Locally Sourced and Deeply Fried

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For three days every September, the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity becomes one of the state’s finest food courts.

By Will Bleakley   Photograph by Jennifer Smith-Mayo

Take a walk around the food court at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity and you’ll experience aromas that are equal parts American carnival and Asian street market. Fried dough mixes with the scent of spiced chai, as pie cones (pie fillings topped with whipped cream enveloped by a crust-like cone) sit just around the corner from vegetable tempura. “The fair has become a world food marketplace, but all sourced with Maine ingredients,” says David Gardner, who runs a falafel stand on the fairgrounds. For the crowd of sixty thousand that comes to Unity every September to celebrate healthy, sustainable agriculture but has a not-so-secret desire for greasy fair food, the food court is a locally sourced, organic, deep-fried heaven.


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Will Bleakley is a former associate editor at Down East magazine.