Winston-Salem, NC -- Yes, there are plenty of concoctions to try at the fair. But along with the "CricketGummy on a stick" and the frozen banana dipped in chocolate, you need to set your tasting sights on the food entries.
The culinary contests garnered more than 31,000 entries this year with $225,000 in prize money being paid out.
Naomi Sloan, director of the fair's culinary competitions, has been a contest tester for decades. She has funny stories of testers having to try 71 bread entries or 36 cakes. Do you ever want to eat the whole slice? "Oh No! Not when you see all that you have to eat after!"
Sloan says fair contest tasters are usually chefs, home economics teachers and others in the food field--not you and me! Lots of people make a joke about that being their perfect job, but Sloan says, like everything else its never as easy as it looks.
What is the perfect palate cleanser? She says it is water and soda crackers.