I went on a trip to the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, NC. I have been going to this fair off and on since the 1980s so I know it pretty well. Since it is an agricultural fair, it is a foodie haven. Of course there is plenty to eat.
Like any modern American state fair, it has its share of deep fried–pecan pie, Oreos, mac and cheese, honey buns and more, including the Twinx–Twix+Twinkie+Bacon, yeah, you read that right.
There is also a lot of info and expos on food production from around the state.
As far as my favorite foods at the fair, I’ve written about that before. (Fair food is not my favorite, I have to admit. My family/friends always like the Wisconsin fried cheese, the turkey legs, the sausage and pepper sandwiches, the specialty candy apples and more.) I enjoy the R&R ice cream, churned by a John Deere tractor–well, what else would you churn ice cream with?
I also enjoy elephant ears and grilled corn. This year, I sampled ice cream from Tar Heel Creamery in Wilmington, NC. I got bourbon caramel and my friend got peanut butter Oreo. Both were creamy and delicious.
I also like checking out the expo where you can buy local peanuts/peanut products, local honey/honey products, local jams and jellies and much more. I bought some gorgeous cupcakes from BlueBird Cupcakes. I took these for the road, and they were delicious. They were fresh and flavorful, just a delight. (Sorry they got a little smushed. Rear L-R: lemon blueberry, pumpkin spice, caramel apple spice; Front L-R coconut cream, red velvet, cinnamon crumb cake.)
I enjoy going to the various exhibits. They feature things like North Carolina cheese and wine. I like the recipe and cake decorating contests. There were many beautiful cakes in the competition. This sushi cake was one of the winners this year.
And this fall harvest one was also a winner.
I love this cake.
And I like this one too, especially since it’s monogrammed for me.
Of course, if you’re a foodie, you shouldn’t miss a trip to the old grist mill where you can purchase cornmeal too.
I got some free foodie goodies to take home as well. A copy of the winning recipes from the 2013 fair. A chart of the availability of North Carolina seafood. A local seafood bumper sticker. A few copies of Edible Piedmont.
In all, it was a very enjoyable event, especially for a foodie, although there is a lot more to do than just food. A lot of music acts–Trace Adkins (swoon) will be playing and also Joan Jett. There are fun circus-like acts roaming around like a guy walking on a huge wheel. There’s North Carolina pottery. I like the Village of Yesteryear and checking out the work of craftsmen and artisans. I like the bonsai tree and garden/landscaping competitions. I voted for this bonsai that looked like a miniature forest.
I like the heritage circle where I heard bluegrass music and sipped some apple cider. I like the hobby/craft show and the rabbit hutch across the way.
I must admit, I’m not a big fan of seeing the animals, as I feel sorry for them, so I usually don’t visit those buildings although I have in the past. And of course, plenty of rides and games.