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Foods to Try at the LA County Fair

Throw calorie counting out the door and indulge in foods of the Los Angeles County Fair.

There are still two days left before the Los Angeles County Fair opens to the public in the Pomona Fairplex Fairgrounds Friday, and featured food stands at this year’s fair offered a sampling of their deep-fried, battered, sweet and high-calorie foods Tuesday.

County Fair coordinators hosted a food preview for members of the media Tuesday. This year, visitors to the fair will have plenty of fair cuisine to choose from.

Visitors can choose from county fair staples like the famous deep-fried food concoctions of Chicken Charlie to familiar Los Angeles County restaurants like Pink’s Hotdogs in Hollywood.

It seems as though no fair experience is complete without a sampling of something battered and deep-friend. Chicken Charlie's has been cranking out deep-fried concoctions since his deep-fried Oreos hit the fair circuit in 2002. Last year, deep-fried

This year, while Chicken Charlie's will continue to fire up their deep fryers for favorites such as deep-fried Klondike Bars and cookie dough, this year’s featured item isn’t something dipped in scorching hot oil. This year, Chicken Charlie's is debuting the Pineapple Express, seasoned shrimp with rice and pineapple chunks served in a fresh pineapple.

Pink’s Hot Dogs is bringing their famous hotdogs from Hollywood to the fair. Known for their variety of toppings, Pinks will offer a selection of hefty hotdogs including their famous chili dog. Featured this year is the Matt Kenseth Daytona Dog, a hot dog doused in hot spicy mustard, onions, jalapenos and avocado.

At the preview, C'est La Vie, a Laguna Beach-based restaurant, offered up the flavors of France with a variety of pastries from fruit tarts to cheesecake.  One offering was a rich and creamy chocolate mousse piled high in a pastry shell, topped with a strawberry, and decorated with a replica Eiffel Tower made of chocolate.

But don't worry about the waistline, said Executive Chef Daniel Flores.  Most of the desserts offered are not as high in calories as other fare at the fair, including the decadent chocolate mousse, he said.

"You see most of the stuff we have, we use a lot of fruit," he said.  "Everything is fresh and very healthy."

Harold & Belle’s to Geaux, a restaurant in Compton, is offering up spicy New Orleans cuisine with a kick. Their crawfish etouffe and Po’ Boy Sandwiches are their main draws, along with their signature dessert, a whiskey-infused bread pudding.

At Ten Pound Buns, owner Schuyler MacPherson dished up sourdough bread pizzas with a variety of toppings from the standard pepperoni to the more unusual combination of bacon and Nutella.

"That's our crazy one," he said.

The MacPherson family, who also sells ice cream, has been participating in the fair since it began in 1922.  MacPherson bought Ten Pound Buns a couple of years ago, but the previous owners had been a staple at the fair for at least 25 or 30 years, he said. 

Ten Pounds is solely a fair operation, with LA County being the last of the three he does every year, he said.

"The crowds are good," he said.  "It's a fair, so people like to try new foods."

The Los Angeles County Fair opens Friday, Aug. 31 until Sept. 30. For tickets and information, visit http://www.lacountyfair.com/2012/.

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