There’s something deeply enchanting about fairs and other festivals. They exist to help us celebrate various things ranging from the local flavor to important dates. No one ever really feels the need to question them until they aren’t there. After all, many of us have important and positive memories associated with the various fairs and festivals of our youth. That’s enough to draw many of us back to them in hopes of drawing those memories closer to the front of our mind. Some of those memories are inevitably caught up in the foods available at these celebrations. They are often incredibly unhealthy while at the same time offering a delightful taste that is hard to come by anywhere else. There’s no shame in wanting to revisit a taste that you adored when you were younger, but at a certain point we need to keep in mind fair and festival foods are bad for our overall health and our waistline. Some are a bit worse than others regardless of how wonderful they taste.
Fried Candy Bars
There’s a lot to be said for a good candy bar. They can have every bit of sweet flavor that we could want in them as well as a bit of extra crunch. It makes them infinitely appealing when we get hungry even if they aren’t the most nutritious options on the menu. The sheer familiarity of many candy bars is enough to drag many of us back to our childhoods simply because they seem like they never really change beyond the packaging. Unfortunately, candy bars tend not to do our health any favors with all of their sugar. Fairs and festivals take this and make it even better/worse by deep-frying candy bars to give them a flaky yet crispy outer layer that gives them a special flavor all their own in addition to the one we’re expecting. The end result is an oily, sugary mess with more calories than any of us really want to contemplate.
This staple of fairs and festivals is one of those things that never seems to go out of fashion. They’re relatively easy to make and yet remain highly versatile. Various kinds of dough are usable to generate custom-flavored kinds of funnel cake. You can have everything from plain funnel cake to more exotic kinds depending on the particular vendor. Most of them tend to be served fairly simply with powdered sugar or a similar topping added to them to give them an extra bit of sweetness to go with the fried dough.
The downside here is best captured by the words “fried dough”. Funnel cake is incredibly unhealthy given the amount of oil it has been friend in and adding further sweet topping to it just raises the calorie levels even more. This is to say nothing of any styles of dough that are sweeter than average. Funnel cake may taste good, but there’s no escaping that your waist won’t thank you if you have too much.
Giant Turkey Legs
Depending on the fair or festival, you may see people preparing giant turkey legs. These tend to be marketed under a number of different names depending on the overall theme of the gathering. Some people like to call them “caveman” turkey legs while others favor calling them “medieval”. The end result is the same though. These turkey legs tend to be massive, messy, and surprisingly tasty to eat. Unfortunately, that’s a lot of meat in any given sitting. We never really think about how many calories are in meat, but the protein tends to mean that any meat is already calorie dense. A large concentration of it makes it even less healthy. It also doesn’t help that these aren’t always prepared in the most health conscious way. These turkey legs will certainly be delicious, but try not to eat even half of one of you may find you’re eating drastically more than you need to in a single day.
To be fair, let’s pause and consider that most fair and festival foods are inherently unhealthy. They’re often deep-fried and frequently in larger portions than is advisable. We know this already before we get it. Fairs and festivals are not constant occasions though. They’re times to enjoy something outside of the usual. That’s something to keep in mind before you decide you shouldn’t have some of these foods. Yes, they’re a bit much, but indulging on a very rare occasion is good for the soul. Just try to remember to take something to settle your stomach afterwards as things that are good for the soul aren’t always good for digestion.