Deep-fried Goo Goo clusters and oysters on a stick — a celebration of fair food

We've covered fair food in the past here at Boing Boing, and we're back with more culinary delights from State and County fairs. This time we're reporting on some of the delicacies from the Arizona State Fair, which is running now through the end of October. AZ Central reporter Andi Berlin sampled the food and came up with a list of her five favorites. She explains:

I do have a dream job. Little Andi would be dumbfounded by all the freaky-delicious things I ate while roaming the fairgrounds on McDowell Road during the event's opening weekend. Vendors were out there slinging funnel cakes topped with M&M's and whipped cream. People deep fried oysters and served them on a stick. Others set up Mexican al pastor for roasting over open coals. There was deep-fried cheesecake and Navajo fry bread topped with cheesesteak meat. 

But part of my job is to guide you in the right direction and spare you from the wrath of bad fair food. These items aren't necessarily new, but they stood out to me those most. So in that spirit, here's a guide to the best and worst of the Arizona State Fair. 

One of the worst dishes she had was the Philly cheesesteak fry bread. She explains, 

"I wanted to love it, but this particular offering tragically fell short. With its gloopy mound of gravy-like substance in lieu of provolone or Whiz, it tasted nothing like Philadelphia's best. And with the dough's cakey thin texture, it didn't really taste like a fry bread either. Next time I will stick to tried and true basics like the Indian taco, which looked pretty good as I saw another customer whisk it away." And one of the best was a lobster roll with a side of lobster fries from Piggly's seafood: "The lobster was chunked small rather than being in big fat pieces, but the texture was nice and crispy and the chipotle sauce gave it a spicy-creamy flavor." Click here to read more from her list of the best and worst of the Arizona State Fair food offerings.

And if you want to read more about fair food, check out this piece from Food Network that features food from all of the state fairs across the US. Some of the offerings look delicious—Indiana's roasted corn on the cob; Alaska's deep-fried halibut; Oregon's hemp burger; Mississippi's buttermilk biscuits; Georgia's black-eyed peas; Maryland's crabby patty; Tennessee's deep-fried Goo Goo cluster. Some look like they are just trolling us—Idaho's ice cream potato. And some I just don't understand, because I'm not from those places and don't know the local significance of those particular foods—North Carolina's Cheerwine funnel cake; New Jersey's meatball and mozzarella bread cone; Delaware's scrapple sandwich. Guess I need to visit some of those state fairs and do some taste testing of my own!