While some fair goers go searching for Krusty Pups and Earthquake burgers, others crave the sweeter side of fried. I took a tour this week of Puyallup Fair desserts, which included my first tastes of an Elephant Ear and fried Twinkie.
And, you know, for sugar coated fried dough and a fried snack cake, they weren’t…. horrific. I might even call both sort of tasty. But I didn’t find them nearly as tempting as the chocolate chewiness of fried chocolate chip cookie dough. And, of course, nothing tops a Fisher fair scone.
Click “more” to read a tour of Puyallup Fair desserts.
I couldn’t sample all the dessert options at the fair. The booths selling strawberry shortcake and strawberries on a stick are worthy of a story on their own. And I didn’t even crack into caramel apples or those nut covered ice cream bars. And Seattle Fudge? I couldn’t eat another bite. Maybe next year.
Fisher Fair Scone ($1.25 each): Look for the Fisher scone signs to make sure you’re getting the real deal. Is it my imagination, or were Fisher fair scones once larger? The hallmarks of the Fisher fair scone are what makes this a fair classic: a tender scone with a creamy texture split open, slathered with butter and raspberry jam. A fair classic, and no trip to the Puyallup Fair would be complete without a scone.
Location: Booths throughout the fairgrounds.
Elephant Ear ($6.50): I suspect that the fried dough would have been more tasty slathered with butter and warm raspberry jam, but my fair partners really wanted their elephant ear dusted with cinnamon sugar. I watched the kitchen workers hand stretch the dough before plopping the plate-sized disc into the fryer. It emerged as a blanket of dough, spread with butter and dusted with cinnamon sugar. The dough was chewy and with a nutty flavor, a characteristic from the wheat flour used to make the dough. Tasty, but the cinnamon sugar was cloying. Enough to feed two or three.
Location: Duris Elephant Ear booth inside the Restaurant Building (and other locations)
Fried Twinkie ($4.25): I don’t know that I’ve had a Twinkie since the 1980s, but the snack cake was just as sweet and cloying as I remember. In fried form, it’s really not very interesting in texture or flavor. I’d say skip this one unless you want to eat it for a novelty item.
Location: Totally Fried booth at the Blue Gate.
Fried cookie dough ($5.50): How do you fry cookie dough? It takes a batter jacket. Two rounds of chocolate chip cookie dough are dunked into a batter and fried until they puff up into discs full of oozy, chewy chocolate decadence. I’m a fan. The hockey puck sized discs of cookie dough didn’t even taste greasy. Just take what you know about cookie dough and translate it into a corndog. Maybe that’s a little difficult to conceptualize, but trust me that batter dipped, fried chocolate chip cookie dough is delicious in a way that will make you feel guilty for days. One disc is plenty to feed one diner; two discs is too much if you’re chowing solo.
Location: Totally Fried booth near the Blue Gate.
Funnel cake ($7.25): I balked at the cost and, like the elephant ear, it’s overpriced (once again, proving fair food is not about value). Fair goers can watch the cakes being made through a glass window: batter was poured and swirled into skillets full of steaming, hot oil. The dough emerged as a Frisbee sized puff, dusted with powdered sugar, and tasted like a bland donut. I wasn’t impressed. It left me craving the fried cookie dough. Enough for 2-3 diners.
Location: Across from the ShowPlex, near the piroshky booth
Nitro ice cream ($2.25): I had heard last week about the ice cream that was frozen using liquid nitrogen. The description of the machine was pretty intriguing. The ice cream goes into a tube, then liquid nitrogen quickly freezes it. It sounds more interesting than it looks. The machine let out an unimpressive puff of hazy smoke as the ice cream froze. The worker told us that when the machine is in full throttle, it’s more impressive, but you have to get lucky and show up when it’s fully functioning. Our ice cream was served from a large container, it had been previously nitro frozen. The ice cream tastes much like Dairy Queen soft serve, just harder. A small cup feeds one.
Location; Inside the ShowPlex