State fairs are traditional summertime family attractions across the United States. With agricultural themes, rodeos, carnival rides, and music, they’re also notorious for their artery-clogging food. The national winner in the latter category is the Texas State Fair, which attracts 2.6 million visitors every September to a competition for the most “original” deep-fried concoctions. Some examples of past specialties include fried beer—created by injecting beer into salty pretzel-like dough and deep frying it—fried bacon cinnamon rolls, fried pizza, and even fried cheesecake.
Florida’s Tampa State Fair is a close runner-up. Its offerings have included a “milkshake burger,” a cheeseburger topped with deep-fried ice cream. For the more adventurous eater, in Alameda, California, there are chocolate-covered scorpions. At the California State Fair in Pleasanton, a popular dish was raccoon on a stick. However, the showstopper last year might just have been the Alameda County Fair’s 777-pound burger, which took a 10-person crew 13 hours to cook.