Sunday, August 31, 2008

Carnival Pleasures

It's Alaska State Fair time, which means lots of deep fried things, lots of things on sticks, and lots of good eating!

We went to the fair on the last Saturday, the 30th, after gathering much advice from locals. There were so many recommendations that we decided to just graze, getting small portions of everything that looked good and sharing them. By use of this tactic and by pacing ourselves, we managed to sample a good portion of what was available.

From Great Alaskan Food Adventure, we got a pork chop on a stick and fried cheese curds. The pork chop was absolutely delicious, tender and salty and smoky. I would guess it had been brined, but have nothing to back that up but the moistness and flavor. Their fried cheese curds were also great. The batter was light and crispy and the cheese had a rich, creamy flavor.

Then from Denali Cream Puffs, we had a - well, a cream puff. You can get them topped with chocolate, mixed berries, or caramel pecan. We got the caramel, and it was really good. If you have a sweet tooth, this is the treat for you. The cream puff itself was good - the puff had a nice light flavor and good structural integrity, and the cream was very rich and tasty. The caramel sauce, which was what pushed it over the top, was sweet and rich and had a lot of nuts in it.

A little while later, Mr. Eating Alaska got a bacon-wrapped scallop kabob, which he said was pretty good but could have been cooked a little longer for him.

Then a while after that, we got fresh cooked garlic potato chips. The chips where a hair thicker than you would get from a bag, but they were fresh and hot and crisp. They were liberally treated with parmesan, parsley, and garlic - a sure recipe for dragon breath, but worth it!

Then I got brave and had a salmon kabob. The reason this took bravery on my part is that I am not a seafood fan. Not even a little bit. However, since this is Alaska, and salmon is the big thing, I decided I better try it and give it another chance. Hence, kabob. Well, it was pretty good. Savory chunks of salmon were interspersed with onion, green and bell peppers, and corn-on-the-cob wheels, all cooked just right with a little bit of grilling char. Well, it's not my new favorite food, but it was definitely pretty good.

Since no fair experience is complete without a french fry component, we went to the Alaska Grown produce stand and got the deep fried peanut potatoes, which are small fingerling potatoes fried up crispy. They were served with a little cup of bacon ranch dressing! I really shouldn't need say any more. MMMMM!!!!

Then, on to the Hawaiian Shave Ice stand, which for those of you on the east coast, is a sno-cone. As advertised, they are shaved ice, and you can indeed get Hawaiian flavors, such as pineapple. Sweet and refreshing - good stuff!

We finished out the day with an Alaskan treat from our friends at Indian Valley Meat - a caribou steak sandwich! This was not a Philly-style steak sandwich, but rather a rectangular steak of caribou meat, served on a firm roll with some stewed onions and peppers and some cheese. The meat is kind of Slim-Jim flavored, but not quite as peppery. It was very tasty, and was a good end to our great Alaska Fair eating adventure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There were a fair number of items that seem to be unique to Alaksa. Those garlic chips sound scrumptious!