Gluten-Free at the Dutchess County Fair: Could You Put it on a Stick?


One last county fair under my belt this past weekend. Very interesting to compare a State Fair vs. a County Fair especially when visiting them within one month of each other.

  • Biggest surprise at the Food Mall at the Dutchess County Fair were the gluten-free offerings.
  • Since neither of those booths attracted many customers, they may have been too trend-forward for fair feasters.
  • Gluten-Free doesn’t scream “Fun” or “Fair” (vs. Iowa’s Pork Almighty!!).
  • But might have a fighting chance if you put it on a stick!

Other food options that caught my eye (pics below):

  • Frozen bananas – one of the most popular items, offered by numerous vendors!!
  • 4-H Milkshakes from the Hudson Valley Fresh Milk Barn – had the longest line, video above
  • Fresh corn on a stick
  • French fries – all kinds of toppings, again a fair favorite
  • PA Dutch Funnel Cakes
  • Pitas/Gyros etc often with a vegetarian option – very popular (as they were in Iowa)
  • Hofbrau Joe’s Clam Box for Fried Seafood (love the juxtaposition of cultures and tastes) – although the booth was never particularly busy

Big thrill for me – aside from the food – was being selected as a judge for the 4-H costume contest for kids and their livestock. I really wanted my 3 little pigs and the big bad wolf to win but my fellow judges weren’t feeling it. If you’re wondering how I was selected for judging, it was that snazzy hat of mine. The top judge just honed right in on it.

And then on Sunday morning, I got to visit the Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market which is fabulous, if a tad spendy $$$. But I was surprised to see how many foods seem to take their inspiration from the Fair e.g. pickle on a stick, sausage on a stick, authentic Mexican tacos and corn tortillas with fresh horchata.

See pics below of this and more.

Dutchess County Novelty Fair Food Treats


Vs. the Farmers’ Market


Favorite Fair Events

One of the 3 little pigs with her costumed big bad wolf

Goats galore



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