It’s a Fabulous Food Frenzy at the Barnstable County Fair

Dave Nunez and Diane Bouley with their frozen Stuffit banana at the Barnstable County Fair

EAST FALMOUTH – A trip to the Barnstable County Fair this year wouldn’t be complete without going on a tour-de-force of fair food eating.

The 173rd edition has new options in the culinary lineup. For the first time on Cape Cod, a real serving of Canadian-inspired Poutine is available in the food loop.

The two-person operation includes one worker slowly melting succulent cheese curds into a rich, smooth gravy.

Before the curds completely mix into the sauce, they’re poured over a basket of perfectly crisp french fries and sprinkled with a light touch of seasonings.

The result is a magnificent dish worthy of any Canadian’s praise.

If barbecue is your dish of choice, the Pig Park BBQ has everything from Memphis ribs and pulled pork to a “Pig Bowl,” that includes pulled pork, BBQ sauce, BBQ beans and cole slaw in a 12 ounce cup. Make sure you get extra napkins.

Check out the Roasted Corn stand in a small yellow booth that serves up corn steamed in the husk, which is then pulled back, and dipped in hot butter. Save some napkins for this one as well.

A monster-sized moon pie

Another vendor in the food loop boasts having the “Undisputed World’s Best Sundae” smothered in pure whipped cream. Your intrepid reporter is waiting until this weekend to try that dish.

The fairgrounds also offer all the other traditional fair food you would expect, ranging from huge baskets of onion rings, to extra-large sausages and beautiful baskets of fried vegetable tempura.

Don’t forget the shish-ka-bob, clam cakes, Philly cheese steaks and gourmet pizza.

The Chicken Fingers and Fries booth in the food loop is also serving up hot roast beef sandwiches served with melted cheddar cheese, fried onions and homemade BBQ sauce.

Have you ever heard of deep-fried clam chowder? It exists at the Barnstable County Fair.

One of the more unique items this year is the “Stuffit Banana,” a frozen piece of fruit stuffed with strawberries, fudge or peanut butter, dipped in rich dark chocolate.

Dave Nunez and Diane Bouley of Hatfield invented the dish four years ago and keep their banana-stuffing method a closely-guarded trade secret.

They put it together by pulling a specially-stuffed banana out of the deep freeze, dipping it into melted chocolate and then covering it in a variety of toppings.

The result is a delicious feast that could be your main course, or a cold treat to end your day of grazing. In addition to selling the bananas at county fairs, the frozen fruit is available in western Massachusetts supermarkets, including Big Y.

Did you leave room for dessert? Check out what’s billed as the world’s largest moon pie – it’s really enormous. At least 2 inches of rich, sweet frosting filling is right in the middle of two soft, chocolate-cake-like buns.

When you need to wash it all down, the fair has plenty of keep-you-cool drink options. Fresh-squeezed lemonade is always one of the favorites.

For the over-21 crowd, the gated beer garden is located right in the middle of the food loop.

When you come to the Barnstable County Fair this week, make sure you arrive hungry – maybe skip breakfast and save the space in your stomach for the delicious food coma you’ve been waiting all year to enjoy.

By MATT PITTA, News Director

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