The State Fair is the equivalent of the British agricultural show or county fair. Most US states have them, generally in late August or in the autumn. It’s a mix of fun fair, country fair, and food festival. In Britain fun fairs tend to have very limited food, maybe a candy floss stall, some toffee apples, a pedestrian burger and hot dog stall. Country/county fairs may have cakes and jams to add to that mix. The US State Fair has a glorious selection of food stalls, enough to shame any food truck/street food festival in Britain. This state fair in Palmer, Alaska, an hour north of Anchorage, is visited by virtually the entire population of Alaska, all 750,000 of them. You may even get to see Sarah Palin, she makes an annual visit. (But she’s mostly resident in Arizona nowadays). As well as at least 100 different food stalls, there are crafts and music, dog trials, a carousel powered by real horses and things that look odd to the British eye. For instance, the anti-abortion stall, sometimes with graphic pictures, political candidates stalls, and a stand hosted by the NRA, the National Rifle Association where I could have entered a ten dollar lottery to win a gun. But if any state remains true to the original pioneering American grit, it’s Alaska. Hunting, shooting and fishing is a way of life. Alaskans are outliers.
|Although the Alaskan growing season is short, about three months, the long summer days, with the midnight sun, means that the growing is intense. Sometimes the vegetables are enormous, such as this prize winning giant 100 pound cabbage.|
Alaskan berries. Like Scandinavia, they have a huge variety of berries; blueberries, salmon berries, cranberries, huckleberries, blackberries, cloudberries, rose hips.
|Popcorn shrimp, deep fried battered prawns|
I love this tour of the state fair . As a cook and a food lover this is exactly what I want to see when I travel. So much more exciting than a gallery or museum for me . Your pictures and your lovely way of seeing bring it to life. I have had elephant ear from a truck in the middle of a dusty road in Arizona . Birch syrup i have never heard of what is it? Are you bringing any home .
Birch syrup is similar to Maple syrup.They tap the tree and evaporate the sap. It's delicious.
thanks for commenting Tansy
What a fascinating fair, such interesting food, if heart attack on a plate 😉
Yes the emphasis was on fried foods. However in Alaska you need your fat!
Oh my word Kerstin, I would happily eat the lot and be moaning and groaning about a full tummy! Great food tour. Love it. Elinor x
You need days to eat it all. The fair lasts 10 days but I only had one. The peanut fried potatoes were a thing of beauty.
Puss N Boots
Will you publish your version of peanut potatoes when you come back? Xx
Peanut potatoes seem to be a bit like pink fir potatoes, peanut shaped rather than flavoured. They were soft inside with crispy flavoursome skins, yummy.
Fascinating photographic account of your Alaskan journey. I learnt that huckleberry is not just a name made up by Mark Twain. What does it look like and how do you eat it? Wild Hair and Wax Hands could be features in themselves. Try to get published in a colour supplement. Post some pix on Facebook.
A huckleberry, something I tasted and saw for the first time a couple of days ago, is a small red berry. It's very sweet. I guess you just eat it like any other berry! I will find out.
Thanks for your comment, would love to be published in a colour supplement!
What are we going to do now the fair is over? Best 10 days ever!!!