Stick It To Ya

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Americans are fascinated with eating food on a stick. And why shouldn’t we be? – It’s convenient, cheap and delicious. Although it may not help to keep your waistline slim, these tasty morsels on a stick have long been staples of beach boardwalks, community fairs, Chinese pu-pu platters and late night cravings. And with Americans wanting more, it’s only fitting that we recap some of the classics and explore today’s twist on these favorites. Chocolate covered bacon on a stick anyone?

Grilled Corn
Grilled corn has been part of family gatherings and picnics for ages. It’s a side item to complement the juicy cheeseburger or chargrilled hot dog as you enjoy family time at the lake or around the campfire. Today the corn has taken center stage south of the border with a new Mexican version. Made similar to the original – grilled, but instead of slathered with butter and salt, mayonnaise is spread on (don’t knock it until you try it!) and a sprinkle of cayenne chili powder and grated Mexican cotijo cheese is used. The grilled corn becomes an interesting mix of smoky sweet, rich, spicy and tangy flavors in your mouth.

Caramel and Candy Apples
A classic carnival treat and street fare handout, caramel and candy apples have evolved from their chewy or hard candy coating to a gourmet delicacy. Fruity like watermelon, spicy like habanero and sophisticated like creme brulee are new flavors that are popping up in boutique candy shops across the United States. Snickers, Reese’s and Twix are also becoming common candy elements to add to the outside of the apples. So next time your in the mood to sink your teeth into the traditional caramel or candy apple, try instead one of these extraordinarily sweet options.

Cake Pops
No longer is the cupcake holding the reins as leader in cake concoctions. Cake pops are the latest dessert to hit the market. Made out of cake crumbles and icing rolled in a ball, dipped into chocolate and stuck on a stick, these portable treats and an emerging trend offers you the enjoyment of a piece of cake for less calories. Coffee juggernaut Starbucks, diva crafter Martha Stewart, popular blogger Bakerella and even specialty bake shops have explored different ways to make the cake pop their own. From wedding cakes to cartoon characters, seasonal to hokey food items, these pops can be used for any and every occasion.

Homemade Popsicles
Maybe you remember the times when the ice cream man drove his white van around your neighborhood? A jingle would sound and kids would come running from miles around. You would order your favorite a red, white and blue popsicle. While those days may have come and past, popsicles are still quite popular and today they’ve got the adult customer in mind. Gwinnett’s own King of Pops has brought back the popsicle as a homemade fruit pop. With a small chart, the company sells well liked flavors like chocolate sea salt, blackberry mojito and strawberry lemonade to crowds at Gwinnett farmers markets, Atlanta street corners and everywhere in between. Adults have also explored making their own pops at home with some greek yogurt and fresh fruit. Popsicles are all about being brought back to your childhood, but now their grown-up healthy pops you eat one bite at a time.

Deep Fried On A Stick
It’s an undeniable fact that southerners love fried food and putting it on a stick just makes it easy to eat on the go. Although nowadays the south isn’t the only region to embrace this fried phenomenon, all across the country people are frying up crazy foods and the all-American fried classic, the corn dog, may be taking a backseat to these new creations. These eccentric innovations on a stick include fried snickers, fried spaghetti and meatballs, fried spam, fried bacon and fries plus the bizarre fried scorpions and seahorses all popping up at fairs and festivals, open markets and ethnic restaurants.

So next time you crave something on stick, make sure you try these new food twists and you may surprise yourself by finding something you like even more.