Simanaitis Says

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COUNTRY FAIRS are renowned for their snack fare. As reported on KNX radio news, August 31, 2019, this year’s Labor Day celebrations at the Los Angeles County Fair may feature a new favorite. Here are culinary tidbits on this and other fair fare. I offer them unabashedly free of food guilt.

Anything on a Stick. Wikipedia credits Dave Barham with offering Hot Dog on a Stick in 1946 at his original Muscle Beach location next to the Santa Monica Pier.

The brand, now owned by Atlanta’s Global Franchise Group, offers Hot Dogs on a Stick in malls and other locations throughout the country.

At county and state fairs, a bewildering array of morsels (some, seemingly inedible) are formed on a stick, coated with batter, and deep fried.

Spaghetti and Meatballs on a Stick. Image and recipe from bonappetit/com.

Some of the more innovative choices are Chocolate-Covered Bacon on a Stick offered at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Spaghetti and Meatballs on a Stick, and, if you’re still craving something different, Deep Fried Butter.

Chocolate-Covered Bacon on a Stick. Image from

Navajo Taco. I had my first conventional taco in Flushing Meadows, New York, site of the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Since then, I’ve enjoyed many variations on the folded-tortilla theme (my favorites, soft- not hard-shelled).

One of these variations is the Navajo Taco, composed of Navajo frybread (a lunch-plate-size deep-fried bread) topped with chili meat and bean mixture. Atop this are shedded cheese, lettuce, and sour cream. It’s sort of a Native American pizza.

Navajo Taco. Image and recipe from

If you buy more than one, Navajo tacos can be a complete meal: Leftovers jazzed up with sugar and cinnamon make a tasty dessert.

PBJ Sausage. The 2018 Minnesota State Fair featured Peanut Butter & Jelly Sausage, grilled and served on a bun. It’s a midwestern brat, but with the meat blended with PB & J before being stuffed into its casing.

PB & J Sausage. Image from

To me, this looks good enough to eat without the bun. Less calories, too.

Elvis on a Stick. According to, “Slim McGinn’s stand at the Wisconsin State Fair pays homage to legendary musician Elvis Presley and his love for excess with a portable dessert called Elvis on a Stick: a deep-fried banana-battered peanut butter cup with bacon.”

Now that’s really TCB (Taking Care of Business).

Los Angeles County Fair, 2019. The Los Angeles County Fair, in Pomona, California, is open until September 22. Though I confess I haven’t actually sampled one, my favorite this year is chicken/mac and cheese/bacon wrapped in a tortillia—deep-fried.

What’s not to like? ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2019

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