Let's discuss the almighty park traditional treat: The Funnel Cake.

Sunday, August 13, 2006 7:25 AM
You know you have had one in your life, or perhaps everytime you visit an amusement park. Heck, even IHOP has gotten on board with this and feature a carnival funnelcake with your favorite toppings. Some of you might refer to them as elephant ears.

You pass these stands that feature these irresistable delights and you can't help but smell the aroma. You know you want to stop in and get one but you chug on and possibly devour one at the end of the day.

So why the urge? Why the temptation? I have seen people line up to get this well over a half hour after the park has officially closed and on a chilly night to still add soft serve ice cream on them and pay 8 bucks.

Are you one of those addicts that can't resist?

It's quite comical but yet makes sense. :)

Share a story of yourself or of a park you have seen long lines to get this contraption.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 8:33 AM
^An elephant ear is not a funnel cake, elephant ears are crunchy and served with cinnimon sugar, funnel cakes are squeezed out of a nozel and are served with powdered sugar.

The closest thing to a funnel cake is fried dough, which is really funnel cake dough that wasnt squeezed out of a nozel but put into the oil as a solid object (which I personally think tastes better.) But weither its a funnel cake, elephant ear, or fried dough they are good (as long as they arent the pre fried crap Six Flags sells) and I buy one for a treat from time to time.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 8:42 AM
Well, if you do refer to them as elephant ears, you're on crack.

Elephant Ears are large, flat donuts made with leavened dough and fried.

Funnel Cake is made with unleavened batter poured through a funnel into hot oil, and fried.

These are significant differences!

And I know I'm right... wikipedia says so

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_ear_%28doughnut%29

So as for my actual story, I used to not be able to leave a park without a funnel cake, until I worked a summer at PKD and had to walk past the nasty stanky funnel cake stand grease trap every night. Blech.

I still enjoy a good "FC" every now and then. I don't enjoy the fruit topping options, though, and I could never understand the goofs who bought the funnel cake with Ice cream on it... the hot funnel cake melts the ice cream, resulting in melted ice cream and ruined, goopy funnel cake. The truly truly baffling variety of this species are the ones who order this mess in a "to go" box and carry it back to the car. presumably to eat the mess when they return home. What?

One day, though, at SFGam I had a revelation. The funnel cake w/ ice cream was actually a great value when you compared the cost of ice cream and FC seperately. Thus, I ordered one, but asked them to put a standard, sugar sprinkled FC on one plate, and to serve my heaping portion of the ice cream on a separate plate. The employee stared at me blankly, i repeated my request, and then they understood. They merely lost an extra plate, while I gained unmelted ice cream and un-gooed funnel cake, at bargain prices.

I repeated this unusual order several other times over my years of living in Chicago, and the response was always the same... blank stare (or confused glance) followed by understanding, and sometimes, even awe (Like, wow... that's really smart... no one's ever asked for that before)

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 8:52 AM
Whatever, elephant ear, funnel cake, say what you will, but it's the same stuff. I don't care if it's home made like a homemade waffle cone, or mass produced and thrown into a friar.

I have had homemade waffle cones along with homemade funnel cakes. The mass produced crap , while not the same, is still what it is.

You call a McDonalds burger a hamburger but we all know it's not a real burger. Same with Taco Bell, if anyone calls that real mexican cuisine needs their heads examined. Same ALSO goes for Chipotle, if you think that is real mexican food, please visit a family owned mexican establishment to find out what real mexican cuisine is. *** Edited 8/13/2006 12:54:29 PM UTC by Chitown***

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 9:04 AM
An elephant ear and a funnel cake is not the same thing, like Themedesigner said, elephant ears usually have yeast in the recipie which makes them leavened, while funnel cakes do not. Different types of doughnuts could be either. Not to mention Native American frybread, fried dough, zepolle, churros, beignets, etc. All different foods.

My favorite is actually the Malassada from Portugal:

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/11-98/11-25-98/dtrio.jpg

The dough is rich and eggy and (I think) tastes a little bit like Captain Crunch cereal.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 9:18 AM
Chitown: you should know better than to get a food dact wrong around a bunch of enthusiasts :)
lata, jeremY
--who, like chitown, considers them all the same (must be a Chicago thing)
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Sunday, August 13, 2006 9:36 AM
Dude, the issue is not mass-production, the issue is ingredients and shape.

