When most people think of fairs, they think of food! And rightly so. 🙂 Who among us hasn’t tasted a good funnel cake?
Fairs are one of the best places to taste the cuisine of the surrounding area and try out new and amazing dishes! Besides the quintessential fried foods, a classic county fair or state fair will often have separate buildings set aside for the fair competitions. Everything from livestock to embroidery to quilting to wood carving and of course, foods of every kind would be judged for the coveted blue ribbon. Standard produce was judged like pumpkins, tomatoes, and corn, but so were baked goods like pies and cakes and preserves, jams and jellies.
Winning a blue ribbon in any of these categories was something to brag about! Many men and women worked all year at something special hoping to earn the blue ribbon at the fair. It was an innocent and good-natured competition. That is unless you won the blue ribbon for several years in a row! Then your neighbors might start to think that you needed to be taken down a peg or too.
Many new foods have been invented at a fair. For instance, did you know that the famous ice cream soda was invented at the Philadelphia Exhibition in 1850? A Philadephian apothecary accidental invented it by dropping ice cream into fruit juice and carbonated water! Besides that, foods such as the hot dog, cream of wheat, juicy fruit gum, ice cream cones, peanut butter, cotton candy and crackerjack popcorn were invented or brought into the mainstream for society to enjoy for the first time at fairs.