Deep-fried cereal kicks off summer of fair foods

June 21, 2012 at 8:47 AM ET

Darlene Horn / My Burning Kitchen /
Deep-fried cereal? Ohhhhhh, you betcha.

While some of us strive to eat well for swimsuit season, one rite of summer prompts many to ignore their diets — fair foods. Each year, towns and cities across the country heat up their deep fryers and start experimenting with new flavors and combinations. They fry up Oreos, butter, doughnuts, Coca-Cola and even more exotic fare — but are they worth the calorie bomb?

You know, it kind of depends.

At this year’s California State Fair in Sacramento, they’re dishing out a new deep-fried menu that includes cheeseburgers, mac n’ cheese and cinnamon rolls. At the San Diego County Fair, you can try fried cereal balls made with Trix and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

“These deep-fried Trix aren’t for kids, unless you want to contribute to the obesity problem,” wrote Shauntel Lowe, who previewed the treat for the Imperial Beach Patch website. “The doughy ball of greasy cereal wasn’t bad, but it definitely isn’t something I’d go out of my way to buy.”

For something a little more exciting, consider the deep-fried Samoa Girl Scout cookies debuting at the State Fair of Texas in September. Made by award-winning vendor Christi Erpillo, these little beauties are made by wrapping Samoa cookies in wonton skins, then frying them and adding bits of drizzled caramel, chocolate and coconut. 

Moving away from the fried zone, the North Dakota State Fair will boast two new food booths in July: Pork Chops on a Stick and Just Desserts. The former is pretty obvious (um, pork chops?), but fairgoers will just have to be surprised by the desserts the latter stand will serve.

The Minnesota State Fair will go beyond butter sculptures and food on a stick this year, offering up a sweet corn ice cream made by Blue Moon Dine-In Theater. But, staying true to the spirit of classic fair food, the ice cream can be covered in bacon, of course.

What are your all-time favorite fair foods, and what would you like to see served this year? Let us know in the comments!