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New culinary creations debut at fairgrounds

From bacon-wrapped turkey legs and mushrooms to deep fried cereal, there's plenty to tempt the taste buds.

July 14, 2012|By Heather Youmans
  • Bacon-wrapped turkey legs cook on a massive grill at the Orange County Fair.
Bacon-wrapped turkey legs cook on a massive grill at the… (Courtesy O.C. Fair )

Some people historically come to the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa to taste the newest deep-fried cuisine. This year was no exception as thousands crowded the fairgrounds on Saturday, searching for the latest culinary offerings.

New to the fair is the "Bacon A-Fair" stand, which stands on the site of the former the Deep Fried Butter Stand. The re imagined stand now attracts foodies and fair goers alike who come for their favorite bacon-inspired dishes.

In addition to crowd favorites like chocolate covered bacon, owners Mike and Brittney Peterson have added more unique items to their menu.

First off, their deep-fried, beer-battered, bacon-wrapped hot dog comes in regular and jumbo sizes. The dish is 100% beef, beer-battered, wrapped in bacon, deep fried, and then served with nacho cheese sauce.

"I thought it was going to be a lot greasier, but it's not. It's really good," Kimberly Peterson, manager of the Bacon A-Fair stand said. "I was surprised."

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The stand also touts the "Smokey Porkabello," which is a bacon-wrapped mushroom stuffed with smoked Gouda cheese and grilled to perfection.

"I picked it, because I like bacon and a mushroom seems healthier than other stuff," Lake Forest resident Grace Kane said. "The outside is this smoky, crispy bacon, but the inside is the juicy mushroom. But, you don't feel as guilty as eating something with lots of meat and fries. It's a healthy choice."

Fair goers Andy Tuy and Lessley Negrete decided to try the new 2-pound bacon-wrapped turkey leg, dubbed The Caveman Club, that is smoked for hours and served with fries.

"It's super juicy," Negrete said. "The bacon is really good. The flavors blend together really well. I didn't think that was possible. I'm not a fan of turkey leg, but this just changed my mind."

"Actually the bacon is really crispy," Tuy added. "I expected it to be soggy, but it had a really great texture all around. Because usually when you wrap something, it will be soggy on the bottom and crispy on the top."

Chicken Charlie's has been at Southern California fairs for over twenty years and is famous for its outrageous deep-fried dishes. Fair favorites include deep-fried Oreos, Twinkies, Klondike bars, and Kool-Aid, according to manager Arturo Aldama.

New items feature deep-fried peanut butter and jelly, Trix candy bars and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal bars.

The bars are dipped in Charlie's secret sweet pancake batter, fried in oil for one minute, and then coated in syrup and powdered sugar, Aldama said.

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