Fair vendors offer cuisine far from lean

Just enjoy the food -- and don't worry about counting calories.
BAZETTA -- Deep fried cheese, ice cream cones, Italian sausage, hot dogs, onion rings, and, yes, gyros.
"It's like the breakfast food of champions," said Tami Schotsch of Leavittsburg, from behind the counter of her son's gyro stand at the Trumbull County Fair.
"Chicken or lamb, lettuce, tomato on a little bit of bread. How could it be bad for you?" she said.
Well, let's just say it is not exactly yogurt and granola. Heavy on fat and yummy grease, and served perilously close to some stomach-turning rides, fair food is a phenomenon.
"No cholesterol, no calories, this is the fair," said Roberta Holler of Rootstown, as she tended rows of Italian sausages simmering in fat at Youngstown-based DiRusso's stand.
"Tomato sauce, that is good for you; onions, that is good for you," she said, gesturing with a pair of glistening tongs. "And Italian sausage, everyone knows that is good for you."
The Trumbull County Fair only comes once a year, and for some people, it is what the fair is all about.
Reason for the season: "This is why I come to the fair," said Barb McCombs, as she waited for her blooming onion to come out of the fryer. Her god-daughter ran over carrying an elephant ear on a plate. "The food and the rides."
Her secret to surviving that combination?
"A cast-iron stomach," she said.
But even fair food can get old. After pizza the first day, a corn dog the second, and Italian sausage and an elephant ear the third, Amber Flowers, 15, of North Jackson, confesses to being "kind of sick of fair food."
"Macaroni and cheese I would like," she said. "And a salad."

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