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Geno’s 2017 Florida Strawberry Festy Awards

03/13/2017 at 8:32 | Posted by Geno
Photo Credit: Geno / QYK

The Florida Strawberry Festy Awards? Yeah I made that name up as I typed it. But I like it.

11 days of strawberry shortcake, concerts, rides, pig races and all that is the Florida Strawberry Festival is behind us.

It’s time to award the Florida Strawberry Festy’s for 2017 for outstanding achievement in fair food fantasticness. Ok, fantasticness isn’t a word either but I like it.

Florida Strawberry Festy for Best Newcomer: Island Noodles

I’d never had noodles at the Strawberry Festival. It would have never crossed my mind to have noodles. It sounds too healthy. There’s no time to be healthy in Plant City. It’s about indulging in junk food Heaven. But the smells coming from the giant wok as they stir fried those noodles stopped my in my tracks. And they tasted just as good as they smelled. I don’t even know if they’re new. I just never noticed them at the Festival before. Now it’ll be a must every year.

Florida Strawberry Festy for Food In A Supporting Role: The Amish… Pretzel

This award goes to the food that takes a backseat to the star of the show. Let’s face it. Amish Doughnuts are becoming the neck and neck favorite with Strawberry Shortcake for favorite food at the Florida Strawberry Festival. There’s always a line for a good reason. But listeners always told me to try the pretzel. But one sight of those dripping fresh doughnuts, pretzels just get eclipsed. But this year owner of The Amish Baking Company Nate made me give the pretzel a try. And now I get it. Salty, buttery and soooooo soft and fluffy. They are incredible. The Amish Doughnut will always be the leading actor, but for best Food in a Supporting Role, the pretzel is a must try.

Florida Strawberry For Excellence In The Basics: Buttered popcorn at Netterfields

Popcorn is popcorn right? Wrong. Netterfields is based right here in Land O Lakes. The flavor and texture of their popcorn took me back to my days as a kid going to the circus. They just don’t make popcorn like this anymore. And the lemonade was pretty awesome too.

Florida Strawberry Festy for Food Of The Year: Funnel Bacon on a Stick

If you follow me on social media, you know this was coming. This is literally my favorite food anywhere in the world, let alone the Strawberry Festival. Listeners who wanted to say hi knew there was a better chance at catching me at Mama Jane’s booth than at the QYK tent. She dips a thick piece of bacon in funnel cake batter and fries it to a golden brown, tops it with a maple butter drizzle and adds a little powdered sugar. It kills me I’m going to have to wait another 350 days before I can have another one.

It’s the undisputed champion of the Florida Strawberry Festival. I spent most of my time standing in front of her booth berating her customers who ordered something else until they caved in and tried one. This was usually the result:

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