At least when it comes to deep-fried food, Coastal Carolina Fair attendees are a conservative bunch.
“Our locals are always telling me they are looking for the same food experience like they had the year before,” fair spokesman Joe Bolchoz insisted. And with every 2017 vendor but one returning for the annual event, fair-goers don’t have to brace for corn dog beer, peanut butter sausages and cookie dough spaghetti, among other novelties making a splash on the state fair circuit this year.
But for eaters brave enough to try something new at the Coastal Carolina Fair, which began its 11-day run Thursday, Derek Porter has a suggestion.
“What we’re doing is making meatballs-and-cheese on a stick,” said Porter of State Fair Foods.
One of Porter’s employees had the idea to skewer four meatballs, separated by four cheese cubes. The concoction is battered, fried and topped with marinara sauce; each stick is sprinkled with Parmesan cheese before serving.
“It was a huge hit in Raleigh this year,” Porter said.
State Fair Foods keeps four concession trailers on the road, but they all converge upon the Coastal Carolina Fair. Porter thinks of the fair as a family reunion, since each trailer is operated by a different relative.
“We’ve been coming to this fair since it was at the old fairgrounds,” he said.
To sample the deep-fried cheesy meatball stick, look for the State Fair Foods booth located between Gates 1 and 2.