The Florida State Fair celebrated its annual celebration this last February. Above all else, the bizarre foods offered at the festival seem to be the mind blowing attraction that enlightens the taste pallets of kids and adults alike. Whether its deep fried or served on a stick, the food vendors tirelessly test new recipes to serve each year at the Florida State Fair.
Anything even remotely possible to be fried, is stuck in the grease in order to appease the growing appetite of Florida natives that attend the fair. Fried Oreos often lead the sales of fan favorites as they get a boost in satisfaction, taste, and calories. Joining the deep fried Oreos are peanut butter cups, cookie dough, Klondike bars, and Twinkie’s.
One delicious and appealing fair treat that has risen in popularity over the past few years is funnel cake. The snack has long been fried dough with powdered sugar sprinkled on top of it. It has now turned the fair food sales into a creative competition with vendors attempting to make more an even more delectable treat. Across the fairgrounds the varieties included maple bacon, birthday cake, red velvet, Reese’s peanut butter fudge, and turtle funnel cakes.
As you enter the fair, the foot traffic takes event goers right by “The Best Around’s,” concession stand. Janes Harris, known as “Mama Jane,” was been in the industry for over 30 years and has been serving Floridians at the fair for over 15. “Red Velvet was the game changer,” Mama Jane said, referring to the industry spark in creating new types of funnel cakes.
When asked what her most popular selling food was, Harris replied with a grin, “Cheesy Fried Enchilada.” It is made with fried tortilla cake, white queso, and chorizo so it is not as much of a desert as other funnel cakes and more of an entree. “Sometimes we sell four to five at a time,” she went on to say as she explained the large amount of food her company sells.
While working the fairs and other large event circuits, Mama Jane has fed many stars. Her favorites include country singers Craig Morgan, Sarah Evans, and Cole Swindell. Swindell actually requested that she notify him if she was selling food at any of the venues he was playing at. She also said Craig Morgan normally doesn’t like fair food, but loved her bacon maple funnel cake. Although she was very warm, inviting, and open, Mama Jane made it clear there would be no leaks on what she has planned for next year’s state fair. “People will try to copy it!” she exclaimed.