For most of us growing up, going to county and state fairs meant sampling classic treats: cotton candy, popcorn and blue-ribbon-winning desserts. With fair season in full swing over Labor Day, we took a look at what today's gatherings offer. If you haven't been in awhile, you might be surprised by the variety of foods competing for your taste buds' attention. From fried Sriracha balls to chocolate salami, choices abound — proving that nearly anything can be deep-fried and that festival fare has come a long way from snow cones and hot dogs.
[ Take our poll — what's better, the classics or new fare foods? ]
Chicken Fried Loaded Baked Potato
This delicious dish is featured at the Texas State Fair this year, where it's competing for the Big Tex® Choice Award.
Made with butter, bacon, cheese and the "creamy insides" of a baked potato, it has a comfort-food appeal.
Corn dogs may be a favorite savory fair treat, but they have new competition. Besides the latest variations on the classic (like this gluten-free beer battered brat), there are new eats that take the concept in a different direction, like the shrimp dog that debuted at this year's Minnesota State Fair.
It combines baby shrimp and cream cheese dipped in batter, then deep-fried until golden brown and crispy.
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