Food News

Miami-Dade Youth Fair Opens Today With New Foods, a Beer Haven, and a Wine Garden

It's baaack!

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.
Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition
Thursday, March 23, through Sunday, April 16, at the Fair Expo Center, 10901 Coral Way, Miami; 305-223-7060; Tickets cost $14 to $28 via; admission is free for kids 5 or younger, adults 65 or older, and active-duty and retired military with valid ID.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss