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Fair food has a universal appeal

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    Carbon County Fair visitors flock to a stand run by Jerusalem Lutheran Church in Trachsville on Monday. The stand sells chicken and beef barbecue as well as filling, among other selections. JARRAD HEDES/TIMES NEWS

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    An early line forms at Dale’s Concessions just an hour after the Carbon County Fair opened for business Monday. JARRAD HEDES/TIMES NEWS

Published August 08. 2018 12:38PM

When it comes to county fairs, the rides, games, entertainment and exhibits are fun, but it’s the food that can truly delight each visitor.

It’s no different in Carbon County, where fairgoers can have their taste buds dazzled up and down the midway.

Fair organizers tout “there is something for everyone,” ranging from a simple hamburger or hot dog to stuffed pretzels, gyros and walking tacos for a main meal.

Shortly after the fair’s opening ceremony concluded Monday, long lines were already starting to form at some of the fair’s more popular stops.

One such stand was the Jerusalem Lutheran Church in Trachsville, which sells chicken barbecue, beef barbecue, hot dogs, filling and cucumber salad. Want a little bit of everything? The filling barbecue bowl for $6.75 aims to please.

“I think it’s absolutely delicious,” said Frank Phillips of Danielsville, who made the trip over the mountain to Little Gap. “This is one that keeps you coming back. The only thing I don’t like is it fills you up so good I can’t try much of the other good stuff.”

Lines weren’t much shorter at Dale’s Concessions, a longtime fair vendor, offering french fries, pierogies, blooming onions and just about anything else you can deep fry. Proprietor Dale Greenzweig bought the stand’s onion cutter at a trade show in Florida over 10 years ago and hasn’t looked back. Neither have his customers.

“He was one of the first to do the blooming onion at fairs around here,” said Marcia Long of Palmerton. “I get one every year. I know it’s not the best thing for me, but it’s not like I’m eating one every night.”

For the more adventurous crowd, family-operated Geakers Tacos is back this year with its alligator taco offering. Those not into alligator meat could also find chicken and beef tacos at the stand.

“I think it tastes like chicken, maybe a mild fish texture,” said Josh Schmidt after tasting one of the alligator tacos on Monday. “I got one just to say I tried it. I would recommend it to someone.”

When the sweet tooth kicks in, the dessert options are far from slim pickings.

Funnel cake, elephant ears, strawberry shortcake and hot fudge sundaes are all on the menu, but sometimes it is the simple things that draw the most attention.

“I usually just get a simple cone of ice cream,” said Julie Smith of Lehighton, “especially on a hot day like this.”

The fair runs through Saturday.

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