My favorite new Elkhart County 4-H Fair food is ...

My taste buds have, as usual, enjoyed the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.

My gut and gullet probably need a reset. I’ll need less meat, potatoes and sugar and more fruits, vegetables and water. But maybe starting Sunday since the fair goes through tomorrow.

I’m often all about eating adventurously and trying the new thing. (That should come as no surprise, I mean you’ve read my writing, right?) But during fair week I tend to want the things I already know and love as they just come around once a year.

However, I did manage to find a new favorite this year thanks to the recommendation of Bill Dawson, a friend whom I work alongside in the Goshen Noon Kiwanis Club’s steakburger and corn booth.

The Berry Patch, which has been at the fair for years serving strawberry shortcake. The stand is owned by Linda and Bruce Lacher and they've started offering peach cobbler. The peaches, sugar and pastry are baked together and then topped with vanilla soft-serve and a cinnamon maple syrup. It tastes homemade. It’s not, but it tastes like grandma’s. It’s $6, but available in limited supply on a daily basis at the fair. I missed out the first time I tried and had to return the following day for a bowl of deliciousness.

Quick Bites

  • Kudos to the Maple City Kiwanis Club for serving fresh potato chips with its fried fish and sandwiches, but they just don’t stack up to the broasted potatoes from Joe’s Gyros, the saratoga chips from Best Around Concessions or even the french fries from our Kiwanis booth. Also, the potato salad in the Goshen Noon Kiwanis booth has roots at Everett’s and then was Cheryl’s Potato Salad at Dana J’s, which is now closed in Goshen. Cheryl Gall helped make it and it’s as delicious as ever.

  • The pork burgers and pork chop I had at this year’s fair have been tender and amazing.

  • The Dairy Bar ice cream flavors of the day are interesting, but sometimes just weird. Creme de menthe? Um, no. The black raspberry was good though.

  • The Crystal Valley Exchange Club’s taco salad has chicken as an option as well as beef and it’s got a lot of flavor. The $5 taco salad I got had only a smidge of lettuce, but plenty of meat, cheese and tortilla chips.

  • I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that we now order by color rather than flavor. It’s red or white dressing on the taco salad. (that’s French or ranch.) It’s red, white or blue Gatorade. In fact, I didn’t know the white was cherry-flavored until a teenager ordered one by flavor the other day and I didn’t know what he was talking about.

  • I love working in the Kiwanis booth. We make and sell a lot of food. We make money to give back to the community. I get to work in a pop-up restaurant for a bit and then try to recover from all the standing on concrete and the smoke from the grill, but at least the itch to work in food service with any regularly goes away for another year.

Hope to see you at the fair.