The Arkansas State Fair is back after taking a pandemic year off, so all the deep- fried wonders you missed out on last year can be made up for in spades. Speaking of wondering, we’ve been talking about Wondersticks at the office for weeks: a capital J-shaped crunchy tube with ice cream coming out of both ends. Surely the ice cream doesn’t go all the way through, right? Wrong. It’s State Fair magic in all its glory. The crunchy tubes come in cinnamon and original flavors, and they taste a lot like breakfast cereal. Why is this concoction shaped like a fish hook? Unclear. Does it taste better than a regular cone? Nah, but it looks cooler. Watch the magical video above to see how it’s done.
Some of our favorite picks: The smoked turkey leg stuffed with mac and cheese and drizzled with tangy barbecue sauce, the deep fried caramel apples and deep fried lasagna from Pat’s Kitchen, the all-new funnel cake fried chicken sandwich from L&M Concessions. The chicken on a stick, wound in thin strips of bacon and deep fried, also made our don’t-miss list.
Local food writer Kat Robinson has been covering the State Fair food for years and has a comprehensive list of practically every food offering available at the fair this year on her website. Bookmark it as your guide.
The Arkansas State Fair starts tomorrow and runs through Oct. 24. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children (slightly less if you buy tickets before Oct. 14), and all-day ride bands are $30 in advance, $35 at the gate.