Dr. John Gallaher and the ladies of Wilson Living sample some of the best treats the fair has to offer
By DR. JOHN GALLAHER
One of the earliest childhood memories I hold dear is the one when my father would pick me up just a little early from school on a Friday afternoon just as the season of Fall had arrived. The special occasion?
The beginning of the Tennessee State Fair in Nashville. This was back when the Tennessee State Fair was THE fair, with no other fair holding a candle to it. At the risk of dating myself, that was then, and this is now. And THE fair now is the Wilson County Fair. And no fair in this great state of ours comes close to providing the fun, food, and excitement that we get every August right here in Lebanon.
Now, I have never been a big fan of Fair rides (I tend to get sick on anything that spins me around too fast). I love seeing all the farm animals up close and personal. And I really enjoy walking through the exhibit halls seeing all the portraits, quilts, hams, and pies, some with ribbons of blue, red, or white with the occasional purple one with the words “Best in Show” emblazoned on it. But the thing that always draws me to the Fair since I ate my first elephant ear… oh so many years ago…. the food.
Fair food is no longer your grandfather’s fair food. Sure, you can still get a corn dog (which seem to get bigger every time I go), Italian sausage with peppers and onions, candy apples, and snow cones. But along with these fair food staples, you will find ANYTHING that can be put on a stick and/or deep-fried! And then sometimes dipped in chocolate for good measure. I have even heard tale of a Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich and fried coca-cola.
I have to begin the list of MY favorite food fare with a food invention called the “Walking Taco”. It is a bag of Frito Lay Corn Chips with the top
of the bag cut off and then filled with chili, cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and then topped off with salsa — jalapeno’s on request. Then, I always have to make sure to find Me Me’s Country Cookin’ where Micheal and his Mom Barbara fix a plate of some of the best catfish and hush puppies this side of Mississippi.
And though it seems rather tame when compared to some of the unusual fair food concoctions mentioned earlier, I cannot go to the Wilson County Fair without stopping by the Rotary Booth and seeing my brother in law Judge Bob(Hamilton) and my good friend John McDearman ordering just a plain ‘ole hamburger and fries.
To help wash it all down, I love to go to Granny’s Giant Iced Tea. But I don’t order just plain sweet tea, I ask for teamonade— half sweet tea, half lemonade.