Thursday, September 13, 2007
One of the events I was most looking forward to on my trip to Alaska, was the State Fair.
Because of the extended daylight hours during the summer months, farmers around the state are capable of growing very large, sometimes record breaking vegetables. But when we first got to the fair, we were all starving and made getting a snack our first priority.
It only took us about 3 minutes to notice other people carrying around these plates filled with huge portions of homemade potato chips and another 2 minutes to decide that the three of us would share a plate. The potatoes were spiral cut and then packed into a fryer basket. When turned out onto a plate, the chips retained rectangular shape of the basket, and were a perfect golden brown. They were delicious, hot and slightly oily from just being pulled out of the fryer, a sprinkle of salt clung perfectly to the chips.
It was part of my food quest while in Alaska to try as many local eats as possible. So, when I saw a booth by Indian Valley Meats selling reindeer hotdogs, I just had to try one. Worlds better than a regular pork hotdog, this one was in a natural skin, so it had that little snap sound when I took a bite and came on a soft steamed roll.
After our snacks, we were ready to enter to the agricultural exhibit and check out the world's largest veggies. This looked like a zucchini to me, but apparently it's a Marrow, which is closely related to the zucchini, but is known for it's ability to grow the size of a watermelon. This one here weighed 81.45 pounds. Apparently, marrows don't taste like much and are often stuffed with a meat filling in order to give them some flavor.
This turnip weight nearly 20 pounds!
And these were some of the largest beans I'd ever seen. The one furthest back on the stand was over a foot long.
While not a record breaker, this 56 pound cabbage was prominently displayed in the center of the ring.
This kale weighed in at 84.7 pounds and actually is the new world record holder. Way to go Scott Ribb, who grew this beast.
Needing more sustenance after touring the huge vegetables, we stopped by a booth selling elephant ears. Megan and Kyle shared one covered in powdered sugar.
I settled on an elephant ear with cinnamon sugar, but even after forcing some on my friends, I couldn't finish it all. What a shame. It was truly delicious though, and a cup of hot chocolate was the perfect accompaniment as the sun was setting and it was getting a bit chilly outside.
We couldn't leave the fair without going on a ride, so I bought us tickets for the Tilt-a-Whirl. Here we are getting ready for the spinning to start. We're all lucky we didn't lose our chips and elephant ears in the process.