contestskristina gill

giveaway: on a stick!

by Kristina Gill

We enjoyed reading about your favorite food memories with Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday giveaway so much that we thought we’d give you another chance to share a food experience with us. This week, we have five copies of Matt Armendariz’s On a Stick!, my new favorite entertaining book from which we shared recipes for corn dogs and mojito melons earlier today. The book has a great balance of vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes, sweet and savory dishes, classics and new recipes, complete with sauce recipes. Matt gets you thinking outside the box on what “on a stick” really means.

It should be no surprise that Matt visited a few fairs for inspiration and drew on his extensive travel experience, during which he has encountered quite a bit of street food. So we’d like to ask you what your favorite fair food or street food is. Tell us all about the experience in the comment section below, and next Friday, Matt will choose the five best entries to win a copy of his book! — Kristina

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  • O my! I am on a cleanse right now so all this talk about greasy delicious food is making my mouth water. But when I am not on this crazy cleanse and I try and get some MINI DOUGHNUTS!!!

  • Without a doubt, an ear of roasted corn. This simple but amazing treat brings back memories for me of so many places, from the cowboy country state fairs in Salt Lake City to the sophisticated streets of Zagreb, Croatia (I studied there in 1990). What fascinates me is that in Europe, corn on the cob is considered more a dessert item, while here it is considered a savory treat.

  • Is it wrong that I can’t pick one? There is not a lot of street food in my town, so when I do get to a fair I tend to consider it free for all calorie wise and eat every silly, deep fried, portable food I get near.

  • Funnel cake!! What could be better than friedness and sugar! I love digging into a fresh hot plate of funnel cake with my sisters and between all of us we definitely don’t leave a particle of sugar behind. yummm!

  • The NC State Fair comes every year and every time there is a new and exciting fried item – fried pecan pie, fried candy bars, fried pb&j. But nothing can take my sites off of a delicious corn on the cob, grilled in the husks and dipped in melted butter as they hand it to me. Serve it with a bright yellow fresh squeezed lemonade and I’m in heaven.

  • funnel cake. just the smell of it reminds me of marching band competitions on chilly autumn saturdays… my friends and I huddling together, pulling apart the warm sugary thing bit by bit as we watched the other high school bands perform.

  • I made the corn dogs and they were awesome. Thanks Matt and Design*Sponge.

    On a different note my favorite fair food is from Brazil. It’s cheese on a stick. Someone goes around with a large metal can with hot coals inside and right there and then BBQs a cheese stick for you all for $0.50. The crispy burnt cheese in the outside and the melted cheese in the inside is heaven. Top that with sketchy roller coasters assembled at the beach and you’ve got yourself a delicious time.

  • Belgian street waffles! Hands down!

    Getting to travel to Europe with my boyfriend in December 2007 was an amazing experience, and being the sugar fiend that I am, I was eager to sample as many Euro sweets as possible.

    While staying in a tiny town in Belgium, we frequently made trips to the nearest vendor of Belgian Liege waffles. Unlike the Belgian waffles we are used to in the US, Liege waffles are a yeast dough made with pearlized sugar that carmalizes when put in the waffle iron….which is done while you wait so the waffle is piping hot with carmalized sugar crystalizing around it. It’s more like a fresh donut than a waffle. AMAZING! Definitely made the cold December weather much warmer and sweeter.

  • The big cylindrical mass of curly fries is my absolute favorite. My favorite memory is me and my brother eating a plate of them at a festival with a cardboard box the vendor gave us to use as a table since all the others were full.

  • DEFINITELY THE BEST THING I’VE EVER HAD was in a night market in Thailand. They have griddles attached to their motor bikes and they cook up mini coconut pancakes the size of your palm and roll them up with shredded coconut doused in pure cane sugar….HEAVEN

  • Elephant Ears! The butter sugar combination, tearing and sharing one with my family under the bright lights and with the background generator hum, the State Fair is a great experience for a Brit abroad. Yum. Don’t make me wish for fall already.

