For many rural and suburban communities, late August to mid-October is more than just the start of school and sweater weather. For these communities, it's also fair season: the time of year when parks and streets are closed off and filled with midway games, odd vegetable exhibits, questionably rickety rides, and most importantly - fair food! When planning a night out at the fair, visitors expect a wide array of food options including beloved basics like cotton candy, popcorn, candied apples, and funnel cakes.
Yet, as many fair goers know, everything is just a little bit more fun to eat when it's on a stick. A popular stereotype is that anything can become fair food if you put it on a skewer and fry it. The great fair food masters of the world have discovered that all sorts of things can be put on a stick with enough dedication, from the obvious choices like hot dogs all the way to deep fried butter balls (not for the faint of heart…literally).
By placing unexpected or unique food combinations on a stick, fair food not only becomes easy to eat, but also an attraction in itself. Many people have begun to put a twist on classic carnival foods by putting them on a stick, like funnel cakes that are fried into strips and then wrapped around a skewer. Another frequent fair food trend is to swap out one ingredient in popular foods with something different, like replacing the frankfurter in a corndog with a bratwurst. Some people have also begun to shape their hot dogs into these cute "octodogs!", which are perfect for younger fair and carnival goers. At some concession stands, you could even find the more inventive fried Coca-Cola.
Since these food on a stick options are often prepared in a fryer, some fair goers may choose to steer clear of these foods for health reasons. However, there are many healthy "stick food" options that can be created, right down to salad on a stick ( or a veggie kabob), grilled chicken, granola balls, fruit, and low fat cheese are some of the things that can be combined for a fresh, tasty option that won't leave fair goers feeling regretful.
It's no surprise that the food on a stick craze has expanded outside of the fairgrounds. This popular form of eating can even be found in the gourmet food truck scene thanks to Denver, Colorado's very own Stick It To Me truck that serves "fine cuisine on a stick." By moving beyond fair food staples or the traditional backyard shish kabob, the idea of stick food can be applied to various establishments, as well as catered events, parties, and cocktail hours.
Whether you are looking to bring inventive foods to your concession stand, food truck, or restaurant, food on a stick is an amusing and creative way to bring a smile to patrons' faces, not to mention a great way to cut back on dish washing.