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Elkhart County 4-H Fair 2015: A trip down food row

Our office is already extra busy as many pre-fair activities get underway. For many of us, it is Elkhart County 4-H Fair time and this is a special time of the year.

My personal fair food plan is to share food, because sharing means you get to taste more foods. Better yet, when you eat at the 4-H and service club venues, you invest back into our community.

4-H and service clubs offer many foods at the fair, so here’s my take:

The rabbit club has some of the greenest and healthiest food. They offer bunny barbecue, rabbit sausage gravy on biscuits, green salads and more.

The Pork Producers serve up pork chops, ham sandwiches and – my favorite – a pork burger. The Cattlemen Association has ribeye steak sandwiches.

For breakfast, the only air-conditioned food choice is at the Eastern Star, which has biscuits and gravy and egg options. After breakfast they offer home-style meals and sandwiches.

The 4-H Lamb Club is known for its Lemon Shake Up, and it also serves lamb burgers and chops. The Crystal Valley Exchange Club offers the popular taco and its famous “Walking Taco.”

If you cross the street, there is a shared building with the 4-H Goat Club, Goshen Noon Kiwanis and PSI Iota XI Sorority. The main draws are the grilled 1-pound burger and sweet corn. The 4-H Goat Club features Mexican food and frozen beverages and yogurt. The sorority has fresh locally made pizza.

On the other side of the street, experience one of the oldest traditions at the fair: hot-from-the-grill pancakes from Elkhart County Exchange Club.

The 4-H Saddle Club is a new operator on food row featuring the same menu from its original location; they will also have buffalo burgers.

Elkhart Noon Optimist prepares fish and tenderloins. Star Light Chapter 181 is known for sloppy Joes, and on the corner is Tri Kappa with fresh pie and ice cream.

Round the corner onto Rotary Boulevard and walk toward the grandstand to the 4-H Dairy Feeder Club, where Amish Haystacks are served. On Tractor Pull Thursday, the club will serve a breakfast haystack.

Next is Dairy Bar with ice cream treats and grilled cheese sandwiches. The 4-H Junior Leaders have the best popcorn and also offer hot dogs and beverages.

If you cross the road, you’ll see the 4-H Saddle Club’s original stand, offering a breakfast oatmeal, sandwiches and a variety of fried foods.

I know you will enjoy the food and make some great fair memories.

For more recipes and tips from Purdue Extension Educator Mary Ann Lienhart-Cross, subscribe to the Food & Nutrition email newsletter.

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