NC State Fair foods to try in 2022

If you’re thinking about this year’s NC State Fair, you should know food vendors have really worked hard to bring something new to the traditional assortment of funnel cakes and Italian sausage. There are 39 (really!) new foods available on the fairgrounds at 4285 Trinity Road in Raleigh.

Sure, the list includes fried options as well as a few items on a stick. Other themes for 2022 are churros (and other Latin flavors), fruit-forward desserts, Southern flavors, and dishes that combine savory and sweet. Here’s a look at them, starting with some of the craziest and most creative concoctions and those you might not want to miss. The fair begins Thursday (Oct. 13) and continues through Oct. 23.

Deep Fried Piggy Tails by Beaver Concessions: Need we say more than battered deep-fried bacon topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar, drizzled with syrup?

Deep Fried Bacon Mac-n-Cheese Tacos from Bubba’s Bacon: OK, if fried bacon just isn’t enough, this dish combines it with mac and cheese for deep-fried tacos, topped with melted cheese sauce.

DoriEsquites from Douglas Farms: Two popular items come together when Mexican street corn is served in a bag of crushed Doritos.

DoriEsquites from Douglas Farms

Salmon Pops from Oak City Fish and Chips: This seemingly simple fair dish of skewered fried salmon served with a half lemon to drizzle won the Media’s Choice among the new foods.

Pepsi Glazed Mini Donuts from S2 Concessions: A new generation is discovering the deliciousness of peanuts in Pepsi. Here’s an interpretation with cola-glazed mini donuts with an optional topping of chopped peanuts.

Pepsi Glazed Mini Donuts from S2 Concessions

Rattlesnake Corn Dog from Pioneer Wagon: How about a corndog made with rattlesnake sausage? It’s deep fried and topped with avocado sauce. You can also check out elk sausage, elk corn dogs, and snake bite nachos at this booth.

Korean Corn Dogs from goldenKdog: Speaking of corndogs, these Asian street food favorites aren’t the typical ones. Instead, they’re made with sausage or mozzarella cheese (or both), wrapped with yeasted batter, coated with panko breadcrumbs or small potato cubes, and then deep fried to a golden brown.

Korean Corn Dogs from goldenKdog

Honey Butter Chicken Fries from goldenKdog: That same vendor has another new option — deep-fried chicken fries covered in a smooth honey butter sauce.

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels from La Farm Bakery: A satisfying blend of warm Buffalo chicken dip and cheddar cheese spread over a whole-wheat croissant, which is then rolled into a pinwheel.

Deep Fried Cuban Rolls from Chef's D'Lites

Deep Fried Cuban Rolls from Chef’s D’Lites: All the goodness of a Cuban sandwich (with smoked ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and pulled pork) with the walk-around-the-fair convenience of an eggroll-style wrap. It’s served with a spicy honey mustard for dipping.

Pig Mac from Woody’s: Another entry in the eggroll category is this version. It has homemade white cheddar mac and cheese and crispy hickory smoked pork belly.

Sparkling Churros from Churros To Go

Sparkling Churros from Churros To Go: Churros but make them pretty. Here the fried pastries are decorated and glazed with bright, fanciful colors and special sugars and sprinkles.

Dole Pineapple Split from Tropical Delights: The famously refreshing Dole Whip but served ice cream sundae style with three mounds of pineapple and raspberry whip, served in a pineapple bowl and garnished with chocolate-covered pineapple slices, toasted coconut flakes, and strawberries.

Fried NC Flounder Tacos from Waypoint Oyster Bar

Fried NC Flounder Tacos from Waypoint Oyster Bar: Opt for local seafood with these tacos made with flounder and topped with house-made corn and black bean salsa and avocado cilantro cream sauce.

Thanksgiving Stuffed Turkey Leg from Hickory Tree Turkey BBQ: This vendor likes to get creative with the standard turkey leg. This year, it comes with holiday favorites like stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. You also have the option of adding candied yams, collards or mac and cheese.

Deep Fried NC Country Ham with Bourbon Peach Jam from Ragin' Cajun

Deep fried NC Country Ham with Bourbon Peach Jam from Ragin’ Cajun: If you’re looking for heartier NC flavors, here’s one with country ham, breaded and deep fried and served with a peachy jam.

Pork Chop on a Stick from Rockin’ Comet Diner: The simplicity of a center cut pork chop, skewered and grilled to perfection. Dip is available on the side.