And this is what they call death by fried food

Question: Is the Orange County fair a foodie paradise?

Answer: Uh, not so much… unless it’s based on pure and honest gluttony.

How does one prepare for dinner at the fair? I’m half-starved after my usual late Thursday hours and the only thing eaten since lunch was a measly garden salad. The only relief is that the press parking is in close proximity to the entrance and thereby the food. But once inside the fairgrounds, all senses go numb due to the bright lights, noise from the moving death traps, smoking BBQs, smell of wet animal and highly spasmatic kids running around with sticky fingers into stranger’s legs.

Tasty Chips

At the Orange County fair there is no shortage of oil. My only regret at this time and place is not owning a green car which can run on old vegetable oil. After wandering around for what seems like eternity, the first food purchased were freshly fried potato chips from Tasty Chips. For $6, a hat-sized amount of chips are served to you sizzling hot. Condiments include seasoned salt, hot sauce and ketchup but for a a few additional dollars, you can have yourself a cowpie. What’s a cowpie you ask? The edible version are chips served with chocolate for those looking for more calories. But the chips were good in comparison to the burger from Grant’s Burgers which need no further mention.

Neapolitan cream puff

Unfortunately an example of something that looked and sounded good but was ultimately a letdown were the creampuffs made with real whipped cream. The pastry was dry and the Neapolitan-flavored interior was nearly flavorless. The first clue to the disaster should have been the lack of people at this vendor. Reminder to self: lack of people equals run for the hills.

fair food

The rest of the evening was a haze due to the oil and smoke permeating the air. I recall seeing officers eating smoked turkey legs, a chicken breast engulfed by two Krispy Kreme donuts trying to pass as a sandwich, deep-fried avocados, half-pound hot dogs and peanut butter, banana and honey, say it with me, deep fried. But my last remaining sight of the evening was something thought to be impossible: deep-fried Coke.

Anything is possible at the Orange County Fair!

12 thoughts on “And this is what they call death by fried food

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  1. Great pictures! My friend was just there last night and got the deep fried Oreos. Your site is fun. I've linked you to my page.

  2. i'm wheezing and coughing and gasping for air just looking at this post and thinking of the air… i went to the OC Fair to see Rick Springfield about 8 years ago. Great memories of that time.That cream puff looks heavenly, what a disappointment it didn't live up to its majestic appearance here.Definitely on board with the Tasty Chips. i've had 'em at the SD Fair with salt 'n' vinegar. Good shtuff.Deep-fried Coca-Cola. What a world…

  3. Hi TGCE–Thanks. I have tried deep fried Oreos but in Canada of all places. It was delicious. Thanks for the link. I'll update mine as well.Hi Kleopatra–Rick Springfield… wow that's a time warp. Wish all those calories can be returned.

  4. Monterey is getting its county fair too. Aug. 14 to 19; Just saw trailers with the "death trap" rides parked around the fairgrounds. I'm thinking the food booths will fire up the oil next week…Hmmm, I should check out what kind of concerts will be availble up here. Will report back soonest.

  5. The food at state and county fairs pretty much sums up why other countries look down on America. However, it's so amusing to see what people will actually put in their bodies. Fresh chips, I am down with. But a chicken/donut sandwich? Not okay.

  6. Being paranoid, I appreciate the fact that most of this stuff is DEEP fried. I figure 60% of the germs carried by your average carnival worker can be killed by a 72 second soaking in boiling oil. SA

  7. Hi Jenn–If you're old, I have a foot in the grave. It wasn't much fun but I'm cranky from all the oil being absorbed into my pores.Hi Mrs. Wong–Serious about those death traps. Did you hear the one about the girl who lost her feet on a ride. Sure it was a Six Flags, but how much worse at a traveling fair? Ok, now I'm being paranoid. What's new?Hi Foodette–You might have a point there. Wonder what other countries think of our CostCo sizes? The chips were the best thing eaten but I limited it and shared. The donut chicken sandwich just pure evil.Hi Steve–Somehow I knew you would say that! I remember walking through the fair wondering where the restaurant rating was especially after the L.A. stadium pest debacle.Hi Chubby Panda–I wonder what new concoction will the the newest thing in following years?

  8. You should do a post on the things that look great and are disappointing. It seems cream puffs often fall into that category. They look so promising behind the glass. It is also interesting how all the fair food booths look the same everywhere and over the years. Maybe, this is to connect you back to your childhood –where you could and would eat anything. I think those little doughnuts need to be mentioned. God bless 'em. As for death rides, I picture a lawyer for Six Flags having that footless girl "standing" next to the height requirement and arguing that she was not tall enough for the ride. I remember my sister, brother and I in this cage at a carnival–it flew around in the air while the cage on a swivel turned over and over. It was like putting hamsters in a dryer. I slid right out of the safety bar. Fortunately my sister's screaming brought the ride to an early conclusion. SA

  9. So what is deep fried coke, exactly?Last St. Patty's day we had deep fried oreos which were pretty good, but I like your regular ol' run of the mill funnel cakes!Welcome to the Foodie Blogroll!

  10. Hi Steve–Hmmm… I like that idea about disappointing food but it just seems like wasted calories to me anyways.Hi JennDZ–Re: Deep fried coke. Glad you asked! I asked the guy behind the counter and it's funnel cake batter mixed in with flat Coke topped with whipped cream.

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