Fair and Carnival Food

Fair and carnival food is most often characterized by excess—in ingredients, colors, flavors, and quantities, as well as in quality (especially for those foods meant for competition as opposed to consumption). At these “time out of time” (noneveryday, special, and holiday-like) events, people come together to celebrate local foods and cultural offerings, indulge in special activities, take part in competitions (for animals, foods, crafts, and games), and enjoy being with family and friends. Fairs and carnivals reframe work as play, hence the creative ways in which various foods are featured. Fairs celebrate and intensify our relationships with each other and usually some kind of agricultural harvest, sometimes a particular food with iconic meaning to a particular town or place. Fair foods reflect the bounty ...

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