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Canfield Fair offers healthful alternatives to fatty favorites

By Elise Franco

Thursday, September 1, 2011

By Elise Franco


Eating at the Canfield Fair doesn’t have to be a belt-buster.

Many folks might be surprised to find more than a few healthier alternatives to the calorie-packed favorites that line the fair streets.

For example, Rob DiRusso, owner of DiRusso’s Italian Sausage, said for 20 years he’s offered a turkey sausage option as an alternative to pork. DiRusso said the turkey sausage is leaner and is only about 7 percent fat.

One turkey link has about 100 calories, four grams of fat and 13 grams of protein. DiRusso said even after adding the Italian roll, cooked peppers and onions and sauce, it’s still a good choice for someone who is watching their waistline.

“It’s healthy and it tastes good,” he said. “You always have people looking for healthier options ... There aren’t too many others out here.”

DiRusso said for years only one of the trailers sold the turkey sausage, but last year he stocked a second. DiRusso said the turkey sausages are cooked on a grill separate from the pork so that the fats and juices don’t mix.

“For every three or four pork, we probably sell one turkey,” he said. “I would like to sell it out of all my trailers, but they’re not equipped.”

For those looking for a quick, nutritious snack, Guzzo’s fruit stand is a place to start.

Christina Guzzo and Ella Maria Welsh run the stand that was started 65 years ago by their late father Michael F. Guzzo. Christina Guzzo said all of the produce is from local farms and most is washed and read to eat.

“We like to have the fruit cleaned and ready, that way parents can grab a banana or an apple for their kids,” she said. “We do this in memory of our father, and we do it for the benefit of the community’s health.”

Guzzo said fairgoers can also get fruit smoothies at the stand using any of their fruits, which include apples, grapes, oranges, plums, bananas, melons, cherries and peaches.

“We use low-fat yogurt and sugar free juices,” she said. “So it’s a healthier option.”

Randy Pasquale, of the Pasquale Riccardo tent, said the menu there offers salads, roasted chicken, grilled pepper sandwiches and one of their top sellers — a grilled portobello mushroom topped with grilled zucchini, tomatoes and peppers, served on a bed of lettuce or in a pita.

“It’s low on calories, no cholesterol, and people love it,” Pasquale said.