bradford-county-fairIt’s summer so that means fair and carnival season again. There are rides to ride, games to play and of course food to taste. But is there really anything at a carnival that those of us with food restrictions can eat?

At a chocolate themed fair this weekend in Wisconsin, there was a ton of food. Here are some of the food items for sale: corn dogs, fries, funnel cake, caramel apples, fried pickles, fried Oreos, snow cones, brats, hot dogs and chicken on a stick. Those were options outside of the “chocolate” tent, which worked on a separate ticketing system. In the chocolate tent there were the standard chocolate covered fruit, cookies, cakes and other sweet concoctions mostly off limits to me.

In a pinch I might have opted for a taffy apple but doing some simple searches tells me that those aren’t always safe from wheat, which could be used to coat the apples or as a thickener in the caramel. Obviously it is not a safe option if you don’t eat nuts.

Unfortunately, it seems that many items at the fairgrounds revolve around batter and a deep fryer. I’ve heard of deep fried candy bars, fried Coke, fried guacamole, and just this weekend learned of fried butter on a stick. This is literally a full stick of butter, battered then fried! I’ll let you form your own opinions about that but it is decidedly not gluten-free.

What do other fairgoers do? Even if you could find a food item that’s not made with gluten, the chances of it avoiding contact with other contaminants in that small prep area are slim. I opted to eat lunch before we left. I bought a snow cone for the kids, some bottled water for myself and concentrated on riding rides and playing games.

Has anyone ever seen a gluten free stand at the fair or carnival in their area? If you do, please share the info, the menu and the location. Happy summer!