So I had a caramel apple for the first time. It was easier and less messy to eat than I had expected. The caramel was chewy but not sticky, and not sickly sweet, and Cortland apples might be the most fantastic kind of apple ever, tart and sweet and crunchy and bright white. I'm glad I caved and finally had one, it's a fall festival food stable.
The vile roasted candied cashews and the unnaturally yellow popcorn aside, festival food is amazing. And the key to enjoying festival food is to not consider too deeply what you're eating, how it was made, and how bad it is for you.
The scariest thing I had was a steak sandwich, but it was okay because I had personally packaged the roll and seen the preparation and seasoning of steak and onions. The sandwiches had turned my stomach the first day I worked at the booth, but the second day working to make sandwiches on an empty stomach was a kind of torture. I had to have one. So I did. And it was delicious. Perfectly contained in its foil sleeve, nice and hot to contrast with the chilly air, and, I'm generally a fan of steak and cheese sandwiches. [The best part was arguably that it was free -- the compensation of a volunteer! It was almost worth smelling like a slaughterhouse.]
I had some hot cider from the Boy Scouts, because it's fall and cider is infinitely fitting. And I bought a sleeve of cookies from a friend to stick in my lunch bag the next day, because festivals are the best place to buy overpriced baked goods.
Fall is the season for good eating. Thanksgiving is the culinary mother-lode, harvest-time means everything delicious is in season, soup makes a comeback after being banished for summer, and . . . festival food. It's messy and undignified and horrendously bad for you, and probably prepared in some sketchy ways, but oh so worth it.