I grew up ten minutes from Circleville, Ohio, and have such fond memories of going to the Circleville Pumpkin Show as a kid that flying home to Ohio from NYC every year for it just seems natural. And I’m not alone in my venture: millions of people come from all over to world simply to visit “the best free show on Earth”. My friends and I are pretty up front about the fact that there’s nothing to do at the Pumpkin Show but eat. Luckily, we don’t need another reason to go.
This year’s feast included:
Deep-fried Buckeyes. Buckeyes being Ohio’s state nut. Except that these are peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate and made to resemble the nut, then covered in batter, fried, drizzled in chocolate sauce, and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
The Bloomin’ Potato, which is such a favourite for my best friend, Tracey, that we walked around aimlessly in the cold for . . . at least ten whole minutes until we found it. It’s a spiral-cut potato fried into a chip-like state, covered in nacho cheese, bacon, and green onion. Because of the spiral cut, the chips are all stuck together, so if you share a plate with friends as I did, you can get away with taking a whole string of the most topping-laden chips.
A sprinkle-soaked candy apple. I had never had a candy apple in my life, believe it or not, because caramel apples have always appealed to me so much more. I was set on a caramel apple but got talked into a candy apple at the last moment by Tracey and didn’t regret it for a second. The red candy dripped all over our hands and fingers, and the sprinkles fell off all over my lap. I felt like a child.
Wisconsin cheddar, deep fried. It was hard to taste the cheese because there was so little of it and so much breading, but I’m not complaining.
Baby Simon was less than thrilled with Jeff’s offer of a taste of pumpkin whoopie pie, which was basically a sandwich made of two pumpkin muffin tops and a flavorful whipped cream. Tracey and I, however, consumed several of them and were delighted.
Frozen cheesecake, plopped on a stick and dunked in chocolate, is everything you imagine it to be.
This mess was a crepe with a creamy pumpkin pie filling, covered in praline sauce, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with candy corn and candy pumpkins.
The famous pumpkin burger, which always has a line ten-people deep, even in the breakfast hours. It’s a sloppy joe with pumpkin and pumpkin-pie-related spices such as nutmeg added in. It honestly doesn’t taste much at all like pumpkin, but it tastes like sloppy joe, and that’s what I care about.
I’m of course leaving out all of the fried cheese on a stick, all of the apple cider slushies, all of the pumpkin milkshakes, and so on and so on, but I was too busy stuffing my face half of the time to remember to take photos. Which is how it should be.