Maple, Cornbread & State Fairs

You may wonder what these three things have in common – maple syrup, cornbread and State Fairs.  (There’s a fun recipe at the end of this post that will tie them all together.)  As the summer winds down, and Fall attempts to arrive despite the warmer temperatures, weekend activities turn to the various State Fairs in New England.  Of course, along with the fair comes the inevitable “State Fair Fare” (a culinary category in its own right.)

Most recently in Vermont, the Champlain Valley Fair has just finished up another successful ten day run.  In addition to famous performers, agricultural exhibits and crazy carnival rides, there was much maple to enjoy.  The annual maple competition and “Sugar House” treats including maple syrup samples, doughnuts and cotton candy are a rite of summer and not to be missed – so be sure to mark your calendar for 2019!

Another Vermont institution is the 145th Tunbridge World’s Fair coming up September 13-16, 2018.  Agriculture, antiques, tractor pulls and pig races are all part of the entertainment, with plenty of food concessions to partake in while you enjoy the sights.  In fact, nothing says “The Fair” like a piece of fried dough drizzled with maple syrup and dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

Many of the various state fairs in New England tend to revolve around agriculture and food.  One of the ultimate fairs on the East coast in size and scope is “The Big E” Eastern States Exposition running September 14-30, 2018.  Each state in this six state fair (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, and VT) has its’ own building, spotlighting products, exhibits and concessionaires.  The Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association will be there representing VT maple, along with many food vendors on the midway.

Here’s a maple recipe that comes our way from a chef friend who is debuting his Deep Fried Cornbread at the Fryeburg Fair in Maine from September 30 – October 7, 2018.  You can use your own favorite basic cornbread recipe; it’s best to make it the day before the frying portion of the festivities.  When I asked Chef John (@john_delpha) how to make this indulgent fair food, he simply said “bake it, cube it, fry it, douse it with maple syrup and sprinkle it with sea salt.”  Which is exactly what I did - with our very own maple syrup (@valleefarm) – Enjoy!

Photo Credit: John Delpha

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