There’s only one place to go when you’re craving a snack that’s deep fried and served on a stick. Carnival food is a guilty pleasure. It’s the ultimate junk food. So, when did this culinary debauchery begin? We have the St. Louis Exposition (World’s Fair) of 1904 to thank for introducing us to much of the carnival foods we enjoy today, such as: waffle cones, cotton candy, hot dogs, and hamburgers to name a few. We also owe a debt of gratitude to the 1919 State Fair of Texas for sno cones and again in 1942 for corn dogs. Sometime during the 1950’s, the Kutztown Folk Festival gave us funnel cakes.
Our torrid love affair with carnival food has only grown over the years. Explore any fair or carnival and you’ll see brightly lit signs advertising bizarre snacks that seem like they were originally eaten as a dare. This is what carnival cuisine is all about— trying a bold new food-type-thing or chowing down on old favorites. It’s a one of a kind indulgence and this is America, so enjoy.
Work your way down the thoroughfare. Eat till you just. can’t. anymore. If you’re feeling bold, ride the Tilt-a-Whirl, too. There will be plenty of time for regret later.
Write a poem about your favorite carnival food. Describe it in detail, whether it’s messy, turns your tongue blue, or even if it’s almost too embarrassing to admit it’s your favorite. Think of it as an ode to weird food, your steely nerve, and cast-iron stomach.
Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Jen took us skyward with her poem, On Top of the World:
On Top of the World
For just a few seconds
we’ll hang out here
in a creaky basket atop the Ferris wheel
while a few more people climb in,
above the noise and the color and the overload
the endless round and round calliope carousel
the echoing shrieks from the Gravitron and Zipper
the tumbling laughing conversations melting, melding
into a fog of noise.
All that exists now
is this creaky old basket
(how many people have sat here?)
a pool of sound and light below,
a hazy, cloudy night above,
just enough summer breeze to breathe
before we swing forward.
Photo by Kevin Dooley, Creative Commons via Flickr.