicate crisp golden brown
  • Chili Cheese Dog Pot Pie – Slices of wieners mixed with chili, covered with grated cheese and a pastry crust. Baked and cut into squares, served in a 12 oz. bowl.
  • Fernie’s Southern Fried Fajitas – Tender succulent strips of mildly seasoned skirt steak dipped in batter & fried until golden & crunchy. Topped with savory fried onions & served with a side of creamy homestyle gravy.

(OK, OK… my cardiologist would prefer me attend Food & Wine – and yours would too! – so maybe take in the State Fair in moderation!)

To be honest, I can't begin to pick one over the other – both are gastronomical treats and a great way to spend an evening.

My only regret is that I can't be in two places at once!

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2 thoughts on “What's fair is fare”

  1. Southern Fried Fajitas might be good, but I personally am sad that we're missing out on this year's big offering at the fair: FRIED BUTTER. That's right: FRIED BUTTER.

  2. If the Irish cheese plate is back at the Food & Wine Festival, could you get the names and brands please? We need that cheese for the upcoming inaugural McCheesefest.

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