I’m back in Pittsburgh from my weekend home, having rolled in about two hours ago. And when I say rolled into town, I mean rolled in. My word, I don’t ever remember eating so much in my life! I guess that’s what happen when you attend the 157th annual Bloomsburg Fair!
Let’s be honest about a few things for those of you who have never been to my hometown fair: you don’t go there for the carnies, for the scenic views, or the horse races. You certainly don’t go for the Ferris wheel rides, the traffic jams, and the often-scary bathroom situation. You go to the Bloomsburg Fair for the food.
Among the zigzags and stripes of tent awnings and food trailers, there is a mecca of fried food, cooked meats, and questionable health code violations all waiting to be consumed by willing and ready. Streets guide many fair-goers from stand to stand, but more often than not you find your nose guiding you to the next stand. So many scents and smells mix together as you walk from stand to stall it’s hard to decide where to start first. There are the traditional standards that show up every year: Grotto’s Pizza, Hewlett’s Hot Sausage, Mays BBQ. For those who spend the week there, it’s easy to take in all the food you want and more. But for my mom and I, on a one day mission throughout the large grounds, there’s only so much space our stomach provides us, so sacrifices and choices must be made. Sometimes a “fair tradition” must be replaced by a “What the heck is that?!” creation.
We walked around for almost an hour and a half sampling all the smells and free samples we could handle.
We arrived super early to beat the rush of people trekking in on a Saturday, so we were there as most of the stands opened and started preparing their food for the day. It was fun to watch, and even more fun to taste and smell. Fudge in this stand, funnel cakes in the next, fresh brewed birch beer and hand-rolled pretzels. Penn State ice cream, amish-made apple dumplings, and an Asian family preparing some very questionable Chinese food. Everywhere you turn there’s even more for you to look at, buy, taste, and fall and love with. Honestly, this is such a diet-buster! No will power can stand up to the powers of the Bloomsburg Fair!
My favorite food I bought and ate came from the most eclectic booth I saw on my trip there. What looked like three college buddies were running this stand, and I could easily see how one Saturday, drunk, or hungover, or possibly both, they found a deep fryer lying around and asked themselves, “I wonder what weird foods we can deep fry that will actually taste good. Sure, we’ve all had deep-fried Oreos. But these guys wanted to go above and beyond just that.
Their stand was hopping, for obvious reason. Where else can you find deep fried jelly beans, deep fried PB&J sandwiches, deep fried Pop-Tarts, and deep fried Snickers wrapped in bacon? They had specials called “The Triple Bypass” that, as you can imagine, offers you three delicious fried foods to feast your palette on. I skipped the triple bypass, though, for something even more amazing and delicious: deep fried pumpkin pie.
When I saw the sign I couldn’t believe it: can you really deep fry pumpkin pie? Is that even possible? How does it stay together? What does it taste like? Let me tell you, now that I’ve eaten it, I’m not sure I can ever eat regular pumpkin pie again. It’s UH-MAZING! Warm, gooey, full of sugar and deep-fried amazingness. I ate one and honestly thought about camping out in front of the stand so I could keep eating piece out of piece. Would Initech even care if I never came back to work because I became a carnival worker at the deep fried food stall? Probably. Would I care if I never went back to Initech? Definitely not.
I was so happy to go home and catch up with my family and spend the day with my mom at the Bloomsburg Fair. We also ate tons of Mexican food, and baked and decorated cupcakes with my sister. Very productive weekend in deed!
For now, I’m going to curl up on my couch and try to sleep off some of this food baby I’m still carrying around. Looks like it will be salad and veggies for me this week at work. You know what, I don’t even care right now. It was totally worth it for the epic food fest I experienced this weekend.
I’ll be back later this week with a new alphabet, and news about my life and all that’s going on with it. If anyone wants to hook up a deep fryer this week, let me know!!