New Delaware State Fair food offers delicious variety

Brandon Dashnaw, 17, eats a Shark Kabob at the Delaware State Fair. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

HARRINGTON — Fair food, from massive loaded ribbon fries to sweet and salty smoking cheese balls. The Delaware State Fair’s latest additions of cuisine provide a diverse variety that is unlike your typical fair food.

While enjoying carnival rides and watching the livestock competitions, fill up on some new fair favorites when you stop by Chester’s Gators and Tators. Owner Cameron Murrey has come back to the fair eight years with an exclusive new item each year.

“This year we started a new product, it’s the Loaded Bacon Mac and Cheese Ribbon Fries,” he said.

The dish is topped with ranch, bacon, mac and cheese, chives, and more cheese.

The product is so large, it feeds up to a family of 10. This state fair is the first to test the product and so far its popularity has soared.

A youngster gets turned upside down in a ride at the Delaware State Fair on Sunday.

As it is seen in the name, the business is also known for its incorporation of alligator meat as well as shark meat, allowing the creation of many delectable dishes.

“The gator of course is unique but-we have shark. Also, we have fresh Mako shark,” Mr. Murrey said.

Despite the distance from Rehoboth Beach to the fair, Sea Hogg food truck has brought the best of Delaware’s seafood from its restaurant to the fair. A slow braised spanish octopus turned into a taco is the highlight of this food truck’s many favorites
Besides the mouth-watering octopus, Hogg’s has a variety of specialty tacos and southern dishes such as deep fried frog legs.

“Our two most popular items minus the Octo-taco is our Key West Florida Grouper Taco. That is a flash fried Grouper with a key lime aioli-and our Caribbean Jerk Chicken Taco. That’s like our signature taco at our restaurant,” says manager Charles Funkhouser.

Jamie Keeler, of Smyrna, gets a lick from her horse while waiting for the judge’s decision in the grand and reserve open halter horse competition. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

Owners Anthony and Chris Jacona have had Sea Hoggs thriving for 18 years out of Rehoboth, as the brother duo have continued to stun those across Delaware with their shore flavors and unlikely, yet satisfying, combinations.

A more classic and spicy fair dish is presented by Outlaw Fries. Lenny Freund claims that the most popular item on the menu is their fan favorite fried pickles and deep fried jalapeños.

“We have a special batter that we fry them in and serve with the ranch dressing and it’s pretty good.” he said.

Freund’s original yet standard product attracts those looking for a spin-off of a classic.

“Well, people want to try something different. This is their day to escape their regular diets and they want to come out here and try the foods that are a little bit fattening. But my gosh, they’re awful good.”

Jennifer Hartnett, of Marydel, with her Supreme Champion winner “Perfec Investment”.

The cheesy comfort of cheese balls takes its own twist on the original by combating sweet and salty, as the fruity flavored topping of rainbow crunch meets the cheesy bottom portion. The trend of this New Jersey based phenomenon is actually in the picture-worthy smoke that arises as you eat the treat.

Raymond Veles, cook at Dragon Breath, reveals how the magic is made.

“It is basically cheese balls mixed in with fruit balls and liquid nitrogen, that way when you eat it, smoke come out like a dragon,” he said.

The originality of the product fits in with the fair’s ability to captivate an audience’s eye, yet the colorful treat gives a light snack for continuous fair fun.

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