The (Kind of) Definitive Ranking of Fair Food

It’s that time of year again. Time for the Monroe County Fair! Fair season is upon us, whether it is county or state level. Arguably one of the most important parts of the fair is the strange, outrageous, and super-unhealthy fair food. Everyone has their favorites they look forward to eating each year. With the help of a Facebook poll (thanks friends!), I’ve discovered the top  3 foods people look forward to eating the most.

  1. Coming in at third place was salt water taffy. This was maybe a little surprising considering all the other kinds of fair food that are out there. However, salt water taffy is pretty tasty so I could see why it is loved by many.

    salt water taffy


  1. Next up was the infamous corn dog (one of my faves)! I think that anything fried on a stick is great, even if it is something as simple as a hot dog. I prefer mine slathered in mustard and ketchup but eating them plain is popular too.
corn dog
  1. The top pick was not surprising: funnel cakes. People will wait in a ridiculous winding line for what seems like an endless amount of time for this powdered-sugary goodness! Something about fried dough glistening from the oil it was fried in, with mounds of powdered sugar entices the masses!
funnel cake


  1. Elephant Ears – Fried dough covered in cinnamon and sugar? How could you possibly go wrong?

  2. Lemon Shakeup – Summer just isn’t the same without a lemon shakeup. Bless the vendors who push through the pain of shaking up hundreds of these a day to ensure I get one.

  3. Fried Desserts (candy bars, cookies, etc) – Candy + deep frying = yum

  4. Tenderloins – Because it would be unhealthy to only eat sweets while you’re at the fair. Plus, a fair tenderloin is normally large enough to feed two other people.

  5. Sweet Corn – Nothing compares to some Indiana sweet corn dipped into a vat of butter and covered in salt.

Over the years, some really interesting treats have popped up along fair food row. Many are eye-catching, but it’s unimaginable they would draw such a buzz and popularity. Below I’ve listed just a few of the most outrageous ones:

  1. Deep fried Koolaid
  2. Deep fried butter
  3. Chocolate covered scorpions
  4. Spaghetti and meatballs on a stick

So, the next time you head to the fair be adventurous and try something new. But remember, just like any other good thing, it will be best in moderation.

photo credit: Keith Syvinski


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