The sign on this tractor-pulled shuttle says, “The few. The proud. The ones who stick to their diets.” As you can see, I am not on this train. Instead, I am being lured to the deep-fried Pepsi stand by a wood cut-out of the Pillsbury Dough Boy.
At the Indiana State Fair they will deep fry anything, from fresh cut broccoli to cookie dough. I bet they would deep fry a rat, and I can’t guarantee you the carnies haven’t done so after hours. The fair only comes around once a year, so even though I knew this was a very bad, no-good, awful idea, I paid way too much money to split some deep-fried Pepsi and deep-fried cookie dough with my friend Jenny.
The deep-fried Pepsi was very disappointing, since it’s essentially balls of deep-fried Pepsi batter. The deep-fried cookie dough was much more delicious. The guilt of eating this evil concoction was tapered by three things:
1) For the second year in a row the state fair uses no trans-fats!
2) We walked four miles round trip to and from the fair. I’m sure we burned off half a cookie-dough ball right there.
3) There was no deep-fried Diet Pepsi, so I made the healthiest deep-fried soda choice possible.
If you are contemplating going to the Indiana State Fair, know that it is practically impossible to dedicate yourself to any type of healthy eating once you enter these gates. This welcome sign may as well say, “Abandon hope, all ye Weight Watchers who enter here.”
Seriously, even the sushi is made out of icing.
It was somewhat cruel to walk through the display of cake decorating prize winners because I was surrounded by tons of tasty creations locked behind solid glass. Of course, I only had to walk outside to get some elephant ears, so it wasn’t too horrible. The map they hand you at the front gate has a guide to all the exhibits, but it would be far more helpful if it included a map of all the concession stands.
Of course, I didn’t just eat at the fair. I also rode some rides, saw some fuzzy bunnies, petted some sheep and sanitized my hands a dozen times. And of course, I wouldn’t miss…
…the Amazing Big Cheese Sculpture! Yes, a sculpture made entirely out of cheese. The sculpture was sponsored by 3-A-Day. Strangely enough, I dropped my business card off at their table at the BlogHer conference and actually won a prize package from them! I now have a free tote bag, lunch pail and cookbook. For some reason I have a lot of luck with dairy-sponsored contests because I won a gift card from Dannon Yogurt several years ago too.
On the way to the cheese, I stopped by the spinners and weavers exhibition booth and said hi to lovely reader Benita, who spins, weaves, dyes, writes, makes comics and is good at math. I bet she can spin straw into gold too, but is keeping that one to herself.
I stopped for a $1 refill at the Dr. Vegetable stand (where they deep fry veggies if you’re trying to be healthy) and laughed at their soda stand. Funny how a sticker peel could change Pepsi into Coke.
I also crawled through the giant colon, which is not a “:” but a half-circle replica of an intestine, complete with examples of Crohn’s disease, polyps, diverticulitis, and cancer. Now I know how the deep-fried cookie dough felt.
Then on Sunday morning I weighed myself and on Monday morning I went on Phase 1 of South Beach again, because OH MY GOD humans should not eat that much deep-fried food ever. I would have to walk 4 states, not 4 miles, to justify all that eating. I don’t regret it. I like to take unique food opportunities when they come. San Francisco, New York and the State Fair were all fun, once-in-a-while opportunities that I’m glad I enjoyed. However, it would be nice if they hadn’t all happened within a month of each other.
Hello, broccoli! Good-bye deep-fryer.
View all my State Fair pics in my Flickr Photostream. I paid $25 for a pro account, so I’m going to damn well use it.