We have been excited for the return of the NC State Fair for some time now. After a year off of a longstanding tradition, we were able to get back to one of our favorite food events of the year. We’ve been privileged enough to enjoy multiple dimensions of the food scene through our blog, but also connect with NC agriculture through our family farm.
As we usually do, we planned our fair visits this year around some of our favorite food stops. One of our festival favorites for a long time is the Moose Joose setup. We’ve been lucky enough to find them at a number of get-togethers throughout NC, but they are always a must for us at the fair. We tried their new Crazy Moose cup, which was very awesome! We made a slushee cup with our choice of flavors that was turned into a great candy drink. We also made sure to get some of their new cups (and also used some of our favorites from past visits!). Their stand for Sweet Tea Southern Style is also a great visit to stay hydrated on your visit. They have a great variety of teas to enjoy with the same great attitude that the Moose Joose team brings for every event. We’ve been doing our food blog for several years, and Moose Joose is consistently one of our favorite vendors at fairs and event gatherings every time we see them.
Another vendor that we’ve enjoy at the NC State fair is the Gobblin’ Gourmet truck. They bring all kinds of deep fried deliciousness and find a way to bring new treats every year we’ve seen them. This year their new feature was the Cornbread & Chili funnel cake. This thing was the bomb!!! We’ve always thought of Gobblin’ Gourmet as a top notch dessert truck, but they showed some great diversity with this chili option this year. It included chili, cheese, sour cream and jalapenos on top of a well shaped cornbread batter. We hope that they keep this new item on the menu in future years!
With the farm, our fair planning typically starts as soon as the entry categories open up each year. This year I submitted entries across various categories including culinary, canning, agriculture, and honey. This was a continued learning experience for us as we discover new areas to try and apply some of our skills. We had a great time getting all of our entries together and enjoyed seeing our harvests form into food dishes and other entries. One area I tried some new categories this year was in culinary and canning. Some of my favorite entries in this category were my orange, and cherry orange marmalades, dried tomatoes. The entry I’m most proud of is my second place entry in the ‘Any Other Candy’ category, where my mint chocolate chip marshmallows placed second. I love my marshmallows and am so glad the judges feel the same way 😀! Over on the agriculture side, some of my favorites included our market display, some fruit and produce basket entries, honeycomb candy, and a blue ribbon for specialty eggplant! We have had a busy year on a number of fronts and are so proud to see our hard work pay off!
We’re getting our post up on the last day of the 2021 NC State fair and we had an overall great time. We understand this year’s fair has brought up a lot of thoughts and feelings for people as times have changed in a number of ways since last year’s fair was cancelled. We thought things were well done for people to enjoy a safe time and enjoy traditions that have continued for generations. We were able to attend the fair at a couple of times and did notice that crowds were much more spread apart during a weekday compared to even the morning time on the weekend. It was great to see people getting back to enjoying activities and we can’t wait to get back out for some more adventures.