Smile Politely

Fair food wrapup

We join our hero today at the Champaign County Fair…

Among the throngs of pedestrians and knee-high kids we find our food critique. Today’s quest is for the elusive deep-fried Twinkie. Having already visited the Tolono Fun-day, the Taste of C-U, and the Fisher Fair, the hopes were high that today would lead to a rare sighting. Finding the creature would not be an easy task, standing in the way were numerous vendors, kids, and even Republicans (scary).

The first den we crossed was that of the Pronto Pup. Originating out of Rockaway Beach, Oregon in the 1930’s, the Pronto Pup has become a popular vendor due to its migration into eastern summer events. Thanks to the Tolono Fun-day, we were able to pass this up easily having had our share for the summer.

The second herd we passed was that of O’Brien’s food service and their offering of a Philly Cheesesteak. Despite having never come from or been anywhere near Philadelphia, I consider myself quite the connoisseur of a good cheesesteak. Having chopped the beef instead of slicing and using onions and both kinds of peppers, this place was well worth the price of seven dollars. A good Philly is an endangered creature in this neck of the woods.

Looking amongst the beasts, one can’t help but notice a pattern; steak on a stick, cheese on a stick (kind of vague), brats on a stick, meatballs on a stick. We may be in a recession, but the stick industry is booming. It was the last mentioned, meatballs on a stick, which I chose to facedown. Being rather tender and offered with marinara and parmesan cheese, it is rather delicious. The four dollar price tag for the pet may drive some away, but those who have the funds should experience this.

Next among the plain was Curlers French Fries, and the Lemonade Shake-up Stand. Always a crowd favorite and having been around since the dawn of man, it is seen everywhere that a festival or celebration is held. After this was a rather large area dedicated to Miss Piggy’s Pork Palace. Ignoring the obvious childish jokes and recognizing the increasing fullness of my stomach, I chose to pass on this adventure.

Up next on the enterprise was the home of the Frozen Chocolate Covered Banana (I honestly couldn’t spell it without singing the Gwen Stefani Song). Now having favored the local Edible Arrangements and their chocolate covered bananas (did it again), I figured they’d be even better frozen. For once, I was sadly mistaken.

Having forgotten to bring my sword of Elrond (for those nerd fans) I had trouble biting and chewing this thing. Feeling beaten I set out with new resolve to find the rare Deep Fried Twinkie.

There it was! Two booths down. I could almost taste whatever it is supposed to taste like. But four steps away I was cut off by the deadly Republican. Being in my early twenties and in good health, I feared for my life. Lucky for me, it was senior citizens’ day and I could just walk around him. And delivered to the threshold I was. While partaking in the menu I was blasted with the knowledge that they not only had Twinkies but I could get candy bars deep fried too! (What national obesity problem?).

Remembering my original goal I ordered my three dollar critter and basked in its presence. Slowly I lifted it to my lips and took my first bite. I was not prepared for the flavors that came next. Excuse me, lack of flavors. It was rather bland and had the consistency of biting through burnt flesh…..I’m guessing.The crunchy outside gave way to a soggy inside that was odd at its best description. Being the fair critic (topical humor) I am, I gave it another chance. Still nothing. Feeling downtrodden I flung it at the republicans who wanted nothing to do with it being as how it’s not in the top three percent. I walked into the sunset, hopeful my next quest would bear fruits worth the effort.

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