INNOVATIVE:  Chocolate tamale.

Been out to the fair yet? No, not the Arkansas State Fair. The Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair wraps up Saturday night at Kay Rogers Park in Fort Smith. Think of it as a smaller version of the fun you’ll find at the bigger show here in town next month.

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Of course, I have been on the food patrol. There are indeed strange foods… such as the Chocolate Tamale pictured above. Made with masa just like a regular tamale, these little $2 goodies are filled with chocolate, nuts and cherries instead of beef or pork.

Beths_Deep_Fried_Strawberry_Shortcake_on_a_Stick.jpg

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There’s also our favorite new dish from this fair, something new and kinda pleasant. It’s the Deep Fried Strawberry Shortcake. It’s a piece of pound cake. battered with funnel cake batter and dipped in hot oil until cooked through. The strawberries come afterward, tart little things sliced and sprinkled under and over the dish. Surprisingly light.

Want to see more? Go check out these Facebook galleries (they’re all open to the public): Beth James, who knows how to shoot people extraordinarily well; Grav Weldon, my usual co-conspirator in crime… and my gallery, just for kicks.

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Or you could just head to Serious Eats and take a look at all 10 of the best fair food we found.

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