OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The turkey legs go in the smoker at 8 o’clock every morning, hundreds of them on a rotating rack for three hours.
The first few dozen go to the open-air grill before lunch beneath the Bennet Center sign where Maria Palafox watches people start to line up.
What do they have on the grill you may ask?
“Just about everything,” she replies. “Everything fresh. We got the turkey legs, the corn, chicken, hot dogs.”
The sizzle of the grill competes with a nearby karaoke tent and the midway further down, but the scent of the grill has no competition if the wind is just right.
For people who come to the fair just to eat the Bacon Habit tends to be the first place they stop.
“We get people lining up for turkey legs at 10 in the morning,” says Palafox. “Sometimes we don’t even have the food prepared yet but they’re willing to wait for it.”
“I got some bacon wrapped chicken,” on customers shows us. “I haven’t tried it yet but it looks ‘bomb’.”
There’s not much sweet here unless you count the corn or the pineapple that carries teriyaki chicken.
“It’s served on a half pineapple,” another customer shows us, “so it’s going to have that sweet flavor to it.”
The rest is all salty.
Bacon wrapped hot dogs.
A bacon wrapped turkey leg they call the Caveman.
“It’s kind of my go-to,” another customer tells us.
“Good walking around food,” asks a visitor?
“Well there’s a lot of sitting after that,” he smiles.
Some customers come to the fair just for the take-out.
“I’m taking these home to my husband,” says one female customer wrapping ears of corn in foil.
To others fair food makes for an annual pilgrimage, a home base for food with handles.
Maria and her crew will head to Tulsa right after they finish with this fair.
In all, they’ll spend most of September in Oklahoma which is fine with this California based group.
“Are people pretty nice here,” asks the visitor?
“Yes!” she replies. “They’re really nice. Really respectful. But they sure go crazy for those turkey legs.”
Visit the State Fair of Oklahoma website for more information.