The Most Bizarre State Fair Food Item Of 2022

The last traces of an orange-hued sky fade away into twilight, illuminated by an ocean of neon lights. A farmer shows off his collection of chickens, cows, pigs, and horses, all being fed everything from popcorn to pieces of bread by spectators. From the top of a Ferris wheel, overlooking sprawling fairgrounds below, you can smell the rich aroma of buttery popcorn and sugary cotton candy hanging in the air.

State fairs are a common sight around the United States, going back to 1841 when the nation's first state fair was held in Syracuse, N.Y., (via The Great New York State Fair). Since then, state fairs have been known for wild rides, farm animal shows, carnivals, crowd-drawing performances, and of course, food. While there are classic mainstays like popcorn, corn dogs, and soft pretzels, you're also likely to find some outrageous foods for sale on the fairgrounds.

At this year's State Fair of Texas, folks can indulge in Country Fried Shrimp Grits, Deep Fried Toffee, a Lobster Corn Dog, and Southern Fried Lemon Ice Box Pie Balls, among other specialties. Other zany state fair foods include deep-fried bubble gum and Krispy Kreme sandwiches made with fried chicken and ice cream.

It begs the question: What sort of deep-fried culinary marvel will take home the blue ribbon this year?

Enjoy the fair with a State Fair Mary

If you were asked what makes up a Bloody Mary you'd probably say vodka and lots of tomato juice. What you probably wouldn't say is waffle fries and corn dogs — that is unless you were wandering around the Indiana State Fair, working through a State Fair Mary.

The Indiana State Fair's take on the vegetable-infused cocktail is more or less a 24-ounce combination of alcohol and as much food from a food truck as you can handle. Some of the toppings on a State Fair Mary include fried cheese curds, waffle fries, fried mac-and-cheese bites, mini corn dogs, fried pickles, a heaping amount of bacon, and a garnish composed of a BBQ pulled pork slider. This enormous drink comes on the heels of other treats such as Pretzel Nacho Bites, a Flamin' Hot Cheetos Walking Taco, Deep Fried Brownies, and caramel corn-flavored beer.

Is a State Fair Mary the healthiest thing in the world? Probably not. Is it wild enough to try just for the heck of it? Sure. Going to a state fair is about just having fun and enjoying the sights and sounds. Even if it's a bit on the greasy side, there's no harm in making some memories with a Bloody Mary full of bar food in one hand and a box of nachos loaded with everything in the other.