New combinations of deep-fried foods featured at this year’s state fair

Published 11:06 am Thursday, October 13, 2022

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Numerous events and activities happen every year in October. It’s a jam-packed, busy month! People who enjoy Halloween (as I mentioned in last week’s column) are getting ready for the upcoming holiday. Farmers are working hard to harvest their crops. And politicians are doing some last-minute campaigning before next month’s election.

But October also includes celebrating all things North Carolina at the annual state fair. This year the event will be running from Oct. 13 through Oct. 23. As usual, the fair held in Raleigh will have a wide array of things for visitors to enjoy. But I’m always interested in the list of new foods that is released each year.

Even though I don’t usually get a chance to attend the state fair myself, I love reading about the craziest foods that adventurous attendees will be able to get their hands on. Some look deliciously enticing while others immediately make me cringe at the absurd combination of ingredients. I actually whispered a quiet “no” while reading the descriptions of several foods this year. The vendors really went all out this time!

Here are a few of this year’s most eye-catching offerings. You can decide whether or not they’re actually tasty!

First up, the vendor Beaver Concessions is offering “Deep Fried Piggy Tails” which sounds a lot more exciting than the actual description. The “piggy tails” are just deep-fried bacon topped with cinnamon, powdered sugar, and syrup. I regrettably admit that I kind of want to try this one.

I think I would also be curious enough to try the “Frozen Banana Pudding Tacos” from Chick-N-Que. As the name suggests, this treat is essentially a taco shell filled with banana pudding, whipped cream, nilla wafers, and a caramel drizzle. It’s perfect for anyone who’s ever thought “hey, I wish I could eat banana pudding with my hands instead of utensils!”

The photo provided for “Sparkling Churros” from Churros To Go immediately caught my eye and had my stomach churning. A churro is a stick of fried dough popular in several Spanish-speaking countries, but these particular “sparkling” churros were colored pink and purple and topped with sugary sprinkles. The description says they are “sure to attract the kids with their bright and fanciful colors” and this must be true, because as an adult, I can’t imagine eating one of these without immediately feeling ill.

Douglas Farms will offer “DoriEsquites” this year which is “Mexican street corn served in a bag of crushed Doritos.” I appreciate the simplicity of it, at least.

Have you ever eaten chicken pot pie and thought it might be better served over an open-faced biscuit? Well, Fun Time Foods has you covered this year with the appropriately-named “Chicken Pot Pie Biscuit.” That’s it. That’s the food. It looks extremely messy, so good luck! (Bring a change of clothes, just in case)

Anyone interested in enjoying a Thanksgiving feast early can buy a “Thanksgiving Stuffed Turkey Leg” from Hickory Tree Turkey BBQ. As the name suggests, it’s a turkey leg stuffed with stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. You also have the option to add candied yams, collards, and mac-n-cheese. Be careful not to doze off on any of the fair rides after sampling this hand-held feast.

Chocolate lovers may be reading this list so far and wondering if there’s anything new for them at the fair this year. Don’t worry. You can try the “Oreo Crumble Cookie Dough on a Stick” from Kora’s Cookie Dough (Emma’s Cookie Kitchen). This item takes a hunk of “chocolate chocolate chip” cookie dough, dips it in chocolate, and then rolls it in crushed Oreos. I think my teeth are developing cavities just thinking about this one.

The OMG! Banana Pudding vendor is offering something called “My Mom’s Magic Punch” this year. The description calls it an “old fashioned beverage with a new twist.” There’s no other explanation, and frankly, it leaves me with too many unanswered questions!

Sometimes the fair’s food vendors work hard to bring you something you’ve never had the opportunity to try before. So this year, Pioneer Wagon will offer a “Rattlesnake Corn Dog.” No, that’s not a euphemism for something else. It’s literally made from rattlesnake sausage, which is battered and fried and then topped with avocado sauce. This vendor is also serving up elk sausage and snake bite nachos. Respectfully… no thank you.

Rudy’s will offer a new “Dill Pickle Pizza.” Personally, I find the idea of pickles on pizza more offensive than pineapple, but pickle lovers may disagree with me.

If you’re too busy at the fair to find something to eat AND drink, why not combine the two with some “Pepsi Glazed Mini Donuts” from S2 Concessions? Chopped peanuts are an optional topping.

Lastly, the “Pig Mac” from Woody’s has all the hallmarks of a fair food classic. It’s homemade white cheddar mac-n-cheese and hickory smoked pork belly both rolled together inside an eggroll wrapper and then deep-fried. You really can’t go wrong with deep-frying some sort of pork and adding mac-n-cheese. I regrettably admit that I kind of want to try this one too.

If you get a chance to head to the State Fair this year, check out all the strange and exciting foods they have to offer. You might find a new favorite or two. But if you can’t make the trip to Raleigh, there are always plenty of other fairs closer to home throughout the year to enjoy as well. They may not offer as many of these interesting combinations, but they definitely offer some exciting things too.

And if all else fails, you can always experiment at home with your own innovative food creations. Maybe one day your food will land you a spot at the NC State Fair, and I’ll write about it in my column!

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or by phone at 252-332-7206.