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State fair foods this year: Mac and cheese burger, deep-fried bubble gum

Remember that bacon-stuffed, ice cream cheeseburger they offered at last year's Florida State Fair? Kids' stuff.

This year we have a mac and cheese burger, deep fried bubble gum and something called the Wild Hog — a bacon cheeseburger topped with barbecue pork, slaw, fries and barbecue sauce.

Dennis and Cheryl Reas, owners of Carousel foods and inventors of the notorious doughnut burger, released their 2012 creations for the Florida State Fair, which runs Feb. 9-20.

Here are some of the combinations they came up with to get you back in your fat jeans:

• The Polish boy, a kielbasa sausage that is grilled, and then placed on a toasted garlic roll topped with barbecued pork, slaw, fries and barbecue sauce.

• The mac and cheese burger will feature a standard bun, burger patty, bacon and a scoop of macaroni and cheese, plus standard burger toppings.

• Something Elvis would have loved, the bacon peanut butter burger. "This bacon burger topped with peanut butter, fully loaded of course," the Reases say, "is fit for a king.

• And a favorite from the Texas State Fair: deep-fried mashed potatoes. Big balls of mashed potatoes are injected with gravy and then battered and fried so that gravy comes oozing out with the first bite.

After you've polished off a gut-busting sandwich, the dessert offerings aimed straight at your arteries include:

• Deep-fried bubble gum, which consists of bubble-gum-flavored marshmallows dipped in a batter and deep fried "as is" then drizzled with a pink and blue icing and a few Chicklets sprinkled on top.

• Deep-fried M&M's, Hershey drops and Kool-Aid, which are wrapped in a sweet dough, dipped in batter — on a stick, naturally — and fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

For tickets and information about the fair, see floridastatefair.com.

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