Hello everyone! I’m one of Joan’s best friends, Tracey. As she’s warned you, I’m guest-blogging today. I feel like one of those radio callers having a ‘long-time listener, first-time caller’ moments. If you’re a frequent reader of her blog, as I am, then you might already know of me. I’m a frequent contributor and commenter. Although I’ve moved out of York County, and even out of Pennsylvania before, I always come back and I consider myself a lifelong Yorker.
Joan was only able to take a long lunch break, so I came prepared. Where I’d normally nibble my way through the fair offerings, I was eating on a schedule. I even brought along containers so that if there was too much of something I could eat enough to get a good taste and idea of the item and still leave room for more noshing.While I’m a fan of fair food in general, it had been many years since I’d been able to attend the fair and eat. While Joan had already blogged about a lot of the standards this year, I figured I’d take the wilder route, so to speak.
First stop, without question, we needed Kohr’s Orangeades. Sadly, the biggest this comes in is a large. In the world of oversized portions, I keep holding out hope that one year I’ll walk into the fair and be able to purchase a Kohr’s so large that I strap it to me like a backpack. Even then I’ll probably consume two or three while I’m there. (Note from Joan: My boss, Randy, actually came back from the fair with his OWN idea of fair food and drink in a Camelbak, and thanks to independent verification of this idea by Tracey, I feel like we should invent something! Sorry, now back to Tracey.)
I had been coerced into entering some of my photos into the displays so we wandered over to find them and work out a game plan for the eating. On the way I spotted a sign for Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches. DING DING DING! We have an unusual food winner.
On the way back I stopped for one and convinced Joan to split an order of fried pickles with me. My favorite local bar/restaurant serves these and if someone hadn’t convinced me to try them years ago, I never would have eaten them on my own. The tomatoes were served on a thick, soft onion roll and had an almondine sauce drizzled on them. I’m at a loss for how to explain the taste other than “delicious.” The pickles were served cut into long, flat slices and battered instead of the panko bread spears I’m used to. Amazing. I will happily get these again.When Joan told me about eating a fried Snickers bar, I know I made a face. I know my favorite candy bar wouldn’t fry well, so I mentioned what had been my Gram’s favorite candy bar. Little did I know that they actually had deep-fried Milky Ways, and Joan made sure I was going to try one. I did, and it was awesome. Sadly, Joan got some stick when she bit into mine. I ended up pulling it off the stick and very gingerly eating it so I didn’t wear it. It tasted just as if someone deep-fried a Milky Way. Which was a relief because I wasn’t sure how it would end up and if that would taste good or not.
I had always seen the signs for turtle soup and had never been brave enough to try it. I figured this was my year. We went traipsing off to find the stand. Sadly, York Fish and Oyster didn’t have their local stand this year, so no turtle soup. On our way to check if Mr. Bill’s had any unusual seafood, I spotted a sign in front of Flats advertising Cuban sandwiches.
Cubans are one of my favorite sandwiches so it was decided. I ordered a Cuban and mint sweet tea. They had a nice shady seating area with clean tables and umbrellas. If you’ve never had a Cuban, I am very sad for your taste buds. A traditional Cuban is a good soft, yet crusty roll spread with mustard, layered with dill pickles and stuffed with pork, ham and Swiss cheese and then toasted until it’s a delicious gooey mess. My sandwich was served with hand-cut potato chips. Joan was sneaking chips before I even got the sandwich to my mouth. I had her try some of my sandwich also. It was one of the best Cubans I’ve ever had. I made sure to tell the chef and we ended up discussing cuisine for a few minutes.
Joan and I are both big cheese fans, and had been seeing signs for many different flavors and forms of fried cheese. At the fried vegetable stand we found battered, deep fried, mozzarella cheese cubes, on a stick. That was my choice. On the first bite I said something along the lines of ‘It’s like candied cheese!’ Side note, it was even excellent cold. I ate the remainder late last night when I finally made some room in my poor stomach.
We stopped for another round of Kohr’s. (People of Kohr’s, look into that giant size by next fair. Maybe you can market it as “The Tracey”?) Joan agreed to “take one for the team” and have a Lola’s waffle ice-cream sandwich. We are both fans of these, and couldn’t leave the fair without one even though our poor stomachs were on red alert. The special flavors of the day were chocolate peanut butter cup and Moose Tracks, but we stuck to our favorites, vanilla for her and Neapolitan for myself. We were so into discussing the ladies’ custom earrings with them that Joan had finished her sandwich and I was halfway done with mine before I thought to ask her if she had a picture of them.
We were slowly lumbering toward my SUV and took a detour to the petting zoo to look at all the animals. We both have cats that were rescues so we’re suckers for animals. We ran into one of Joan’s coworkers, Kara, who is the editor of Smart magazine and I snagged a free copy from her. If you haven’t read it before, look into it. It was my first experience with it and I really enjoyed reading it that night after I woke from my fair food coma.
On our way in we had passed a sign for rice pudding in a cone. What could be more York County than this? I had to have one. We had a nice talk with the girl from Allentown who served me and she made us a lovely waffle cone complete with whipped cream and cherries for our photo. (If you read yesterday’s blog you now know the answer to Joan’s photo question!)I was reaching critical mass so I had only a few bites to try it (almost as good as my Mom’s homemade. If I said it was better than hers I’d be in physical danger). I ended up freezing it for later and it made a delicious variation on a traditional ice cream cone.
Hopefully enough of you enjoy this that I get invited back to guest blog again. But right now, I have a red velvet whoopie pie that Joan got me from Gruver’s under the grandstand that’s eying me up.