Monday, August 12, 2013

Opening Day bites at the 2013 Iowa State Fair.

After the phenomenal success of the Double Bacon Corndog at last year's Fair [see blog post], Campbell's Concessions trotted out not one but two new corndogs for this year's Fair. The first, the Deep Fried Sweet Corn Corndog offers deep-fried kernels of sweet corn not only for garnish, but also mixed into the cornmeal batter. Served with a side of honey, it's fairly sweet. I love the light sweetness of fried cornmeal paired with a meaty wiener. That said I'm not big fan of dipping it in honey; it's overkill. Overall I'd rather spend the extra buck for a Foot Long Corndog.

I'm much more pleased with the other new dog-on-a-stick, the Jalapeño Cheese Corndog. Straightforward cornmeal batter enrobing a wiener embedded with cheese and jalapeño. The side of nacho cheese is creamy and zesty enough, but its flavor overpowers the zippy dog within. Eat this corndog sans nacho cheese, and save the sauce for dressing a foot long. Keep the good times rolling!

Only one of Brad and Harry's cheese curd stands – the one between the Varied Industries Building and the Bill Riley Stage – offers Cajun Cheese Curds. Perfectly golden and zesty to boot! Salty too, but most seasoning blends are. You may want a lemonade afterward to quench your thirst. Some squeakiness as they cool!

After the cheese curd I sought out refreshment at the Ice Cream Parlor just south of the Susan Knapp Amphitheater for a large Chocolate Phosphate – chocolate syrup mixed up with soda water. Down the hill from there amongst the tangle of vendors at the Triangle, I procured a Pickledawg from the Dawg House. What's a Pickledawg you ask? Borrowing from a classic American hors d'ouevre, they take a pickle spear smeared with cream cheese and wrap it in either ham or pastrami. Wheras the hors d'ouevre is sliced into bite-size wheels, a Pickledawg is left intact. Sounds good so far, but the Dawg House also offers them deep-fried in a plain or spicy batter. This is where the Pickledawg becomes decidedly evil. The spicy pastrami is a must try!

Always a must do is a visit to Hardenbrook's sausage stand, located just west of the Riley Stage. Hardenbrook's serves up hot dogs, footlongs, bratwurst, and Polish sausage, with warm sauerkraut and grilled peppers and onions for sides. I always order a Polish with the works, forgetting my resolution to try the tasty looking grilled bratwurst instead. Next time, always next time.

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