Every day can be Thanksgiving – at least, every one of the 12 days of the Great New York State Fair – thanks to one of the crazy Fair foods to debut this year: The New York Harvester. It’s Thanksgiving, deep fried into a sandwich that weighs two pounds.
The creator of this madness is Jim Hasbrouck, who operates the famous Fried Specialties booths at the Fair and whose heart-stopping Defibrillator was last year’s craziest new food and won national attention. But enough about the cook; what’s in the sandwich?
✓Deep-fried mashed potatoes.
✓Bacon — deep-fried, of course.
✓All of it stacked between two slices of sourdough bread and every ounce of it made with New York products.
“I spent the winter working on this,” said Hasbrouck, the Wayne County resident who tours the nation selling deep-fried fun at many fairs and festivals. “I went through a lot of food to get this just right, and it’s good. Crazy good.”
“This is one of the fun reasons people wait all year for the Fair. They want to taste something they’ve never tasted before. As for me, I can’t wait to dig in to one of these. Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving dinner?” said Troy Waffner, Acting Fair Director.
Hasbrouck also plans to bring back The Defibrillator, the mega-burger that featured a deep-fried Angus burger patty, deep-fried pickles, deep-fried cheese curds, deep-fried bacon, and cheddar cheese, stuffed between two grilled cheese sandwiches. The sandwich was one of several fun Fair foods featured on the Cooking Channel show “Carnival Eats” earlier this year.
The New York Harvester is the first of several wild new food choices to be announced in the coming weeks. The Fair’s annual surveys of fairgoers have consistently shown that food is the number one item on their agendas. Fair officials have been diversifying food choices gradually each year, adding healthy options such as the wildly successful vegan food stand in the International Building and embracing more ethnic foods.
Of course, the Fair is known for its signature products — the cup of perfectly chilled white or chocolate milk in the Dairy Products building and the $1 baked potato with all the fixings in the Horticulture Building. The sausage sandwich with peppers and onion has been a staple of the Fair for decades.
The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 25 to September 5.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.