You’ve probably had funnel cakes, corn dogs, and cotton candy.
But some concoctions offered up at the Lorain County Fair are just plain bizarre, and we decided to make a sport of trying some of the strangest, fattiest, most questionable edible snacks we could find.
Many fall into one of two categories — fried or on a stick — and some are both. From deep-fried cookie dough and deep-fried cabbage and noodles to breaded alligator nuggets and donut hamburgers, reporters Laurie Hamame and Jon Delozier scoured the fair with $20 in our pockets on a hunt for the most delicious and the most surprising.
Deep-fried cheese curds
These golden little morsels at Mike’s Cheese Shack come all the way from Wisconsin and are typically served with marinara sauce.
They’re the size and shape of shell peanuts and have have the same firmness as cheddar cheese, but with a more springy texture and a mild salty flavor.
Laurie’s take: “There’s nothing better than piping hot cheese. These taste like a more zingy mozzarella stick.”
Jon’s take: “I know there’s no potatoes in it, but it’s almost like a tater-tot-slash-mozzarella stick.”
Deep-fried Snickers bar
Jim Wright of Columbia Station has been deep-frying Oreos, Twinkies, and Snickers at the fair for 18 years.
Crisp on the outside and filled with liquefied chocolate and caramel, the candy bar is steeped in thick batter, then deep-fried, covered in powdered sugar, and served on a stick.
Laurie’s take: “I had no idea what to expect. It’s really sweet and it’s a little unappetizing.”
Jon’s take: “Basically a corn dog with chocolate and nuts on the inside — that’s not a bad thing.”
Deep-fried Oreo cookie
Crispy batter and a creamy filling combine to give “milk’s favorite cookie” a makeover.
Laurie’s take: “Crunchy outer shell. I can’t really taste the Oreo too much and it’s pretty greasy. I feel like they would taste good right after coming out of the fryer, but not after sitting for too long.”
Jon’s take: “The Oreo retains it’s shape. It doesn’t get soft or anything. The outside and inside go surprising well together. It takes like you would expect and it’s really, really good.”
Bison hot dog
Chili and hot dogs made with bison meat caught our curiosity at M&M First Concessions, where JJ Meyers of Mansfield handed us a ‘dog made with three quarters bison and one quarter pork, which helps bind the low-fat meat together.
Jon’s take: “At least you know what’s in a bison dog as opposed to a regular hot dog. It’s really similar to a Nathan’s dog with more spice to it. It has more flavor than an Oscar Meyer or run-of-the-mill hot dog and is not as squishy.”
Peanut butter, jelly, and bacon quesadilla
Mickey Stevens, owner of DinoBites catering, traveled from Tampa, Fla., to serve up quesadillas with uncommon filling concoctions like PB&J with bacon and another with macaroni and cheese.
Laurie’s take: “I went in for a second bite, so that says something. I think what’s throwing me off are the sprinkles on top. They are giving it a weird crunch. But overall, it’s a unique blend of sweet and savory and salty. The bacon makes it feel like a dinner but the sugar makes it feel like a dessert.”
Jon’s take: “I wanted to like it but it didn’t go together for me. It could have been better with slices of bacon instead of bacon bits but I didn’t know about that. It was better than I expected but I didn’t enjoy it.”
This cup of liquid nitrogen-infused cereal puffs releases visible vapors out of the nose and mouth when eaten.
Laurie’s take: “It tastes like Froot Loops. The vapor doesn’t change the taste and seems unnecessary. I guess it’s supposed to look cool.”
Jon’s take: “It’s like a Cheetos puff but fruit-flavored.”
A creamy, whipped maple syrup by Schlechter Brothers Country Harvest out of Henrietta Township can be spread on toast, biscuits, and pancakes or mixed into shakes and oatmeal.
Laurie’s take: “Move over salted caramel — there’s a new dessert sauce in town! Out of all the things I’ve eaten today, this has to be my favorite one. It’s thick and creamy and I’d eat it right out of the jar.”
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter. Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews.