Meanwhile last week we learned that Sweet Martha’s is now officially certified kosher and the kosher folk of the TC can now safely enjoy a bucket of warm chocolate chip cookies. Of course there are many fair foods that lend themselves to certification – everything from French fries and cheese curds to ice cream and mini donuts.
I imagine a lot of people are anticipating what classic fair food could be the next one to join Sweet Martha as certified kosher. Not me. As I was walking around the fairgrounds over the weekend, I came up with something even more fun – a fantasy that combines my love of the fair with my passion for Jewish foods. What about…wait for it…Jewish fair foods???
From what I know about the process for getting a new food into the fair, these are very unlikely – especially since we don’t even have a functioning deli. But it sure would be fun to incorporate some of these.
First, Jewish foods-on-a-stick:
Deep-fried matzoh balls – I’m thinking these could come in two sizes – small and on a stick or large to be eaten with a fork and knife. Served with a dill dipping sauce since I use a lot of dill in my chicken soup.
Knishes – These could be deep-fried or not. Where I come from, there is the classic potato, but also broccoli, spinach, mushroom, sweet potato, kasha, etc. I always put spicy brown mustard on my knishes, but the fillings could dictate how they’re served.
Pastrami – Most of us know pastrami sliced thin and piled high on sandwiches. In Montreal, pastrami is cut a little thicker, but still piled on a sandwich. What if someone took the whole brisket and cut it into slabs? Easily skewered and served with mustard, there is no way this wouldn’t be a hit.
Floats – you get the entire line of Dr. Brown’s sodas – even Cel-Ray – and make floats. Everyone does a root beer float, but what about a cream float or a black cherry float? It’s a no-brainer.
Deep-fried blintz – You take a standard blintz filled with cheese, bread or batter it, and deep-fry it. Then you top it with fruit, ice cream, whipped cream, etc. Once again, a no-brainer – plus it’s super fun to say. I’m thinking chocolate or peanut butter banana would be good options as well.
Deep-fried kugel – First, you have a contest to find the best kugel recipe with a focus on texture. This has to be the firm kind of kugel that doesn’t easily fall apart. And since it’s in the dessert category, I want apples and cinnamon and maybe even raisins in it. Then it’s easy – you cut into squares, bread, and deep fry it. If the consistency was just right, it could possibly go on a stick, but definitely not necessary. I would call it lokshen kugel but who am I kidding?
Borscht – You’re laughing and thinking I’m a little crazy now, right? I’m not talking the hot, beef borscht here. I’m talking classic cold beet borscht. I happen to be a huge fan of cold soups – you know, gazpacho, fruit soups, and of course, borscht. They’re refreshing, they’re healthy, and they don’t currently exist at the fair. They can be portable too which is always a bonus. Just don’t wear white – those beets will stain!
Chicken Soup Dumplings – I love Chinese soup dumplings. No reason you can’t make them a little more Jewy and serve them at the fair. A good soup dumpling is a one-bite treat, perfect for walking the fair.
Gefilte fish cakes – Why not make gefilte fish out of walleye – our state fish? And since geflite fish would be a hard sell here in Minnesota, if you batter it and deep-fry it, it could work well. Maybe mix the horseradish with the fish instead of having to apply it to the finished food. Maybe this could be on a stick. Or maybe it’s only available on Friday night.
So that’s nine ideas for my fantasy Jewish fair foods. I have a bunch of other ideas, but I was getting too hungry so I stopped at mine. What about you out there in Jewfolk land? Any ideas for Jewish fair foods?