Santa Barbara Fair & Expo Food Overview

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by Hailey Zheng

Everyone in Santa Barbara knows about the fair at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, whether they enjoy it or not. From Wednesday, April 27, through Sunday, May 1, the fair was open to the public. Many people of all ages came to visit the fair for the rides, but they aren’t the only fun part of the fair! Almost everyone who went bought some kind of food. The fair was a fun way to hang out with friends while getting a chance to do something new, and since the fair is an annual event, it is a special time to try some weird and eccentric food only found at the fair.

Although the fair is well-known for many things, most of the food is infamous for being disgusting, albeit creative.

“It’s pretty bad, but sometimes it tastes good,” complained eighth grader Kieli Auchstetter.

“The fair food is usually overpriced and sub-par,” chimed Bella Macioce.

However, many people disagree with that idea.

“The fair food is creative and delicious, even though it is pricey,” analyzed eighth grader Haley Yahyavi.

From classic fair food, like cotton candy and caramel apples, to questionable flavors like deep-fried peaches and Twinkies, fair food is definitely interesting and could not be found anywhere else. Eighth grader Talia Honikman shared some of her thoughts on eating deep-fried Oreos.

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“We bought them kind of out of curiosity, and honestly they weren’t that bad! I was really hoping I wouldn’t like them, and I didn’t really [like them], but they weren’t all that awful. I don’t know if I would ever eat them again out of choice, but I would have them again.”
The well-loved, fluffy, sweet cotton candy was enjoyed by many fair-goers this year. Cotton candy is made of a bunch of spun sugar mixed with coloring and flavoring, and is eaten off of a cone, a stick, or out of a bag. Although there is nothing wrong with it, some people don’t understand the hype. Hana Ulep, eighth-grade cotton candy supporter, offered some of her thoughts on it.

“I like cotton candy because it’s one of those foods that you never really have unless you’re at the fair and it makes the fair more special and more fun. To me, the taste isn’t particularly amazing, but I still like it and eat it at the fair because it makes the fair experience even more wonderful.”

Anonymous cotton candy hater howled her thoughts on the simple dessert.

“It tastes like sugar. That’s exactly what it tastes like, that’s exactly what it is. I just don’t want to eat spoonfuls and spoonfuls of sugar because that’s what it basically is!”

Some food served at the fair is not unique to just carnivals. The Santa Barbara Fair & Expo served universally eaten foods, like soft pretzels and pizza. Even though they can be found in other places, they are still loved, enjoyed, and delicious!

“We found a booth that made the pretzel dough right there and then shaped it in front of you and then baked it in front of you and it was so ridiculously delicious. You watched them put the salt on it. You watched them prep it for you. It was kind of intensely insane because I had no idea there would actually be food like that at the fair. It was so good! We actually came back for a second one. It was kind of intensely amazing,” states an eighth grade student on soft pretzels.

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Even though most people don’t love fair food, it’s courteous to appreciate those who sell it! The chefs dedicate their time to the food for the enjoyment of others. Most of the vendors cook, bake, or fry their food at the fair in their stand, so it is fresh and ready to be eaten. The people who sell food at the fair work hard, and it is not easy to provide food for so many people! The next time you buy some food at the fair, remember to thank the person or people who made it!

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