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The quest for food at the Iowa State Fair

August 14, 2014 - Brett Van Waus
He said, ‘live a little.’ So that’s exactly what we did Wednesday night at the Iowa State Fair.

I was excited to go to the fair for the second time this year. My favorite part of the fair is people watching, not the food.

This time around I went with my boyfriend.

He ordered a salami Crescenti, a heated croissant-type sandwich. It took forever to get, but he insisted it was worth the wait.

Fifteen minutes later, when he finally had it in his hands, I tried a bite, he was right.

The bread was flaky, definitely fried, it hit the spot with salami and mozzarella. It was a very good choice on his part.

I didn’t want to wait in line for the sandwich, so we wandered while looking for my dinner.

He said he refused to pay for my food— unless I got something exclusive to the fair.

I would have settled for popcorn chicken but that was not acceptable.

A tenderloin?

That was not an acceptable choice either. To me, nothing about anything deep fried, bacon-wrapped or on a stick sounded appetizing to me.

We passed pizza, grinders, corn dogs, chicken, bacon-wrapped chicken, deep fried candy bars, funnel cakes, smoked meats— but nothing caught my eye.

We approached a deep fried macaroni stand. I love macaroni and cheese and he knew this. He insisted I get the deep fried macaroni and cheese. I was really hesitant, but agreed.

This is the craziest thing I think I have ever done. If I get food from the fair, I’ll get ice cream or mini donuts.

The fried macaroni and cheese didn’t even look like macaroni and cheese. It was a brick shape fried object, the macaroni was inside.

It was served with sour cream and bacon bits on top. I skipped the sour cream.

My biggest pet peeve is walking while eating, I like to enjoy my food, so we found a table.

I stabbed the fried box and pulled. Steam and macaroni and cheese fell out, while bacon bits fell in.

I tried a bite.

Shocked, I tried another, and another and another.

Maybe it was because I ate light for breakfast and lunch to indulge on fair food, maybe it was the actual taste, I don’t know, but the fried macaroni was so delicious. It became my favorite fair food.

After that, we made our way to the center of the fairgrounds, we needed dessert.

Besides funnel cake and mini donuts, the Dairy Barn’s ice cream is another a favorite of mine.

We split a cup with two scoops of chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate. It was so creamy, cold and delicious. I thought of my dad because that is his favorite fair food.

It was a wild day for me. Did I feel disgusting after?


Did I regret it?


Was it a great day at the fair?

Yes, so it was worth it.



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Deep fried macaroni and cheese