County fairs are a tradition as old as time. And one thing everyone loves to indulge in at the fair is their favorite fair food. All this week Amy Pflugshaupt is on the search for some of the best creations at the 2011 Wisconsin Valley Fair.
Here is a look at Amy's Fair Food Blog:
First I'd like to welcome all of you to the 2011 Wisconsin Valley Fair. For those of you who know me, fair season is my favorite time of year! : ) I'm a proud 10 year 4-H member and was active in FFA - So I'm right at home at the local county fairs. And while my favorite place to be is in the livestock barns, I can't help but indulge my senses with the never ending options at the food stands.
My first stop is proof that I'm turning into a "REAL" Cheesehead! I had to hit up one of my favorite stands - the Wausau Breakfast Optimists Cheese Curd Stand. Peter Rotter, who's a member of the organization, walked me through the process of making the famous fried cheese.
Rotter says last year they sold 3,600 lbs. of cheese curds to hungry fair-goers. But when I asked what their secret ingredient was, Rotter says, "the care and concern that we have for the community and services we can provide them."
By selling the cheese curds, the Wausau Breakfast Optimists are able to provide scholarships to students and fund various camps - like at the YMCA and local library. Rotter describes the club as a "friend to the area's youth."
So with every curd you bite into, you're not only feeding that fried cheese craving - you are also providing endless opportunities to local children.
While fried foods are always a fair favorite... I set out to find some cool treats to help beat the heat at the Wisconsin Valley Fair. One of my favorite food stands is the Marathon County Farm Bureau barn. There they serve up all kinds of sweet treats - including hard packed ice cream, milk shakes, malts, and floats.
The flavor of the day on Wednesday was Lady Bug - it includes chocolate, caramel and nuts - and I have to say it gets two thumbs up. They carry all the classic flavors - strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate... but also spice things up with decedent flavors like mint chocolate chip, black cherry, and butter pecan. But the President of Marathon Farm Bureau, Bill Mueller, tells me that the "Superman" ice cream is a favorite among the kids.
One of the reasons I love to stop there is because their proceeds go to support local agriculture programs here in Marathon County. They sponsor scholarships for local students who are looking to enter the ag. industry and for those who already are hard at work in the field to further their education.
So with every scoop, you're helping to keep agriculture alive right here in our community.
For many people there is nothing better than getting a deep fried treat at the fair - I know it's always something I have to get when I'm there - but this year's elephant ears took on a whole new shape.
I went behind the deep fryer at the Wausau Noon Optimist Tent. There with every elephant ear sold, they are helping local youth programs. On Thursday, the Neuman Catholic Girls Soccer Team was working hard shaping the dough. But I got right into the action - kneading the the dough, sprinkling it with flour, and then running it through the press. From there I dropped it in the frying oil and watched my elephant ear turn golden brown. After cooling you have to add the sweetness of cinnamon and sugar - and I made sure to put a generous amount on! : ) It was apiece of confection perfection!
**Be sure to join me all this week on Sunrise 7 and NewsChannel 7 at Noon for special live reports from the Wisconsin Valley Fair - as well as my other Favorite Fair Food Finds.**
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