WBEZ | 4-H http://www.wbez.org/tags/4-h Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en County fair food http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-08-18/county-fair-food-90763 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-August/2011-08-18/corndogelephantear.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-19/corndogelephantear_small.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 332px; " title=""></p><p>State fairs - with their <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/08/12/139576428/npr-political-journalist-finds-joy-in-iowa-in-a-pig-on-a-stick">deep fried butter on a stick</a>, <a href="http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyharnden/100100848/fried-food-and-retail-politics-at-the-iowa-state-fair/">presidential candidates chowing down on footlong corn dogs</a>, and sadly this past weekend's <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-fair-reopens-after-weekend-tragedy-90624">tragedy at the Indiana State Fair</a> - make national news. County fairs, however, barely make local news. There's not even a Cook County Fair. The closest county fair to Chicago is the Lake County Fair, this year's was the 83rd annual. There's no extreme fried food on a stick and just a handful of local politicians. (<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/politicians-not-working-state-fair-they-used-90733">Kristen McQueary reported politicians are not working the Illinois State Fair like they used to</a>.)</p><p>What you do find at the Lake County Fair are classic corn dogs, elephant ears, Best-in-Show ribbon winners, 4-H kids showing their livestock, and a few pageant queens.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-19/ribbonwinningcorn_small.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 752px; " title=""></p><p>Mike Horcher, who let me <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-08-08/moment-corn-picking-and-eating-corn-cob-wheeling-illinois-90202">pick and eat corn in his field</a>, won the coveted double-purple, rosetted, Grand Champion ribbon. Fair-goers told me repeatedly that this was a rare win for corn.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-19/elephantearsugar_small.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 332px; " title=""></p><p>Longtime fair regulars also informed me that elephant ears are the traditional fried dough for our region, as opposed to funnel cakes. They're to be sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, but I did ask for a finish of powdered sugar too.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-19/corndogfryer_small.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 752px; " title=""></p><p>These foot long corn dogs hide two regular sized hot dogs skewered end to end. They're dipped in a cornmeal batter then fried in hot oil, their sticks held in place with clamps.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-19/waffleicecream_small.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; " title=""></p><p>Lake County Fair regulars also shared that Dutch Annie's Hot Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich were an annual must-eat. Despite the 100 plus degree, hot and humid heat index, they were right. The crisp, fluffy waffles are made fresh and barely sweet, enveloping a simple slab of vanilla ice cream.</p><p>No extremes. No headlines. Just an old fashioned county fair. Here's to hoping that some things can stay the same.</p></p> Thu, 18 Aug 2011 20:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-08-18/county-fair-food-90763