County and state fairs have a long, rich history, dating back to the early 1800's. These fairs featured competitions for the best livestock, the best quilt making, and even the best houseplants. It was at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri that fair food took a real turn toward what it is today.

Today's fair food can be summed up in just one vital word: fried. Whether it's deep fried Oreo's, elephant ears, or a classic corn dog, you can find more than your fair share of foods (pun intended). This is a list of the 17 best to seek out at your next fair.

Please note- these are in no particular order, as all fair food is created equally.

1. Deep Fried Oreo's

You didn't think Oreo's could get any better, did you? Try them deep fried for an entirely new taste, and then sprinkle powdered sugar on them for an extra explosion of sugar.

2. Elephant Ears/ Funnel Cake

Before I start discussing how amazing this treat is, let me put this out there: there is a difference between elephant ears and funnel cakes. Elephant ears (or beaver tails) are full on sheets of dough, while funnel cakes are strings that fry in a circular shape. Both taste amazing, both should be consumed.

3. Fair Fries

You know the ones I'm talking about- they come in a little cup and there's never a spot for your ketchup and they're always gone too fast. They're a million and a half calories, but damn are they good. Who knows what makes these french fries better than the ones you make at home, but honestly who cares, as long as you can enjoy them. Bonus points if there's cheese!

4. Anything on a stick

It's like an unspoken rule of fairs that you should eat at least one food deep fried "on a stick", whether you keep it classic with a corn dog or you go crazy and try a deep fried Twinkie on a stick. The possibilities are up to you

5. Deep Fried Twinkies

Are we starting to notice a pattern here? Deep fried foods make any unhealthy food way unhealthier unnecessarily. It is delicious, to be fair (see what I did there?).

6. Chocolate covered bacon

Yeah, you read that right. Make bacon even better by adding chocolate on top. Just keep your phone close, this one seems like a heart attack waiting to happen.

7. Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas

Finally, one that won't stop your heart as soon as you look at it. Try this cute classic next time you're at the fair and you feel like it's so hot you want to cry.

8. Cinnamon roasted nuts

What kind of nuts, you ask? Any! We don't discriminate, we love all our nuts honey roasted, cinnamon roasted, or just roasted.

9. Kettle Corn

In my opinion, this is the best way to have popcorn. It's sweet and salty and hits all the right notes, and it usually comes in a bag longer than my legs. It's a win all around.

10. Lemon Shakeups

I can taste the absurd amount of sugar just thinking about the best drink at the fair. If you were good, mom got you a big cup with a pink bendy straw, and you know exactly what I'm talking about.

11. Cotton Candy

If you ate cotton candy and didn't walk away with sticky fingers, sticky lips, and sticky cheeks, did you even eat cotton candy? 

12. Fried Vegetables 

Especially mushrooms, zucchini, and green beans. You might be eating something deep fried but they're vegetables so it's healthy, right?

13. Corn on the Cob

If you've never had it roasted in the husk and then dipped in a vat of butter, you've never lived. Bonus points if you add tons of spices on top. Try these recipes if you're really adventurous. 

14. Dip n' Dots

Why is it that ice cream becomes instantly 100 times better in small ball form? I don't get it but I'm not mad.

15. Shaved Ice

The best and worst parts of getting shaved ice is all of the flavors- is there such thing as too many options?

16. Jalapeno Poppers

Be it deep fried or bacon wrapped, these are sure to hit the spot as a mid-fair snack.

17. Deep Fried Pickles (in any form)

Fried pickles come in so many forms, but they're all delicious. Dip them in a sauce of your choice to maximize flavor potential.

Now that you're sufficiently hungry, go ahead and find your local fair here, and enjoy as much food as you can carry.