There’s nothing like a day at the Indiana State Fair to awaken your senses, whether it’s taking in the view from the top of the Ferris wheel or listening to the music coming from the many concerts on the free and main street stages. But for many fairgoers, the highlight of those 17 days in August is the food.
With more than 65 concessionaires, there are foodie finds around every corner from midway vendors to the exhibitors at the Purdue Extension Agriculture Horticulture Building.
On the subject of Hoosier home grown eats, let’s talk about many people’s favorite fair food - hot corn on the cob. There are a handful of places to pick it up, including Carousel Foods stands, located throughout the Fairgrounds. Have it your way – dripping with butter, sprinkled with salt, or let the sweet corn speak for it’s self. Of course, nothing says Indiana like good, old-fashioned breaded tenderloin. More than a dozen vendors will be serving them up, so be sure to save room.
Is fried, hot crispy and battered food your jam? There’s no shortage of that at the fair grounds. Here’s just a sample of what’s sizzling in the fry baskets: green tomatoes, green beans, pickles, potatoes, Snickers, Oreo cookies, M&M’s, cookie dough, Reese’s Cups and chocolate covered strawberries.
The American Dairy Association of Indiana’s Dairy Bar is another popular destination for fair visitors. Here you can get your fix of all things gooey, creamy and all around delicious, including bagels with cream cheese, breakfast sandwiches, cottage cheese, fried mozzarella sticks, frozen custard, grilled cheese sandwiches, ice cream cones, milk shakes, sausage and cheese biscuits, and yogurt.
If you can still stand the sight of food after all that, head to the Purdue Extension Agriculture Horticulture Building to experience food in a slightly different way, from cheese sculptors and honey farm exhibits to a tomato juice stand and watermelon seed spitting contests.
On a final note, the Indiana State Fair is going to shake things up this year with Taste of the State Fair. Instead of one signature dish, vendors will celebrate Indiana’s Bicentennial by creating their own new and original fair food. Fairgoers will have the opportunity to cast votes for their favorite on the new Indiana State Fair App from August 5-17 when the “Grand Champion” will be announced. May the best food win.