We associate carnivals with specific sights and sounds: towering amusement rides delivering tons of fun and excitement, and the scent of sweet and fried foods wafting through the air.
Wherever you are in the U.S., you’ve likely been to a state fair or carnival at some point. While you might have aged out of the rides as an adult, you sometimes feel like cotton candy, a fried candy bar or a classic corn dog.
You don’t have to wait for this once-a-year occasion to satisfy your taste buds. Instead, many of these recipes can be made right from home.
When they’re prepared correctly, corn dogs are classic, convenient carnival food. Each includes a hot dog on a stick, coated in cornmeal batter before being deep fried until crispy on the outside. The recipe’s easy enough to do with basic supplies from a grocery store and a traditional or air fryer at home.
Especially at expansive state fairs, you’ll come to find that any food can be fried: any fruit, vegetable, dessert and even soda can be battered and dunked into a deep fryer for crispy, flavorful goodness. Once you’ve got the ingredients to make a basic batter, try some of the following carnival delicacies:
Fried pickles, which can be made from scratch before or used straight from the jar before being battered and fried.
Fried Oreos and cookie dough add an extra deep-fried layer to a popular dessert treat.
Fried cheesecake takes this up a level and is a fun way to serve any leftover dessert in your fridge.
Fried ice cream delivers the perfect combination of a crispy, crunchy exterior and a cool, creamy center.
It’s not difficult to make sweet, sticky caramel from home. So, once you have a few of your favorite apples, prepare the sauce in a pan, dip them and place them onto a baking sheet to cool before serving.
Homemade Funnel Cake
Homemade doughnut recipes aren’t hard to do and have started taking off in recent years. So, if you’ve already tried this, funnel cake is the next step up! This treat delivers sweet, fried flavor in a crazy pattern you can dust with powdered sugar for tradition or go up a level with sundae-like toppings.
Kettle corn’s not your ordinary popcorn, from the way it’s prepared to the flavor on your tongue once you try a piece. Traditionally, kettle corn is made in a large, oiled kettle and once the kernels pop, they’re tossed in a mix of salt and sugar that immediately tantalizes the tastebuds.
If you have a large pot at home and the right seasonings, why not give this recipe a try?
This flavored, wispy spun-sugar concoction doesn’t require a machine! With standard baking ingredients, plus a thermometer and a heatproof bowl, many can make this carnival treat right from their homes.
The Perfect French Fries
No, these themselves aren’t specifically carnival food, but many seek the taste of state fair-style French fries, which, from the cut to the seasoning, can’t be found from a frozen bag.
Rather, you’ll have to approach this from scratch. Cut a potato length wise before you fry them (try thinner slices for extra crunch), and season them with salt and a touch of vinegar after you absorb the oil.
When you’ve got an event coming up, count on American Carnival Mart to bring the fun, from carnival games and prizes to eye-catching, colorful themed decorations. We offer wholesale pricing, and pair our variety with personalized, one-on-one customer service.