Remember that part in the movie “Forrest Gump” when Bubba starts talking about how many ways you cook/eat shrimp? Bubba loves the shrimp. Well, I was thinking about the love of food and then started thinking about October being the month of State Fairs. Unfortunately, the State Fair of Louisiana in Shreveport and the State Fair of Texas in Dallas have been canceled, but never fear; they both have “fair food” available.

The State Fair of Louisiana will be open from October 29th through Nov. 8th from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. The will have a food court where you can go and get your favorites (we will talk about that in a moment). It will be held at the fairgrounds in Shreveport. For more information, go to: www.statefairoflouisiana.com

The State Fair of Texas will be open on weekends during October. You have to purchase tickets in advance and it is a drive through “tasting”. There are different packages you can purchase. Times are limited and selling out fast. For more information, go to: www.bigtex.com

So, let’s get back to food, shall we? I’m of the opinion that food, especially in the south, is just better fried. I’m a very picky eater. If it’s good for you and healthy, I probably don’t like it. Seriously. But, frying food makes it MUCH more palatable, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, let’s take squash for instance: boiled squash or baked squash casserole? NO WAY!!!! But, slice that squash up, meal it and fry it.....I’m in heaven! The State Fair foods are some of the best foods around and they are almost all FRIED. I think we’re on to something here! I looked up some of the best “state fair foods” and just reading the menu made me drool like a Saint Bernard mixed with a Mastiff. Let me just list a few. (Get your napkin ready, because you’re gonna drool, too!)

Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, Fernie’s Funnel Cakes, Deep Fried Oreos, Texas Fried Frito Pie, Deep Fried Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Ultimate Fried Burger, Fried Cheesecake, Deep Fried Biscuits and Gravy. I could go on and on. For the love of Pete! This sounds amazing! I think that everything is better fried. Thousands of State Fair attendees can’t be wrong.....right?

I remember growing up; we would go to the Louisiana State Fair. The wonderful food smells, the loud music, the rides...it was so much fun. As a teenager, I would usually go to the fair with a group of friends. Some learned the valuable lesson of NOT eating so much of the fair food BEFORE going on rides like the “Zipper” or the “Rotor”. The Zipper was the one with individual cars that two people could fit in and it was like a ferris wheel, except your individual car spun the whole time.....going around in a big circle while spinning; fun times. I rode it once with a friend, George Jacobs from Waskom and suffice it to say, he was NOT feeling so well at the end. The Rotor was a big cylinder that you stood up in, back against the wall, and once it got up to a certain speed spinning, the floor dropped out and the centrifugal force held you against the wall. Again, not the best ride to ride AFTER enjoying the fair foods.

What does all of this have to do with anything? Fairs are fun and I’m kind of sad that they have been canceled for this year, but you can still enjoy a lot of the things that make up the wonderful memories about fall state fairs. Get out your deep fat fryer, pick your favorite foods and start frying because remember.....everything is better fried. (This article is NOT endorsed by the U.S. Department of Health). If you come across some great fried “stuff” to try, email me or better yet, invite me for a “drive by.”

— Dawn Dillard is a proud East Texas gal who loves all things southern especially cooking, music and family. She can be reached via email at DLDplays88@aol.com.