If David-Blaine-wannabe/magician Criss Angel visited the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem, he would resign his goofy gothic act immediately. Because there is only one “Mindfreak,” and it exists among the dozens of fried-food vendors and chicken-on-a-stick stands.
Visiting a county fair in this neck of the woods is a cultural experience you can’t miss. I didn’t think fairs still had attractions like “WORLD’S SMALLEST MAN!” and “HALF-WOMAN, HALF HORSE!” and “REAL! LIVE! SNAKE MAN!” I honestly felt transported to a different space and time.
To bring me back to reality, I had an awesome sandwich from one of the many church stands in the food lawn. This was a cornbread sandwich with collard greens and fried fatback (!!!). Here’s why it works: the sweetness of the cornbread, the acidic sourness of the collards and the salty smoky crunch of the fatback (fried pork fat). A guy next to me was having a religious experience with his sandwich.
Later, we had a grilled pimento cheese sandwich ($2). Homemade pimento cheese sandwiched between white bread grilled in butter. It was spicy and creamy and pretty awesome (even for someone who doesn’t like pimento cheese).
Yes, I saw the fried butter. I’ve never really craved a stick of salted butter wrapped in dough and fried until not completely melted. I also saw every kind of cookie or candy bar proudly dipped and fried, then covered in powdered sugar and more sweet syrups. Dentists: you have job security up in these parts.
Before leaving, we walked through the winning fruits, vegetables and something new to my Northwestern fair-going: tobacco judging!
It was a fitting reminder of how the region was founded. Hope y’all enjoyed the fair (for those who dared)! xoxo