During the Big Fresno Fair opening ceremonies, speakers joked that there was smoke in the air, but at least it was coming from a nearby barbecue and not a wildfire.
The fair has returned after a 2020 pandemic hiatus, and with it comes dozens of food vendors. The fair runs through Oct. 17.
There is something for everyone: something fried, something new, something exotic, something blue.
And don’t worry, the food is “healthy” joked Tony Boghosian of Chicken Charlie’s.
“This is totally healthy at the fair. Everything inside the fair is zero calories,” Boghosian wisecracked.
(Video) Fresno Fair Food!!
Chicken Charlie’s has always been the go-to place for fried masterpieces. Chicken of course, but frog legs too.
This year’s new fried offerings include a mac and cheese/buffalo chicken in a spicy waffle cone ($12.95).
“It’s perfect for our food. It’s a good balance of spicy and savory and a little bit of sweet and the waffle. It’s awesome,” Boghosian said.
Also new and fried is the Buffalo Brownie ($10.95) — a brownie dipped in pancake batter, fried, topped with ice cream and topped with a sweet pineapple buffalo sauce.
“Every year, we try and come up with something new and something different. It’s got to be something weird and wacky, but it’s also got to taste great, and we’re always striving to come up with that new invention. that’s going to just be fun for the fair,” Boghosian said.
Eat at Joe’s, near the ag center, has cheese curds ($8.75).
“The reason it’s my favorite is because it comes from Wisconsin. It’s lightly breaded cheese that kind of melts in your mouth, and it’s a finer, grated cheese that it floats to the top after the cheese is made. It’s super yummy,” server Michell Hoiberg said.
The fair has created a zone for local food trucks, near the Butler Street entrance. About a half-dozen mobile eateries are lined up in a shaded structure.
Amanda Sandhu runs the Twisted Masala. She left her job as a door-to-door saleswoman to run her food truck 18 months ago.
“Twisted Masala is protein bowls. We want to offer healthy options for individuals when they’re out and about,” Sandhu says.
“Masala” means seasoning.
The bowls include vegetarian, chicken, and fish. Sorry, no beef. They run $13-16.
“We’ve taken a bunch of seasonings from India, from Canada, from Mexico, and we just kind of blended it all together. So we use like ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and turmeric, which are all super healthy for you,” a very enthusiastic Sandhu said.
There are plenty of taco stands at the fair. There are Indian tacos, too.
Indian as in the Lakota tribe recipe of Munch-a-Bunch Food & Beverage, near the Chance Street entrance.
Sequoia Schoonover enjoys sharing his heritage through food. He’s been working the Big Fresno Fair for more than 30 years. He is from Merced.
“It used to be the fried bread and traditionally with bison, but we put ground beef and chicken on there with beans and lettuce and cheese and tomatoes and sour cream nowadays,” Schoonover said.
The tacos sell between $5-11.
There is always blue cotton candy. And blue liquids as well. Blue Moon seems to be the beer vendor of choice at the fair.
There is also the blue slushy drink found at Slush Puppie, near Chicken Charlie’s.
The drink is sweet and supposed to be raspberry flavor. For $3, you get a cup and fill it yourself.