  • Nothing is better than a good burger. In the farmer’s market here in Kansas City there is an outside grill that just a couple of guys man. It always so hot in the summer, but these guys keep cooking up fresh burgers in front of a scorching grill. I think that it makes them taste even better to see the work put into it.
    Not only that, but is there nothing more american than a burger? It reminds me of summertime in the midwest.

  • I’ve always gravitated toward the gyro stand at fairs… which is why during some time in Tunisia shawarma was (and is) my favorite street food. Meat on a spit roasted all day… if it doesn’t end up on a stick, at least it starts on one!

  • My favorite fair food is and always will be funnel cake, although I probably won’t be able to eat it again for the rest of my life.

    A few years ago, my boyfriend and I rushed to a fair in a small town, downed a particularly sugar-y funnel cake (we tried to scape off the powdered sugar but it gummed on), and then took in a “quick” tilt-a-whirl ride before the fair ended. The 4-tooth carni operator gave us an extra-long ride, and the rest is history. So there’s no funnel cake in my future, but the only answer to favorite fair food has to be funnel cake. What else is there???

  • my favorite street food was this place on steinway, in astoria, ny. it waas chicken souvlaki (kabobs.) and they would serve it with a squeeze of lemon and slice of bread on top. soo good!

  • Last year at the Wisconsin State Fair (THE quintessential stop for all things delicious on sticks), I tried a S’More on a Stick and was in INSTANT fair-food heaven. A big, soft marshmallow encased in rich chocolate and dipped in perfectly-golden graham cracker batter, deep fried. It was sinfully perfect. And made my Deep-Fried-Snickers-on-a-Stick-toting boyfriend completely jealous.

  • I once had deep-fried pickles from a food truck, and even though it turned out I was allergic to the batter, I do not for an instant regret having eaten them. (And have since been able to recreate them at home allergen-free, whew!)

  • I lived in Mexico for a little while and always loved the local taco stand tacos. There was something special about sharing food with such generous and authentic people. I even got a shot at making my own tortillas at the stand one day. Beautiful food and beautiful people!

  • Since I’m dairy allergic , when everyone else is getting ice cream I always straight line it towards frozen bananas on a stick. Love them!

  • That’s a tough one. While I do enjoy fried zucchini whenever I get the chance.
    I think that my favorite thing to eat at the fair really are corn dogs! I just love ’em.

  • My family was never one for fairs, let alone food we didn’t pack in our own coolers and bring along. The only time I’ve had corn dogs are when my parents bought them frozen in bulk for our family and baked them in the oven.

    However, shortly after “growing up” after graduating and moving away I went to a hot air balloon festival with some new friends and spent an absurd amount of money on some funnel cake. I had never had one before, but I could taste the nostalgia in it, and loved it!

  • in cincinnati, at most of the fairs you can get a goetta sandwich and it’s super yummy. there’s even a festival based around goetta….creatively named goettafest. har! it’s basically pork and steel cut oats. sounds gross right?? nope. it’s yummy.

  • My favorite street food so far has got to be fried octopus! First tasted at the ‘$.99 Ranch’ in Richmond, CA. So need to go back to taste more fried seafood. Mmmm. Oh scrumptious!

  • The best thing I have ever eaten from a street vendor [actually off the back of a truck!] is fresh watermelon and honeydew that was being transported from farm to village, through some mysterious winding road on one of the many mountains in Greece. The fruit was like a mirage on that dry, hot day, on that dry, dusty road.
    Too bad that doesn’t happen in my city [Montreal]!

  • Apple cider doughnuts. The best feeling in the world is waking up in the morning, looking out the window, and seeing that the local farms are having a street fair in front of Columbia University. For only 50 cents, a delicious treat is all yours.

  • When I was in Vietnam, I took a risk and bought some street donuts from a very tiny lady on the street. They were amazing tiny balls of dough and sugar and a bag of 5 probably cost 30 cents. It was well worth being followed the rest of the day by the two dozen other street vendors who pegged me as an easy target after that!

  • I just love the shrimp or chicken on a stick at the local fairs. It is so bad but sooo good. My husband and I always share one to cut down on the fat and calories.

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