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Top 10 Carnival Foods

By Editorial Staff

carnival foodContributed by Info Guru Terri Wallace

As the dog days of summer loom ahead, the only thing that might possibly tempt the over-heated masses off the sofa is the promise of something deep-dried, coated with sugar, or impaled on a stick.

That’s right—carnival food! This list comprises some of the most delightfully artery-clogging offerings ever to grace the midway.


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10. Giant Cinnamon Rolls

Giant Cinnamon Rolls

Those decadent swirls of sweetened dough laced with cinnamon and sugar, then coated with a liberal layer of icing may be the number one reason that so many carnival goers must revert to a larger pant size.

9. Giant Corndogs

Giant Corndogs

In order to balance out all of the sugary offerings, we bring to you this summertime standby. Corndogs are the unsung hero of fairs and festivals. Unlike so many other midway favorites, corndogs offer substance and provide the staying power needed to ride the Swirling Claw…of Death a few more times before the rides shut down.

8. Funnel Cake

Funnel Cake

Perhaps the quintessential food of the summer festival season, many a fair-goer makes it a point to cram an entire year’s worth of funnel cake into one day. While not really advisable, there are worse ways to go.

7. Indian Tacos

Indian Tacos

These flying saucers of fry bread heaped with meat and cheese, and other taco-ish toppings are undeniably delectable but, be warned, this is sit-down fare. Don’t even think about trying to sneak one of these onto the Tilting Octopus…of Death.

6. Smoked Turkey Legs

Smoked Turkey Legs

The summer and fall festival season may account for the demise of nearly as many turkeys as Thanksgiving but, since the midway would not be the same without them, it is entirely permissible to navigate between the rides and amusements with a 5. Deep Fried Candy Bars

Deep Fried Candy Bars

If candy is tasty, and fried foods are tasty, it stands to reason that fried candy bars are pure carny-food bliss! A crisp outer layer covering tender cakey goodness embedded with oozing melted chocolate—it may require a dozen trips to the gym to work off the calories in just one of these, and yet they are worthy every minute spent on the elliptical or in Downward Facing Dog.

4. Caramel corn



Forget the salty, greasy popcorn at the movie theatre. When it comes to carnival food, caramel corn rules. This sticky, sweet warm deliciousness has been a faire and carnival staple for generations. Nowadays, most carnivals also offer new flavors that bring a spicy, cheesey or savory twist to an old classic. Sample some at the fair, and bring some home to remind you of the fun you had on the midway.

3. Cotton Candy

Cotton Candy

Sure cotton candy is basically just sugar combined with heat and centrifugal force, but it is really good. Nothing can kick off a summertime sugar-high like spun sugar on a stick. If you feel your energy starting to lag, this should be your go-to food.

2. Spiral Cut Potato Chips

Spiral Cut Potato Chips

Spiral cut potato chips are like a giant bird’s nest of salty chip goodness. Never did the humble potato chip look as tantalizing as when piled in a heap on a paper plate with its light layer of grease and salt glistening in the late afternoon sun. The serving may look huge, but plan on getting your own because you won’t want to share.

1. Deep Fried Cheesecake on a Stick

Deep Fried Cheesecake on a Stick

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When the creamy, rich goodness of cheesecake is dredged in sweet batter and plunged into hot grease, something remarkable happens, and the flavors seem to meld and interplay in a way that is almost as magical as the carnival itself… both are those fleeting joys that you have to snatch when you can.

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