Indiana State Fair offers chocolate-covered bacon, other delights

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Indianapolis - Move over, deep-fried Twinkies. Here comes chocolate-covered bacon.

That's just one of the new delicacies at the 2009 Indiana State Fair, which include deep-fried green beans and bierock (a meat-filled pocket pastry combining savory ground beef, onion and sauerkraut wrapped in a fluffy sweet pocket of dough).

"To be honest, when I first heard of chocolate-covered bacon, I thought it was the stupidest idea ever," said Dennis Rease of Carousel Concessions. "But, people really like it. Everyone wants to try it because it's such a novelty item, and they love the sweet and salty flavor."

Since it's the Year of Tomatoes presented by Red Gold®, five tomato-based foods will also be offered:

· Deep-fried Pizza (Urick Concessions)
Deep-fried Pizza, known to Italians as "pizza fritta," is hand-tossed pizza dough deep fried to a golden brown and topped with delicious pizza sauce of vine-ripened tomatoes and grated cheese. These sell for $5 and will be available in front of the Grand Hall on Main Street.

· Pizza Cone (King's Concessions)
This is exactly what it sounds like - a cone-shaped pizza crust filled with cheese, pepperoni, sausage and Red Gold® tomato sauce - all baked in an oven. It's a "walking pizza in a cone." It will be sold north of the Home and Family Arts Building, near the Midway arch for $4.

· YaYa's Tomato Balls (Papageorge's Inc.)
This recipe has been enjoyed by the Papageorge family in Greece for many years. This vegetarian dish consists of diced tomatoes, grated cheese, onions, special select spices and a dash of bread crumbs. The tomato balls are fried until golden brown, and served with a side of cucumber sauce. These will be available on the west side of the West Pavilion for $6.

· Sun-dried Tomato Pork Burger (Barto's Catering)
This juicy pork burger is topped with fried green tomatoes, Red Gold® chutney and sliced gouda cheese. It sells for $3 at the Gate 12 plaza, near the Farm Bureau Building.

· Tomato Bob (Smith Concessions)
For the more health-conscious eater, this item uses fresh Indiana grown produce, starting with cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced green peppers and sliced cucumbers that are skewered to create a 'shish-ke-bob' of fresh veggies. It comes with one of three dipping sauces and sells for $3 near the northwest corner of the West Pavilion.

August 18 has been designated "$2 Taste of the State Fair Tuesday" when concessionaires all over the fairgrounds will have $2 specials available all day long.

The fair runs from August 7th to the 23rd.