Louisville, KY-- The Kentucky State Fair opened last week with a displays of crafts and hobbies, demonstrations of herding dogs herding ducks around an obstacle course, sheds full of floppy-eared rabbits and extravagantly plumed chickens (my favorites) and, of course, the World Championship Horse Show - not to mention concerts galore.
But, we all know what really draws people to the fairgrounds. The food.
The food that vendors offer encompasses the perennially traditional - corn dogs and elephant ears and sausage sandwiches with fried peppers and watery lemonade - and the annually unique - deep-fried Snickers bars, or fried Twinkies, or burgers served on doughnuts, or gargantuan fried turkey legs.
It is, I guess, fun to hear about this caloric assault every year, to read about what new culinary debacle will be set before the hungry public wandering through the fairgrounds. For me, it is a kind of food slumming - but only vicariously. I often prefer to read about movies, rather than watch them, and I prefer to read about fair food, rather than eat it.
Larry Sivori is happy that most people are not of my persuasion. Sivori runs food operations in fairs throughout the Midwest and South, and will be one of the principal vendors at the Kentucky State Fair, in addition to local favorites such as Mike Linnig's and the state pork, beef, lamb and chicken producers, who all will be selling food.
Sivori is the one responsible for introducing the most talked-about food choice in recent years, the infamous hamburger served on a glazed doughnut. That will be returning this year, along with a new item - a spicy fried breaded chicken breast served on a raspberry jelly doughnut.
"We're going for a bit of healthier touch, going with chicken over the beef," Sivori deadpanned. His vendors were the ones that offered the deep-fried Derby-Pie last year, which will return. And it will be true Derby-Pie. "Me and Alan are good," Sivori said, referring to Alan Rupp, president of Kern's Kitchen, which protects the Derby-Pie trademark name assiduously.
Written by: Ron Mikulak, The Courier-Journal.com