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Funnel cake a tradition at Berkeley Co. Youth Fair

August 06, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A whiff of a funnel cake can transport anyone to the fair. Like cows and blue ribbons, funnel cakes have become a staple at big and small fairs across the country.

As she worked at the Pennsylvania Dutch Funnel Cake booth at the Berkeley County Youth Fair, Iris Hendershot on Tuesday offered an inside look at what constitutes a funnel cake and how one is made.

Pennsylvania Dutch owner Velda Hoffman has spent years perfecting her recipe, said Hendershot, a family friend. Fresh eggs and milk are used in the quick bread batter.

A secret - Hendershot could not say whether it's an ingredient or procedure - sets the company's funnel cakes apart, she said.


Once the batter is mixed and formed, it is dropped into vegetable oil and fried at 385 degrees.

Crowd size and even the weather will determine how many funnel cakes are sold in a night.

"When it gets really hot, people aren't as apt to enjoy them," Hendershot said.

Customers can choose toppings of apple, cinnamon, cherry, Boston creme or powdered sugar.

"It is interesting to me how many times people come to the window and say that is the best funnel cake I've ever had," Hendershot said.

Plus, having a funnel cake at the fair is often a tradition. "That makes it special," she said.

In hog heaven

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - In one barn at the Youth Fair, a 257-pound hog named Jackson lay on his right side in a small pen, his legs pumping and mouth twitching, clearly in the midst of a dream Tuesday.

When squealing from an adjacent hog pen awakened Jackson, he flopped onto his other side. After a yawn, the hog slowly shut his blonde eyelashes and resumed his nap.

What, one might wonder, would fill a hog's dream?

"Maybe about the other hog he was separated from. What they used to do," guessed hog owner Kenny Hoffman, as he and another teen sat and leaned on the ledges of nearby pens.

"I'd have to say rooting in the dirt or something," said hog owner Kelly Bowers.

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