TIME

The illicit appeal of state-fair grub

HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE FAIRS FELT A LITTLE DANGEROUS? Since carnies lounged beside the greased sprockets of rickety rides, speaking their secret language so the rest of us—the “marks”—would not understand? Midways trafficked not only in plush toys but also in dark impulses that seemed even darker against the glare of bright lights.

State fairs always seemed a little safer than the county kind, and way more than those carnivals that just showed

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