What’s Your Favorite Fair Food?

Keenan: It’s Friday Question again. So I put it to the Miss Demeanor’s: what’s your favorite fair food? Mine is chocolate dipped ice cream bars rolled in crushed toffee. I’m not risking the fair this year. Nor am I risking boiling a vat of chocolate in my kitchen. So I’ve decided to try out a fried Mars Bar recipe. I recently heard about it on Twitter. It’s so popular, it has its own Wikipedia page. Deep-fried Mars bar – Wikipedia. Who knew! Originated in Scotland. Hail Caledonia!

Tracee: Can’t believe I’m admitting this publicly. Funnel cake. Apparently it came to us from early medieval Persia where similar yeasted dishes were created, and from there came to Pennsylvania as Drechderkuche, then along came the addition of baking powder after 1879 and the Funnel Cake version! Yay!

Connie: Well, I haven’t been to the Ohio State Fair in YEARS. I used to go every August with my kids and then with a friend. I admit to liking the mini donuts covered in powdered sugar a lot. Actually, if I’m being honest, I admit to liking all the fried sugary stuff—funnel cake, for example. I used to tell myself that doing all that walking would neutralize the calories. I also love the BBQ. Every year there’s a competition to choose the best ribs in Columbus. They give out samples, and it turns out to be quite enough for lunch.

Alexia: It’s a 3-way tie between fried Oreos, fried Twinkies, and corn dogs. Least favorite? Fried butter and chocolate-dipped bacon.

Emilya: I can’t eat any of it without crying bitterly afterward. In the distant past it would have been Funnel Cake and cotton candy – the kind that is spun right in front of you so it’s hot and caramelized on your fingers as you eat.

Tracee: Cotton candy is a sad memory for me. And also one of life’s lessons. I was very young and entrusted my newly purchased cotton candy to my grandfather while we were at the Memphis zoo. Everyone said eat it now Then go to the restroom. But not long out of diapers (I suspect) I decided the restroom was more important. Despite being warned I could not be convinced that he didn’t eat my cotton candy (what scoundrel would do this?) and was devastated. I suspect they bought me another one – or perhaps I remember because they didn’t. My Grandfather was, for the record, the best grandfather ever. But I’m still sure he ate that cotton candy (he was diabetic… which makes the whole thing even worse… of course he wouldn’t eat it!)

Keenan: Tracee, so very sad. An early, painful lesson: you can’t turn your back on grandpa and sugar. For my gramps, it was fig newtons.

Michele: I’m not sure I should admit this but I’ve never been to a real country fair. I grew up going to the beach in the small coastal community where my grandmother lived and where I ultimately raised my family whenever there was down time.  There was a tiny “carnival” each year but I don’t remember the food. I do know there is nothing like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without the crusts cut into fours eaten at the beach. 

Alexia: I can’t remember going to any county fairs. I’ve been to state fairs in South Carolina, Alaska, and Texas because I happened to be living in the cities where they were held. They turned out to be more fun than I expected. I even entered the craft competitions in SC and AK. I went for the crafts and the food. The state fair is a Huge Big Deal in SC and TX. In Texas, the Cotton Bowl stadium is at the fairgrounds so they draw football crowds as well as fair-goers. (It is Texas after all.) The fairgrounds also has some historically significant Art Deco art and architecture, I think from a World’s Fair that was held there back in the day.

Keenan: I tried making deep fried Mars Bars with a gluten free fritter batter. It was okay. The chocolate was fluffy and the caramel gooey. But not great enough to dirty more dishes.


Keenan Powell


Keenan Powell is the Agatha, Lefty, and Silver Falchion nominated author of the Maeve Malloy Mystery series, Deadly Solution, Hemlock Needle, Hell and High Water.

While still in high school, she was one of the illustrators of the original Dungeons and Dragons. Art seemed an impractical pursuit – not an heiress, wouldn’t marry well, hated teaching – so she went to law school instead. When not writing or practicing law, Keenan can be found oil painting, studying the Irish language, or hanging out with her friends at mystery conventions.

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