I might be considered pessimistic, but 2013 has kinda been a little bit odd what with the strange winter, the even stranger Spring and now a Summer without heat. You know, maybe a better word to describe our year would be "Confusing."
Of course, one of the things that has made this year out-of-sorts was the loss of Twinkies, the great American junk food snack, impervious to nuclear attack and guaranteed to promote obesity and high cholesterol levels. But oh, what memories...
In case you forgot, Twinkies were one of many snack products of Hostess, whose parent company, Interstate Baking, went out of business in a squabble with the bakers' unions. The end result wa that the company ended up going into receivership. Early this Spring, two companies, including the holding company that owns Budweiser, got into a bidding war for the rights to own the Twinkie brand and get the original recipe for the cream-filled golden sponge cake treat.
Anyhow, to cut to the chase Twinkies, along with other favorites such as Hostess cupcakes, Snowballs and Ho-Hos will be back on a store shelf near you by mid-August, according to news reports last week. All over the country, people who were hoarding their Twinkies are now breathing huge sighs of relief, and I wouldn't doubt there might be a few folks who have tossed their strict rationing of those goodies out the window to celebrate.
See, good things come to those who wait. And speaking of good things, this bit of gastric delight came across the desk last week from Lori Chappell at the Iowa State Fair.
"Happiness Is" new food at the Iowa State Fair! Eight concessionaires submitted tasty treats in the new foods contest to vie for a finalist title. Fairgoers can try these offerings along with countless other Fair foods August 8-18.
Bringing the beach to Iowa, the Shrimp Corndog, available at the Po-Boy Stand, is a savory snack featuring three fresh shrimp dipped in corndog batter, fried to golden perfection and topped with a sweet jalapeno glaze.
The Smoothie On-a-stick at Turkey Time Concessions will offer Fairgoers a sweet and healthy way to cool down. The strawberry smoothie is frozen, put on a stick and ready to be eaten on any hot August Fair day.
The Bacon Wrapped Riblet On-a-stick, available at the Bud Tent, is a pork riblet wrapped in bacon, hickory smoked and then basted with barbeque sauce.
Additional sweet entries included a Fried Brownie On-a-stick, a Soft Salted Chocolate-Dipped Almond Pretzel On-a-stick and a Coconut Mountain, a soft and chewy coconut ball rolled in coconut flakes and dipped in fresh chocolate. These treats join more than 50 foods on-a-stick offered at the Fair.
The mouth watering treats don't stop there. Both the Sweet Corn Corndog, a hot dog dipped in batter enriched with fried sweet corn, and the Rib Shack Cowboy, cowboy beans, brisket or pork, cole slaw, a signature chip and barbeque sauce in a spice-flavored waffle cone, will entice Fairgoers looking for a unique treat.
Concessionaires were asked to submit a creative food item that aligned with the integrity of their current menu. The Iowa State Fair Board judged the food entries based on taste/flavor, presentation/appearance, value and creativity/originality. The contest winner will be announced during the Fair.
More new 2013 Fair foods will be announced in early July.
Now, with a menu like that, I'll be mighty interested in seeing what else is on a stick at the State Fair. I last attended the State Fair back in 2010, and I have to admit, I didn't have time to go drooling, er, I mean browsing the food stands. But after looking over that lineupmy tummy tells me that such a trip may very well be in the cards come August.