What I Ate at the OC Fair
November 14th, 2011 by donuts4dinner

My boyfriend’s family has lived in places like Iran and Idaho and Ohio but thankfully settled in California, giving me an excuse to visit once a year for sunning, beaching, and stuffing my face with his mom’s fine Persian cuisine. This year, we happened to pass some signs advertising the Orange County Fair on one of our many drives between his parents’ house and In-N-Out and decided to go one night.

We rode the skyride, just like my sister and I used to with our mom as kids at the Ohio State Fair, until the year she happened to accidentally kick off her flip-flop while we were still up in the air halfway across the park:

OC Fair

We watched the giant ferris wheel light up bright white in beautiful patterns:

OC Fair

and met up with one of Kamran’s old friends:

OC Fair

but most importantly, we ate.

The stands we tried were out of fried butter, so we just ate fried everything-else:

OC Fair
deep-fried Baby Ruth wrapped in a jalapeno on a bed of churros

This one seemed like a bit of a stretch, but Kamran’s friends promised we’d like it, and it ended up being my favourite treat of the night. Not only do I now understand why people like churros so much–these were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and coated with sugar–but I also gained new appreciation for sweet and spicy combinations. It wasn’t just sweet and spicy for sweet and spicy’s sake, though; the flavors of the jalapeno and the Baby Ruth actually complimented each other.

OC Fair
deep-fried Oreos

The thing about coating foods you already like in batter and frying them is that you always gain the flavor of batter but lose some of the flavor of the original food. So while I liked the warmth of the Oreo and the addition of the batter texture and flavor, I missed being able to pick out the delicate flavor of the cream.

OC Fair
deep-fried chicken on a Krispy Kreme jelly donut

We somehow missed that this was a jelly donut, so biting into it and having the raspberry filling ooze out the sides was a pleasant surprise. The donut’s sweetness was entirely balanced by the savory flavors of the chicken, though of course the donut didn’t have quite the structural integrity of a normal roll. This is the closest I’ve gotten to a Luther Burger and only further fuels my desire to have one.

OC Fair
jalapeno popper wrapped in bacon

I love a jalapeno popper, and this didn’t disappoint. With the addition of the bacon, I didn’t even miss the usual batter.

OC Fair
deep-fried Kool-Aid

I’m not sure how I expected it to be made, but I imagine the deep-fried Kool-Aid having a cold, slushy center. Instead, these were like donut holes sprinkled with a packet of cherry Kool-Aid mix. They were enjoyably packed with sour flavor, but I missed the refreshing aspect I was expecting from Kool-Aid.

And now I can’t wait to go back next year to try even more!

6 Responses  
  • Deep-Fried Everything — Unapologetically Mundane writes:
    November 14th, 201112:29 pmat

    […] I figure even those of you who actively hate my food blog might like that. […]

  • Ash writes:
    November 14th, 20115:25 pmat

    I sort-of have a love-hate relationship with this blog. On one hand I get to realize how much awesome food I’m missing out on by wasting my money/vacation time traveling back to my hometown on the other side of the world every year (just kidding I love coming home), on the other hand it really, REALLY makes me sad to see all the food I still haven’t tried… Man I thought I had gotten rid of my cravings this week but that donut/fried chicken combo made my mouth water :P~~

  • aaron writes:
    November 14th, 20118:43 pmat

    deep fried . . . kool aid? you have got to be kidding. AMERICA WHAT THE HELL

  • Liesi @ Too Crewel writes:
    November 15th, 201112:35 pmat

    i want the deep fried baby ruth wrapped in jalapeno. i love chocolate, and spicy, so how could it go wrong?! but the kool-aid…I’m not sure sure.

  • Mrs. Bachelor Girl writes:
    November 16th, 201112:52 amat

    While all the other deep-fried stuff looks amazing (particularly the donut-chicken combo), I have to admit I’m a little let down by this deep-fried Kool Aid business. I mean, I don’t know what I thought it was going to be, but this ain’t it.

    I feel…cheated.

    P.S. Your ferris wheel photo is FANTASTIC.

  • Jessica R. writes:
    November 17th, 20116:29 pmat

    I second MBG, I would have totally ripped that ferris wheel pic off for a stock photo for a layout I was designing if we weren’t already past press date.

    And oh my the fried things. Fried chocolate in a jalapeno?! Fried chicken in a donut? I think this is what Europeans must think Americans eat all the time.

    Also, I’m a bit disappointed by the kool aid as well.

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