It’s an annual sign that the end of summer is near. Beach trips and vacations are winding down, the kids are heading back to school, and the leaves will soon start turning.
But there’s still plenty of time to indulge in all of the deliciousness that makes up the menu at the Maryland State Fair!
In no particular order, here is my list of the best bites — both over the top and classic — you can find at this year’s fair! (Pro-tip: Take a Tums before reading.)
Loaded spiral potatoes
Are they french fries? Are they potato chips? Who cares! They’re smothered in shredded pork, melted cheddar cheese, sour cream and barbecue sauce!
Fresh peach sundae
Peaches and cream, I need it ‘cause you know that I’m a fiend. But seriously, is there anything better than fresh peaches in the summer?! An absolute must try — especially when you need to cool down in the heat.
If the state fair had an official food, it would definitely be the funnel cake. It’s a classic that simply can’t be left off the list. The only hard part is deciding what topping to go with. My go-to: strawberry.
Fried food is basically synonymous with fair food. And a trip to the fair wouldn’t be complete without this melt-in-your-mouth, deep-fried goodness.
Only second to the peach sundae, the sweet and savory combination of freshly homemade cornbread smothered in pulled pork and coleslaw will make you go hog wild.
Chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick
It’s a strange but unexpectedly effective method of serving — and honestly, the only way I want to eat cheesecake going forward. Plus, it combines two amazingly decadent desserts in one! You should really just eat it out of convenience.
If there is one rule about eating at the state fair, it’s that you simply can’t go without at least one person getting a turkey leg. Smoky, tender and a little bit messy. You’ll definitely need a few napkins for this one.
Lucky Charms cereal milkshake
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but no one said it couldn’t include ice cream! And these shakes are magically delicious. Other options include Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros, Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Krispies.
Fried, fabulous and dusted with cinnamon and sugar (at least that’s my order) — elephant ears are a state fair staple. If you’re a serious state fair foodie, you won’t leave without sharing at least one.
Sausage with peppers and onions
A simple but solid choice, sausage with peppers and onions always reminds me of visiting the state fair as a kid. The fresh roll, the savory sausage and the sweetness of the peppers and onions just tastes like summer.
Savory-themed “desserts” are clearly a trend — and I’m absolutely loving it. This parfait is layers upon layers of tender, juicy brisket alternating with mashed potatoes and homemade barbecue sauce — which makes every bite the best bite.
The Maryland State Fair will continue to run from Sept. 1-5 and Sept. 8-11. You can find more information here: https://www.marylandstatefair.com.
Chris Franzoni is a Baltimore native, resident, food fanatic and “Eater-in-Chief” of @EatMoreBeMore, which he started seven years ago with 2 goals — eating his way through the city and shining a positive light on the Baltimore restaurant and hospitality scene.