Monday, September 6, 2010


Encomium [noun] (ehn koh me uhm)

  1. Warm praise
I can show nothing but encomium for the food vendors at the fair.  Through rain, wind, heat, and snow (hey, it is Vermont), they stand in their aluminum and neon booths, smelling slightly of fried food and onion, ready and waiting to serve.
Hamburgers, fries, ice cream, pie, corn dogs, kettle corn, giant eclairs - they offer their specialties with a smile, but what they really serve-up are memories.   To this day, my recollections of the fair are slathered with smells, tastes, and "Mmms."  The ice cream from the UVM Dairy Barn.  The chili cheese pie at Dizzy Donuts (Note: I was disheartened to find that this delectable bowl of chili lined with a tortilla chip crust is no longer available.  Please bow your head in a moment of silence.)  The fresh apple pie from Allenholm Farm.  The maple bread from the Maple Shed.  And, of course, the warm, crunchy fried bread dough...

Please note the "Maple Iceing" (sic) that I found and enjoyed last night.

All of these food vendors create happy, food-saturated memories that tie into the greater joys of my annual childhood trip the the fair.  Of course, memories are often more joyful than the reality of today - say, for instance, the general increase of commercialism eating away at the agricultural merit of the fair - but the entire institution still holds a warm place in my heart.  
And my taste buds.

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