The only difference between a biscuit and a dinner roll is whether it has yeast or not, and they're very different foods.

EDIT: Here's a better analogy... an Elephant Ear is basically a big flat donut, where a Funnel Cake is essentially a big squiggly fried pancake. I think we can agree that donuts are different from pancakes, therefore Elephant Ears are different than Funnel Cakes. *** Edited 8/13/2006 1:53:20 PM UTC by ThemeDesigner***

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 10:09 AM
Funnel Cakes are the one thing IMO Paramount's Great America does better than any other park I've tried them at. Delicious!
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Sunday, August 13, 2006 10:13 AM
Why? So you can make the next post about how fat everyone is?

Chuck, not much of a snacker but fits the latter

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 12:17 PM

Chitown said:...Same with Taco Bell, if anyone calls that real mexican cuisine needs their heads examined...

You mean those Big Stuffit Burritos & Taco Pizza's aren't real mexican meals? All these years sqandered... it's like telling me there's no Santa. Next thing you'll say is that China Panda doesn't serve real chinese food.

As for funnel cakes... I'm not into 'em, not that I don't want to indulge m'self into them, but who knows what their fat/carb level is... I'll stick to roasted almonds. Their smell draws me a little more than the funnel cakes... although when fried & coated, they come quite close.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 2:15 PM
I used to get a Funnel Cake every time I went to SFoG... but that's when they were $2.99... not $6.99. That's a 234% jump, btw.
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Sunday, August 13, 2006 4:12 PM

DWeaver said:
Funnel Cakes are the one thing IMO Paramount's Great America does better than any other park I've tried them at. Delicious!

Amen Preacha!

That and Top Gun is the only saving grace of the park. I went there a couple weeks ago and I ordered a huge cake with ice cream, whipped cream and strawberries. I was teasing kids as they walked by.....looking enviously at my dessert. :)

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 4:19 PM
Whatever you called them and whether you get the cinnamon topping or the confectioners sugar, nothing beats a nice hot fresh one. I gotta get one every time.

What about the candy apples/caramel with nut apples. That's what I get right before I leave everytime. So good....now I need one, thanks.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 4:39 PM
All this talk of sugar, mystery meat, and Taco Hell is making me nauseous. ;)

I am not a funnel cake person (I hate sweets) but it always seems to be one of the top sellers at amusement parks, carnivals, fairs, etc.

You will find me in line for cheese fries instead. ;)

-Tina

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 8:41 PM

ThemeDesigner said:


EDIT: Here's a better analogy... an Elephant Ear is basically a big flat donut, where a Funnel Cake is essentially a big squiggly fried pancake. I think we can agree that donuts are different from pancakes, therefore Elephant Ears are different than Funnel Cakes. *** Edited 8/13/2006 1:53:20 PM UTC by ThemeDesigner***


Is an apple fritter a donut? You can make those out of pancake batter. (I know cause Rachel Ray taught me how :))
lata, jeremy
--who really could not care less about the naming conventions of amusment park confections

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 9:13 PM
"Fritter" can refer to a ton of different things. They're all fried but I think that's pretty much everything they have in common.

But I forgot one more delicious fried delicacy!
The wonderful POONCHKIES! Don't ask me to do the correct spelling. ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C4%85czki

Between these and malasadas I know a relatively scary amount about ethnic fried pastries. Whoa.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 10:55 PM
There is something about fried anything that is intoxicating. It's amazing how something as simple as fried dough can be such a great treat.

I love funnel cakes, but this year at parks I've been getting "real food", including fries ;)

Only sweet I can remember getting is fried oreos at KW.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 11:35 PM

Charles Nungester said:
Why? So you can make the next post about how fat everyone is?

Chuck, not much of a snacker but fits the latter


Who was that directed at?

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Sunday, August 13, 2006 11:54 PM
I was wondering that when I read it the first time.
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Monday, August 14, 2006 12:08 AM
I think that was directed towards Jeremy's first post. At least that's how I read it.

Put me in the camp that there is indeed a big difference between an Elephant Ear and a Funnel Cake. They are both definately delicious with a different taste for sure.

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