I tend to shun anything that says "Look at ME, look at ME!" I prefer to look in the opposite direction for that quick facial expression, changing light or an unplanned conversation with a stranger.
First time travelers to Paris usually visit the Eiffel Tower; I did not. When I was twenty I decided I was too cool for the Eiffel Tower and its romance. I decided I'd take in Paris through my eyes, not via some old, clichéd guidebook. Ah, youth.
On the day I was ready (with a conveniently short line due to the quickly approaching closing time) I was marveled and decided I'd climb it. Now, years later, I still have that rebel spirit when traveling--I don't want to look only at the shiny stuff.
Of course, the game is impossible, and even your new boyfriend can't look like a hero (and anyway, I'd rather he save the $3 for the kettle corn). Walking by the fried dough and curly fries nothing ever seemed real and everything was gigantic and out of reach. "Home of the Legendary Corn Dog on a Stick" sounds so intimidating. I may be intrigued by the idea of a corn dog (only in America, right?) but maybe let's start out with "Best in the area" or "Delicious" and work our way up to legendary.
Just don't forget you can't eat the stick. It's not food . . . yet.
For those not in the know, the forward-thinking locavore espouses that trendy idea that food should be grown and consumed in the same area (or at least within 100 miles) for sustainability, taste and nutrition sake. Strange to think that most of our grandmothers were "trendy" as they grew their gardens and canned their bounty.
But it's becoming apparent around the world that an increasing number of people want to know more about their food. Where did it come from and was it sustainably grown and harvested? Is it organic, grass fed, pasture raised or GMO-free? I'm not expecting any of these questions or, more importantly, answers at The Big E. But the anonymity of ten different fried dough stands is enough to make one wonder. Are any of them operated out of Massachusetts? Are they all owned by the same company, dressed up differently but all hawking the exact same fried dough? What is the history of the business?
In 1992 the Hartford Courant interviewed several Big E fried dough vendors. It came out that Tootsie's (see first pic and below) has been around since the beginning of American fair-style fried dough's discovery itself. They were there when it all began at the 1970 Vermont State Fair. So, one of the original purveyors of fried dough in America is still operating under the same name and in the same area? This is what I'm talking about! This is important, because walking through the gauntlet of neon signs everything looks so similar and timeless--as in there is no historical reference to discern. But this little nugget of heritage food craft is something I can connect with.
So cover me in sugar and call me a sweet, sweet locavore. I won't mind.