First time in The Big E? Here are the top 10 foods you can try

“What’s the best thing to eat at The Big E?”

It’s a fair question, especially for those who are new to the action and don’t want to sort through all the crazy foods to find the best things to eat.

There’s one problem, however: We don’t know you, what you like, or whether you don’t like cheese or if you just want something cold on a September afternoon.

Our great eating guide is useful for navigating the fair. But sometimes you need a shortlist of the best options. With that in mind, here are the 10 best foods to try at The Big E if you’re new to the show or if you just want a new look.

Now, we don’t expect you to eat all 10 items on this list in one go. (We don’t want an angry call from your doctor.) Instead, take a look at the list, pick some things that talk to you, walk around and share them with some friends.

Or just store it all for yourself. We will not tell anyone.

Fried Oreos from Tootsie’s at The Big E (file photo)

1. Tootsie’s Fried Oreo (Multiple Locations)

If there’s one food that sums up the crazy, heavy, and calorie-heavy nature of fair foods, it’s Fried Oreo. It is simple in concept and accessible in implementation. It is disastrous nutritionally. But the individual cookie molds are shareable so you don’t have to eat them all.

Here’s the best part: You can find them everywhere around the gallery. No matter where you are, there is likely a Tootsie location nearby that sells them (as well as other vendors that sell them).

So stop by and enjoy some flavors to enjoy the combination of sweet and savory flavors. Sure, the mixture tends to beat the Oreo. But the next one is a fun blend of flavors that’s worth trying.

BBQ sundae

Barbecue Sunday from Porky’s on Commonwealth Street at The Big E (file photo)

2. BBQ Sundaes from Porky (Commonwealth Street)

This is one of those foods that sounds crazy in the name, but actually makes sense when you see it. This is the perfect food to tell your friends about and have them answer, “You ate what!?”

BBQ Sundae (along with its brother, BBQ Split), is a parfait-like construction that features pulled pork and a stacked array of barbecue sides.

Designed to allow you to dig into the different salty toppings and explore different combinations of flavours, this sundae breaks out and pulled pork into mashed potatoes and baked beans. Then at the bottom crumble a layer of cornbread to absorb all the broth.

All the fun of mixing sides on a grill plate in one cup – with cherry tomatoes on top.

Dogek

Fried Dough Taco Doughco from Anna’s Fried Dough on East Road in The Big E. (file photo)

3. dough From Anna’s Fried Dough (Eastern Road)

This one’s pretty simple: It’s a giant taco with fried dough instead of a taco shell. The end result: delicious.

While fried dough is usually a sweet treat at fairs, it also works great as a savory medium for toppings. In this case, ground beef, sauce, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and jalapenos are on top of a pillowy plate of fried dough.

The fried dough makes a great base for DoughCo, giving you a chewy base that you can either shred into small pieces or fold in half and bite like crazy. It can get messy, but it’s still delicious. You’ll probably need a fork at the end.

4. Moo-nut from Moolicious (Springfield Road)

Moo-nut is a combination of three great things: cake, soft serving, and sundae toppings.

When you order one, you’ll get the ice cream you want and what toppings you want to throw in there. Do you want vanilla and sprinkles? perfect. Want that cup of chocolate and peanut butter crumble? This also works. Either way, it will be delicious.

Turducken Big E

The Turducken Sandwich from the New England Craft Beer Pub on States Street. (MassLive image)

5. Tordaken sandwich From the New England Craft Beer Pub (State Street)

This is another crazy food that is executed with a tactful plan. The “turducken” ingredient is actually a combination of chicken, turkey, duck confit, and sausage cornbread in the pie. It’s all combined with American cheese and cranberry aioli for a creative spin on melting grilled cheese.

The end result: a grilled cheese Thanksgiving sandwich. It is as good as it looks.

Bacon Waffle Burger

The Bacon Waffle Burger from Macken’s Specialty Sliders behind the Massachusetts Building in The Big E (Nick O’Malley, MassLive)

6. Bacon Waffle Burger From McCain’s Specialized Slides (Outside the Massachusetts Building)

There are plenty of options at The Big E including bacon and pancakes or burgers. However, this Macken burger stands out from the pack by doing the “waffle” portion better than anyone else in the show.

In this case, it’s the appropriate Liege pie, which is fermented and made with pearl sugar. This means it’s mushy and bland and has these little pockets of caramelized sugar all over that explode with waves of sweet flavor. Throw in the bacon and cheese and a couple of sliders and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Fried Shepherd's Pie

EB’s Food for Fun in The Food Court at The Big E. (File Photo)

7. Fried Shepherd’s Pie Balls From EB’s Food for Fun (In the Food Court)

It’s easy to miss EB’s Food For Fun, located in the corner of the food court, itself a small place that sometimes doesn’t get enough attention.

That’s a shame, because fried Shepherd’s pie balls (along with fried bacon and cheese balls) are some of the best eats at the fair.

Both are good options. But there are a million pieces of “Mac & Cheese” at The Big E. The Big E. The Shepherd’s Pie Balls really stand out as a crunchy and delicious treat that has a pocket of meat and mashed potatoes inside. The meat sauce on top is a nice touch too.

Giant mozzarella sticks

Giant mozzarella stick from Angela’s pizza on Commonwealth Street at The Big E (file photo)

8. Giant Mozzarella Sticks from Pizza Angela (Commonwealth Street)

Not everything has to be a complicated idea. Sometimes, you want a hunk of cheese on a fried stick. That’s what you get here from Angela’s pizza – plus marinara sauce.

It’s every bit as delicious as regular mozzarella sticks, but with cheese it turns into a crazy new size.

It’s a lot of cheese. There is not much to say.

9. Spicy BB & G Burger From SoulFully Vegan on the front porch

This is a newcomer to the show, and it shouldn’t be overlooked just because it’s vegan.

Heck, it might actually be better because there’s no meat in it.

The PB&J Burger features a tasty, tender meat patty that has a bland gravy, but not the same flavor as the meat. This lets it pair better with oat milk cheese, peanut butter, and sweet spicy jalapeño jelly.

The end result isn’t a “burger,” so much as a delicious sandwich with an array of creamy, sweet, and spicy flavors all blending together.

Big E New Foods 2022

Big E Cream Puff from The Place 2 Be (Nick O’Malley, Mass Live)

10. Big E Cream Puff From Big E Bakery (multiple locations)

To wrap things up, it’s the fair’s signature food: puffed cream.

Large, huge butter puffs are manufactured and sold in the New England Building, but are also sold at locations throughout the fair, with places near Gate 9A, near Gate 1 and in the Food Court.

Pancakes are a marvel of what you can do with butter and sugar. The filling is a sweet, luscious cloud of cream that tempts to eat it on its own. But it is also better to take a large piece of a rubber pad.

You may notice, yes, this stuff is huge. Traditionally, they’re designed for fair-goers to twist the halves apart to separate and share with a friend. However, don’t let that stop you from devouring one. There is a lot of traffic on its way to the fair. you deserve it.

This year, the waffles are available in both classic and new versions of the chocolate cream, and both are delightful. However, you may want to have the chocolate version as often as possible. Last year’s pumpkin version disappeared after one year. Who knows how long the chocolate version will last?

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