Ventura County Fair: The Top Treats

Going for a Pig in a Poke or an old-fashioned ice cream cone?


MEALS AROUND THE MIDWAY: While we want and expect our county fairs to remain pretty traditional and deeply classic -- over here are the prize-winning rabbits, over there is the booth where you toss colorful rings around milk bottles -- we do have a hankering for novel foods each year. Don't mess with our favorite taffy, but please feel free to stick a hamburger patty between two muffins, if that's the food fashion this year. The Ventura County Fair is now open -- the ocean-close spectacular lit up the blinky-bulb rides on Wednesday, July 31 -- and the good fair people provided a gourmand's guide to some of the more outrageous snacks to snack upon during the twelve-day hoedown.

COOKIES AND BACON: The Willamette Pie Company's bacon and raisin oatmeal cookie got a "sweet and savory" shout-out on the fair's Facebook page. Wait, should we type that again? Bacon and raisin. Nope, we didn't mean walnuts or pecans where we typed "bacon." Other favorites mentioned? Cream cheese on a stick, from longtime California-based frankfurter-ium Hot Dog on a Stick, and the BLT Taco at Mexi-Cone. Both sound yummy, especially the cheese paired with batter and the funky freshness of bacon, lettuce, and tomato with a tortilla. And the deep-fried entry? A brownie. It's at the funnel cake booth, so that's easy to remember.

MORE FAIR FOOD: The Orange County Fair is still on, too, and the culinary choices at the Costa Mesa location have been grabbing headlines. And why wouldn't they? It isn't every day one sees a Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe or deep-fried bacon-wrapped pickles.

TWO FAIRS IN A DAY? Could you visit both fairs over the course of nine or ten hours? You could. Just obey all posted speed limits on the 101 and the 5 and plan your menu well. Both the Ventura County Fair and the OC Fair wrap up and call it a year on Sunday, Aug. 11.

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