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This year's Florida State Fair food oddities include catfish 'sundae' and chicken and waffles pizza

Being the first in the country on the fair-going calendar, the Florida State Fair is also the first to roll out the outrageous deep-fried food. Among this year's entries is a Banana Frenkel Funnel Cake, a funnel cake surrounded with a ring of bananas and topped with custard and a choice of chocolate or caramel drizzle. Photo courtesy Florida State Fair
Being the first in the country on the fair-going calendar, the Florida State Fair is also the first to roll out the outrageous deep-fried food. Among this year's entries is a Banana Frenkel Funnel Cake, a funnel cake surrounded with a ring of bananas and topped with custard and a choice of chocolate or caramel drizzle. Photo courtesy Florida State Fair
Published Jan. 22, 2018

Being the first in the country on the fair-going calendar, the Florida State Fair is also the first to roll out the outrageous, deep-fried, bacon-wrapped, cheese-covered foods on a stick that perfume the midway.

While cotton candy, corn dogs and funnel cake once ruled, fairgoers these days look for something that's exotic or logic-defying, like last year's Cheesy Fried Enchilada Funnel Cake or 2016's Cheeseburger With Fried Ice Cream.

This year's lineup at the fair, which runs Feb. 8-19, brings a chicken and waffles pizza called a "syrup-based pie," corn on the cob covered in queso and rolled in spicy cheese puffs, and a catfish "sundae" of french fries, fried catfish and spicy sauce.

The fair is also bringing in some winners from other state fairs, but new this year is Deep Fried Strawberry Shortcake and a huge creation called a Banana Frenkel Funnel Cake that is a funnel cake topped with a ring of bananas and custard and then drizzled with chocolate or caramel.

Pop a Pepto-Bismol and read on for the midway menu:

Surf N Turf Sundae: Winner of the "Best Fair Entree" at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, it has hand-cut french fries, warm cheese, sour cream, thick-cut bacon, sirloin steak and sauteed Cajun shrimp.

Southern Catfish Sundae: Hand-cut french fries, Southern fried catfish and a slightly spicy Southern remoulade sauce or tangy tartar sauce.

Barbecue Pulled Pork Ribbon Fries: Ribbon-cut potatoes fried golden, topped with warm cheddar cheese, sour cream, fresh cooked bacon, hickory smoked pulled pork, and sweet barbecue sauce drizzled on top.

Deep Fried Strawberry Shortcake: Fresh strawberries mixed into cheesecake filling, frozen, dipped in batter, deep fried and topped with whipped cream and drizzled with strawberry frosting. Did we mention it's served on a stick?

Banana Frenkel Funnel Cake: Bananas and spices blended in the cake batter that is then fried to golden brown, and topped with custard, bananas and your choice of chocolate or caramel.

Chicken and Waffles Pizza: It's a syrup-based pie topped with fried chicken, waffle pieces, bacon, mozzarella and more syrup.

Firecracker Corn on the Cob: Roasted corn dipped in queso and rolled in hot and spicy cheese puffs.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

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