I’m trying to hold onto summer and ease my way into fall, but the days are getting shorter and the longer nights bring a bit of a chill. Fall has arrived, and while I’m trying to soak up every last sunny and sandy minute I can, I’m also longing for the enjoyment of local fairs, festivals, the Eastern States Exposition (The Big E), and fair food.
Oh yes, the many delicious and tempting aromas of the varied fair food offerings. The delights and calories of fried Snickers, chocolate ganache cream puffs, giant smoked turkey legs, and bacon cheeseburger, chicken parm, and taco chompers – all among my favorites. And caramel apples. I can’t forget caramel apples. There’s nothing like hearing the crunch as I bite into a crisp, tart Granny Smith apple that’s been richly coated in sticky, gooey caramel.
And though COVID-19 precautions have rightly caused the cancellation of the 2020 New England fair scene, The Big E has come up with a novel and appealing way for people to get their fair food fix.
According to the Big E’s web site:
“September 22 to October 18, Tuesdays through Sundays! The Big E Food-To-Go Drive-Thru, sponsored by Westfield Bank, will feature three different vendors each week who will bring their authentic and iconic Big E foods to the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds.”
Wikipedia describes the quintessential Big E as “New England’s Great State Fair. It is the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard and the sixth-largest fair in the nation. The Big E is inclusive of all six of the New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Each of the New England states is prominently represented at the fair.
“Located in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, a short distance from the Memorial Bridge spanning the Connecticut River, The Big E is held every autumn in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Each year, the fair opens on the second Friday after Labor Day and runs for seventeen days.”
Since I had Granny Smith apples in the fridge and a bag of caramels, I was inspired to make my own caramel apple to satisfy my craving. And though walking around my backyard while eating my caramel apple didn’t come close to replicating the pleasure of a caramel apple enjoyed during a leisurely stroll around a country fair, festival, or The Big E, 2020 is a year unlike any other. It’s all about adapting, which is what I did.
What are some of your favorite fairs
and fair foods?
Drop me a line and share your recipe! I’d love to hear from you.