Tasty treats abound at Nor­folk fair

The Delhi News-Record - - TRAVEL - JIM FOX one­tank­trips@hot­mail.com For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tank­trips.blogspot.ca

Hurry, hurry, step right up and get your car­ni­val food.

Coun­try fairs are the rage for big veg­gie con­tests, horse and an­i­mal shows, mid­ways, de­mo­li­tion der­bies, mu­sic and as pur­vey­ors of quin­tes­sen­tial carny food.

There’s all the deep-fried, un­usual food-on-a-stick cre­ations you won’t find any­where else.

This open-air din­ing akin to the pop­u­lar­ity of food trucks now takes the cake — so to speak — and no one does it bet­ter than the Nor­folk County Fair and Horse Show in Sim­coe (172 South Dr.), south of Brant­ford.

The fair, which runs Oct. 3-9, is a “culi­nary car­ni­val,” says Noah Cappe, host of the TV show Car­ni­val Eats.

He knows his deep-fried, roasted and toasted dis­cov­er­ies as his Food Net­work Canada show did an episode fea­tur­ing the Nor­folk fair.

Cappe raved about the Thanks­giv­ing Bowl he called a “cor­nu­copia of flavours with fresh fall veg­gies, suc­cu­lent turkey and cran­berry corn­bread.”

Dig­ging into some fu­sion fare with Indo-Cana­dian in­spired but­ter ba­con pou­tine and a cheese­burger eggroll, he washed it down with ale and ap­ple frit­ters.

As On­tario’s old­est agri­cul­tural fair, Nor­folk has been do­ing it right for the past 177 years, keep­ing up with the evo­lu­tion of taste treats.

“Dozens of tan­ta­liz­ing tastes will be await­ing vis­i­tors as they make their way down food al­ley,” said pub­li­cist Wendy Brick.

Taste sen­sa­tions

It keeps up with the chang­ing tastes by this year of­fer­ing big pickle dogs, deep-fried chicken feet on a stick and savoury ba­con balls.

Those wacky culi­nary cre­ations are be­ing of­fered by ven­dors Kar­ley and Scott Den­nis of CoCo Con­ces­sions.

“We bring qual­ity fun prod­ucts to eat and we know fair-go­ers can’t re­sist try­ing some­thing new,” said Scott.

How about pizza on a stick from Paul Oc­zot of Fes­ti­val Foods while Sunny Day Foods re­turns with the tor­nado potato.

While sourc­ing “great eats,” ex­hibits co­or­di­na­tor Jessica Van­der­schee said the fair re­mains com­mit­ted to work­ing with com­mu­nity groups for favourites such as ba­con on a bun, corn dogs, burg­ers and fries.

Along with about 50 food ven­dors are three restau­rants: the Red Rib­bon Bistro in the Rec Cen­tre, the Craft Brew Lounge in the Curl­ing build­ing and Ga­tor Coun­try Kitchen in the Ju­nior Farm­ers build­ing serv­ing bar­be­cue ribs, chicken and cab­bage rolls.

“Our sur­veys have shown that great fair food is still one of the top rea­sons peo­ple come to the fair,” said Ge­orge Araujo, gen­eral man­ager.

“The fair has al­ways en­cour­aged the ven­dors to be cre­ative and they have al­ways re­sponded with great tast­ing treats,” he added.

A cou­ple of years ago, it was deep­fried but­ter that was a “real hit” and the jury’s still out on how well the fried chicken feet will do.

“These nov­elty foods com­ple­ment our tra­di­tional fun foods like taffy made on site, warm fudge and racks of ribs that peo­ple buy to take home,” Araujo said.

Taste of Nor­folk takes place Oct. 6-9 from 1 p.m. in the Rec Cen­tre Arena high­light­ing lo­cal winer­ies, brew­eries and restau­rants.

While cel­e­brat­ing its agri­cul­tural roots, high­lights also in­clude Cana­dian coun­try mu­sic Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. with Tim Hicks and Oct. 7 with Chad Brown­lee. See nor­folk­county

fair.com or call (519) 426-7280.

Ok­to­ber­fest up­date

Kitch­ener-Water­loo Ok­to­ber­fest, fea­tured last week, has re­vised two of its main events start­ing times and the num­ber of fest halls.

It gets un­der­way out­side Kitch­ener City Hall Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. (run­ning un­til Oct. 14) and has 13 Ger­man-Cana­dian clubs.

The Thanks­giv­ing Day Pa­rade starts at 8:30 a.m. from We­ber and Fred­er­ick streets in Kitch­ener.


Scott Den­nis of CoCo Con­ces­sions of­fers deep-fried chicken feet on a stick at the fair in Sim­coe.

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