HARRISBURG — If the Pennsylvania Farm Show is the state’s all-encompassing county fair, its Food Court would be considered its smorgasbord.
Here, visitors can chow down on such traditional favorites as crispy fried mushrooms, creamy chocolate milkshakes and butter-sopped baked potatoes, along with newer favorites like blended mushroom burgers, carrot cake and goat tacos.
The 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show, opening Saturday and running through Jan. 13, offers an eclectic choice of food in the large Food Court in the Weis Expo Hall and in the smaller Food Court Annex in the Main Exhibition Hall.
This year’s Farm Show, which has free admission but a $15 parking fee, is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 6 and Jan. 8-12; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 7; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 13.
If you go to the agricultural exposition mainly for Farm Show food (and you want to save $15 on parking), head to the Farm Show Food Court preview day Friday between noon and 9 p.m. Although the Farm Show exhibits are not yet open, the Food Court will be. Parking is free. Visitors that day must enter through the Cameron Street Lobby.
State Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding says the Farm Show offers something for everyone. Food sold in the Food Court provides income to Pennsylvania’s nonprofit commodity organizations.
“We invite you to try our iconic mushrooms, beef and pork barbecue, cheese, apples, milkshakes and specialty items like honey, nuts and spices,” Redding said.
New items to the Food Court this year include goat sloppy joes, Philly cheesesteak, lolly pork chop and kielbasa with sauerkraut from the Pennsylvania Livestock Association; chocolate chip cookies from PennAg; maple barbecue sauce from the Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers Council; and corn fritters and blueberry funnel cake from the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association.
The Food Court commodity booths and their food offerings this year follow:
Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association: honey, honey ice cream, honey waffles, honey and beehive products.
Pennsylvania Cooperative Potato Growers Inc.: baked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, french fries, potato doughnuts and bags of potatoes.
Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association: chocolate and vanilla milkshakes, deep fried mozzarella cubes, ice cream and chocolate or white milk.
Pennsylvania Livestock Association: roast beef sandwiches, beef meatball sandwiches, pork barbecue sandwiches, lamb stew, kielbasa with sauerkraut, hot dogs, grilled beef sausage with peppers and onions, walking goat taco, ribs, beef brisket sandwich with cole slaw, beef brisket sub, lolly pork chop, steak salad, horseradish and pink lemonade.
Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers Council: maple syrup, maple sugar, maple candy, maple sundaes, soft serve maple yogurt, maple lemonade, maple cotton candy, maple-coated nuts, maple cream, maple mustard, maple salad dressing, maple drops, maple suckers, and maple cookbooks.
American Mushroom Institute: blended mushroom burgers with bacon, whole breaded mushrooms, fresh mushrooms, grilled Portobello sandwiches, cream of mushroom soup and mushroom salad.
Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association: vegetable soup, chicken corn soup, broccoli cheese soup, corn fritters, vegetable wraps, batter dipped vegetables, blooming onions, bean salad, tossed salad, chili, broccoli-cauliflower salad, dill pickles, fried pickles, carrots and celery, strawberry surprise, raspberry lemonade, carrot cake, pumpkin funnel cake, berry pie, pumpkin pie and blueberry funnel cake.
Penn Ag Industries Service Corp.: chicken breast sandwich, chicken Parmesan sandwich, turkey barbecue, turkey meatball sandwich, breakfast pretzel roll sandwiches, chicken cheesesteak, tortilla crusted tilapia sandwich, oven-baked trout sandwich, soft pretzels, pretzel rolls, hot dogs, dressed hot dogs, chicken wings, chicken nuggets, bucket of chicken, seasoned slow roasted rotisserie sliced chicken, pulled pork, pulled pork nachos, chicken corn soup, turkey chili, trout chowder, chocolate-covered bacon, red beet eggs, mustard eggs, iced cinnamon bun, cinnamon sticky bun, shooﬂy pie, whoopie pies, oversized fresh-baked cookies and chocolate or white milk.
State Horticultural Association: apples, apple dumplings, caramel apples on a stick, cider, hot-spiced cider, cider slushies, apple butter, apple and peach sundaes, cider doughnuts, cherry pie with ice cream and dried apple snacks.
Pennsylvania FFA Foundation: pizza — cheese, supreme, Buffalo chicken, meat lovers, veggie lovers or apple pie pizza; ranch dipping sauce, lemonade, apple cider and chocolate or white milk.