Since the Middle Ages, fairs have been occasions for farmers to display what they grew and what was canned at home. In the last century, vendors added what were then exotic treats, from candy apples to cotton candy. Lately, though, it’s been deep-fried everything, and there’s hardly an edible object or dish that has escaped being plunged into boiling oil or impaled on a stick (still sounds pretty Middle Age–y to us).
Bowing to the ancient journalistic rule that you should never publish anything that would make a pregnant woman sick at breakfast, we confine our exploration of this phenomenon to the menus. From Snickers to green beans, mac & cheese, and hamburgers featuring doughnuts as the buns, The Daily Beast runs down the edible offerings at three fairs in the Sunbelt.