Dick Rose serves up a tray of deepfried goodness at the Dixie Classic Fair. (photo by Joe Murphy)
The Dixie Classic Fair, currently running through Sunday at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, offers a veritable cornucopia of traditional fair fare. They have all of the staples like hot dogs, barbecue, candied apples, cotton candy and turkey legs.
But none of those items interested me; I was after the deep-fried delicacies.
The Dixie Classic Fair offers not just deep-fried classics like chicken and seafood but also deep fried candy bars — which. regrettably. I never located — deep-fried Oreos and an assortment of deep-fried vegetables. I abstained from the deep-fried veggies, because the point of eating deep-fried food is not to eat something healthy; as a wise man once said, “If you’re going to be a monkey, be a gorilla.”
Once several of my compatriots in the league of extraordinary nobodies and I entered the fairgrounds I made a beeline for the stand selling deep-fried cheesecake on a stick. They looked on curiously as I bit into it.
“How is it?” asked my friend. I lifted my eyebrows while chewing the deep-fried cheesecake on a stick with its warm, soft outside and cool, creamily delectable cheesecake center, with a layer of cinnamon added for panache.
“Come on, dude. You have words, use them,” he said. Once I swallowed the deep-fried slice of heaven all I could say was, “Awesome.” The deep-fried cheesecake on a stick is so good that I couldn’t justify finishing it and ended up sharing most of it.
Another one of my friends, in search of meal-worthy sustenance, bought a Philly cheese(Whiz) steak while I ordered a frozen banana. The frozen banana was dipped in chocolate withe the option of adding nuts and sprinkles. I only went with sprinkles on mine (I’m allergic to nuts). The frozen banana (naturally) is very cold when you initially bite into it but once the banana, along with the conglomeration of chocolate and sprinkles, melts in your mouth it is sinfully delightful.
Having already indulged in dessert, I knew I needed to eat something heartier — though, of course, deep fried. We came across a deep-fried seafood stand operated by Kerri and Dick Rose that offered a platter of four items for $12. All four of us pitched in three bucks for a tray of “somatoes” (deep-fried green tomatoes), deep-fried frog legs, fried oysters and hush puppies.
Dick Rose offered us each individual hush puppies while we waited.
“Wow!” exclaimed one of my friends. “These are the best hush puppies I’ve ever tasted.” Then he asked Rose, “You must do something special with the batter, could you tell me what?” “I could,” replied Dick, “but then I’d have to shoot ya.” Dick served us our tray a few moments later, complete with remoulade and cocktail dipping sauce. To me, oysters are good anytime no matter how they’re cooked; the deep-fried frog legs were exceptional and the somatoe was also quite the treat. The remoulade sauce was amazing as well, and complemented all the seafood — and even the somatoes — perfectly.
While three of us voraciously dug into the deep-fried goodness, my friend who had already chowed down the cheesesteak sat quietly, without touching the food. Never one to turn down food, especially food he helped pay for, we inquired about his reluctance to indulge in the tray with us.
“I’m not going to lie, that steak and cheese is going down violently,” he said. “There is a holy war going on in my stomach and currently, somehow, I am losing.”
That goes to show that when going to the Dixie Classic Fair, stick to the deep-fried delicacies and avoid anything purported be from above the Mason-Dixon Line.
Dixie Classic Fair Winston-Salem Fairgrounds. Through Sunday (Oct. 10) Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday- Friday, Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.