Fairs can’t help but conjure up those rose hued pictures of days gone by filled with easier times. Ring toss, and sharpshooter tents, petting zoos, face paint, and ice cream stained t-shirts. Passed out kids in strollers, their cotton candy dragging along the ground as the smell of barnyards and fried food waft through the air. In short, it’s simply good times.
For those DC denizens who fear the world beyond the beltway, the idea of a true county fair in the same county as Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and Silver Spring might seem a bit hard to imagine – but I assure you, the remainder (and majority) of Montgomery County is prime fair country.
We visited some of the livestock barns to see the pigs, sheep, cows, and alpacas as they grazed and slept, awaiting the judges visit and the possible blue ribbons. We snacked on fresh cheese curds and honey sticks while looking at giant pumpkins and other local produce.
There was a small show jumping and dressage event going on, and we stopped to watch baby pigs and goats race around a track. But of course, it wouldn’t be a fair without the food.
While food at local, county and state fairs can vary region to region, its generally safe to assume the food at a fair is going to fall into one of a few categories, fresh, grilled, smoked, or fried. Our lunch pretty much covered the bases. We had a smoked Turkey leg that was about a foot long – its skin smoked and crispy in a hickory seasoning was accompanied by fresh grilled corn on the cob and dusted with Old Bay seasoning and a huge cup of lemonade. While filling, this meal was really only the appetizer to the main events – the fried foods.
Since living down here for the past ten or more years, Julie and I have often lamented the lack of true fried dough in the region. This is funnel cake country, and while we have nothing against this fried cousin – we were very excited to see the original of our childhoods here are the fair. Fried Oreos. Does more need to be said? America’s favorite sandwich cookie covered in batter and deep fried. It’s ridiculous, its hedonistic, and I can still taste the them.
Sated and happy and swearing to one another that we would all have salads for dinner we bid our day at the fair a fond adieu – and promised we would return next year. But not before I got some ice cream…