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Fresno Fair Food Offerings: Fried, Exotic, Blue, and Sometimes Healthy

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Is Chicken Charlie's healthy? Maybe if you walk 10,000 steps to get there. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)
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During the Big Fresno Fair opening ceremonies, speakers joked that there was smoke in the air, but at least it was coming from a nearby barbecue and not a wildfire.

The fair has returned after a 2020 pandemic hiatus, and with it comes dozens of food vendors. The fair runs through Oct. 17.

There is something for everyone: something fried, something new, something exotic, something blue.

And don’t worry, the food is “healthy” joked Tony Boghosian of Chicken Charlie’s.

“This is totally healthy at the fair. Everything inside the fair is zero calories,” Boghosian wisecracked.

(Video) Fresno Fair Food!!

Something Fried

Chicken Charlie’s has always been the go-to place for fried masterpieces. Chicken of course, but frog legs too.

This year’s new fried offerings include a mac and cheese/buffalo chicken in a spicy waffle cone ($12.95).

“It’s perfect for our food. It’s a good balance of spicy and savory and a little bit of sweet and the waffle. It’s awesome,” Boghosian said.

Also new and fried is the Buffalo Brownie ($10.95) — a brownie dipped in pancake batter, fried, topped with ice cream and topped with a sweet pineapple buffalo sauce.

“Every year, we try and come up with something new and something different. It’s got to be something weird and wacky, but it’s also got to taste great, and we’re always striving to come up with that new invention. that’s going to just be fun for the fair,” Boghosian said.

Tony Boghosian of Chicken Charlie’s shows off the Buffalo Chicken/Mac and Cheese creation (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

Eat at Joe’s, near the ag center, has cheese curds ($8.75).

“The reason it’s my favorite is because it comes from Wisconsin. It’s lightly breaded cheese that kind of melts in your mouth, and it’s a finer, grated cheese that it floats to the top after the cheese is made. It’s super yummy,” server Michell Hoiberg said.

The cheese curds at Eat at Joe’s at the Big Fresno Fair (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

Something New

The fair has created a zone for local food trucks, near the Butler Street entrance. About a half-dozen mobile eateries are lined up in a shaded structure.

Amanda Sandhu runs the Twisted Masala. She left her job as a door-to-door saleswoman to run her food truck 18 months ago.

“Twisted Masala is protein bowls. We want to offer healthy options for individuals when they’re out and about,” Sandhu says.

“Masala” means seasoning.

The bowls include vegetarian, chicken, and fish. Sorry, no beef. They run $13-16.

“We’ve taken a bunch of seasonings from India, from Canada, from Mexico, and we just kind of blended it all together. So we use like ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and turmeric, which are all super healthy for you,” a very enthusiastic Sandhu said.

Amanda Sandhu of the Twisted Masala food truck, a new zone at the Big Fresno Fair (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

Something Exotic

There are plenty of taco stands at the fair. There are Indian tacos, too.

Indian as in the Lakota tribe recipe of Munch-a-Bunch Food & Beverage, near the Chance Street entrance.

Sequoia Schoonover enjoys sharing his heritage through food. He’s been working the Big Fresno Fair for more than 30 years. He is from Merced.

“It used to be the fried bread and traditionally with bison, but we put ground beef and chicken on there with beans and lettuce and cheese and tomatoes and sour cream nowadays,” Schoonover said.

The tacos sell between $5-11.

The Indian taco at Munch-A-Bunch at the Big Fresno Fair (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

Something Blue

There is always blue cotton candy. And blue liquids as well. Blue Moon seems to be the beer vendor of choice at the fair.

There is also the blue slushy drink found at Slush Puppie, near Chicken Charlie’s.

The drink is sweet and supposed to be raspberry flavor. For $3, you get a cup and fill it yourself.

The blue raspberry drink at Slush Puppie at the Big Fresno Fair (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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