The Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition — better known as the Youth Fair — returns today for its 66th anniversary (which makes it probably older than your abuela) at the Fair Expo Center.
The fair, which runs through April 16, features a midway filled with rides, animal exhibits, and entertainment, but we all know the main reason everyone goes: the glorious fair food.
Despite our everyday leanings toward organic açaí bowls, cold-pressed juices, and grass-fed beef, the fair is the time to let our food-freak flags fly by noshing on extreme foods. But if you think fair food is all turkey legs and corn dogs, think again. This year's Youth Fair offers a bounty of delights, from a banana-Nutella spring roll to a pork chop on a stick.
For the third year in a row, the fair will present its Foodie Awards, honoring dishes in the categories of "Best Tasting" and "Most Unique." The dishes will be selected Friday, March 24, at 7 p.m. at the Sedano's Supermarket Kitchen inside Arnold Hall.
If you're thirsty, this year's fair includes an old-fashioned soda fountain complete with soda jerks and poodle-skirt-clad servers, a beer haven serving local craft brews, and a Zen wine garden offering more than 50 kinds of vino and wine-and-cheese pairings.
Here are some of the most interesting new foods to look out for at this year's Youth Fair:
- Polar Bear Ice Cream’s kettle corn pop: A Krispy Kreme doughnut is filled with vanilla and kettle-corn ice cream, dipped in chocolate, and rolled in kettle corn.
- Cheesy fried enchilada funnel cake: This savory funnel cake comes topped with melted white queso and chorizo.
- Banana Nutella spring roll: Banana and Nutella are stuffed into a spring roll topped with ice cream and a Nutella drizzle.
- Turkey leg tacos: No longer do you have to look like Fred Flintstone. Soft corn tortillas hold shredded turkey topped with cilantro, pico de gallo, and lime.
- Grilled avocado with black bean salsa: A Hass avocado is grilled on both sides, topped with black bean salsa, and served with a side of wasabi mayonnaise.
- Barbecued pork rolls: Pulled pork, smoked for six hours, is tossed with barbecue sauce, grilled onions, and cheddar cheese, wrapped in an egg roll, and deep-fried.
- Pork chop on a stick: It's a double-dipped, deep-fried pork chop on a stick — because everything is better on a stick.
- Alligator bites: Because Miami.
Thursday, March 23, through Sunday, April 16, at the Fair Expo Center, 10901 Coral Way, Miami; 305-223-7060; thefair.me. Tickets cost $14 to $28 via etix.com; admission is free for kids 5 or younger, adults 65 or older, and active-duty and retired military with valid ID.