Fried Foods and Other “Treats” at the Arizona State Fair

PHOENIX – There’s no shortage of food at the Arizona State Fair. Classic fair staples like cotton candy and caramel apples brought back fond childhood memories. Yet some of the new fair favorites brought on a very different feeling.

Fried Food at the Arizona State Fair
Fried Food Stand at the Arizona State Fair. Photo Credit: Kevin Korycanek
Fried Artichoke Food Stand at the Arizona State Fair
Fried Artichoke Food Stand at the Arizona State Fair. Photo Credit: Kevin Korycanek

Those with tough stomachs will delight in a bevy of fried foods. There’s your common variety, including zucchini, artichokes and eggplant. Then there are your not-so-common fried goodies, including watermelon, jelly beans, Captain Crunch cereal, Oreos, Kool-Aid and candy bars. Those who really don’t fear heart disease can opt for fried butter and fried energy drinks.

Maggot Burger and Fried Food
Donut burger (top), maggot burger (center) and other fried insects. Photo Credit: Kevin Korycanek

Don’t feel like fried foods? You still have plenty of options. Jungle George’s food stand tempts hungry fair-goers with a special bug menu. Scorpions, crickets, ants, and of course, the delectable maggot melt sandwich. Looking for something a bit heartier? Try alligator on a stick, the llama burger or perhaps the python.

I’d like to consider myself adventurous, but the sight of larvae on a platter did make me squirm. However, I was on a mission to experience the fair at its fullest, so that included nibbling on some fried foods.

I opted for the zucchini, which by fair standards, was pretty tasty.

Then I tried the fried Oreos (pictured right). Not what I expected. The amount of batter far outweighed the size of the cookie. It was basically like wrapping a piece of hot bread around a soggy Oreo.

Fried Oreos
Fried Oreos. Photo Credit: Kevin Korycanek

Needless to say, I didn’t finish. I tried to give it away to some teenagers, unsuccessfully. My suggestion for next year: deep-fried Pepto-Bismol.

I’m sure there are many of you with less picky palates. What do you think of fair food? Favorites? Failures? Leave a comment.

The Arizona State Fair runs through November 6. It’s open Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission costs $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and kids. Children younger than 5 are free. For more information, visit

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