Listen Live

INDIANAPOLIS–The smells of the Indiana State Fair are the smells of both Hoosier tradition and adventurous culinary experimentation. Just a few examples of a fusion of both this year, include a chicken and waffle sandwich and deep fried sugar cream pie.

And then there are the turkey legs. The aroma covers the area behind the Farmer’s Coliseum.

“They have a secret family recipe, a wet, smoky marinade. It’s pretty awesome,” said Monica Urick, of Urick Concessions. She said her company partners with Nelson’s BBQ, in northern Indiana, who does all the smoking for Urick.

“As the meat is being cooked, it’s on a conveyor system and it runs through the barbecue grill. As it’s smoked, it runs through the marinade at the same time,” she said.

You can find those turkey legs and chicken at a stand marked “Charcoal BBQ Turkey Leg”. She said the idea of a chicken and waffle sandwich came from southern tradition.

“It’s gonna be a homemade waffle and we’re using fried chicken tenders, lots of maple syrup, powdered sugar and it’s really delicious. We thought what a fun way to incorporate something silly and fun into the chicken tent.”


And, the fried Wick’s sugar cream pies idea came from the fair and the tradition of dipping things in batter and then in a fryer.

“We’re concessions people. We work fairs and festivals and we just like to fry things,” she said. “We just get crazy ideas sometimes when we’re eating something that we love or eating a piece of sugar cream pie and go what would make this even better, if that’s possible? Throw it in some funnel cake batter, throw it in the fryer, top it with chocolate sauce and powdered sugar and boom!”

Urick presented some of the food at Media Day Thursday. Her company was getting ready by serving people before the fair opened.

PHOTOS: Chris Davis/Emmis