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CROWN POINT | Fair food is the best food. It's often salty, greasy, buttery, battered and deep fried and oh so tasty. It's almost never easy to eat but worth the effort and mess.

Two examples of yummy food at the Lake County Fair, running through Sunday, are the Texas Potato and the Deep Fried Cookie Dough.

A baked potato is not what usually comes to mind when one thinks of fair food, but the piled-up layers make this more than a spud. The Texas Potato, sold at the Spuds N' Moo stand, is filled with an ice cream-scoop size of butter, BBQ shredded beef, chili, nacho cheese, sour cream, chives and bacon bits.

Be warned, though, you'll need a seat, fork, lots of napkins and an empty stomach before digging into this decadent delight. Make sure to save some room for the Deep-Fried Cookie Dough.

Fair vendors know how to please their sweet tooth customers. They take the best part of the cookie — the dough — and deep fry it.

It arrives on a plate like a golden amalgam of appetizers with toothpicks popping out the top and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Without that sugar, the batter-wrapped innards would be a mystery. Is it shrimp? Is it a mushroom? No, it's a crispy pocket that oozes melty, buttery, sugary, chocolatey filling with every bite.

If you love cookie dough and you pass this up, you'll regret it until next year's fair.

--Vanessa Renderman

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Features Editor