Wayne County Fair: Apple Jacks

Wayne County Fair: Apple Jacks

“Apple jacks! Come get your apple jacks!” hollers the fryer to a growing line of fairgoers. If there is one food that rings true to a county fair in the boondocks of Eastern North Carolina, it’s the apple jack.

Chef Vivian Howard had a whole episode of A Chef’s Life about apples and this beloved hand pie. Just mention apple jacks around here and locals will wax poetic about this humble pie. Whether it’s about splitting one on their first date at the fair, or about the how the church ladies work so hard to make them for revivals and homecomings, or how grandma makes them for Thanksgiving dessert, these fried pies hold a special place in the hearts of the folks of Eastern North Carolina. Mention apple jacks just an hour or two up the road in the big city and folks will be confused about why you fry the cereal.

Apple Jack Filling
Apple Jacks Being Crimped at the Wayne County Fair
Preparing Apple Jacks for the fryer at the fair
Apple Jacks prepped fro the fryer at the fair

Every year, church members of all ages head to the fair to fill, fold, (double) crimp, and fry apple jacks at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair in Dudley, North Carolina. On average, Faith Church, the current apple jack connoisseurs, make and sell 600 apple jacks a night, sprinkled with love and their secret ingredient.

Apple Jacks in the fryer
Fried Apple Jack Hand Pies

Reminiscent of a fried apple pie, but better because the shell is actually pizza pie dough from Pizza Inn, a local pizza haunt known for their “pizzert.” The apple jacks at Wayne County Fair are served from a modest tent away from the fanfare of the blinking Fried Oreo signs and Krispy Kreme burger stands.

Apple Jacks being sprinkled with the secret ingredient 
Fried Apple Jacks cooling off
Fried apple hand pies are a classic fair food
“Apple jacks! Come get your apple jacks!”
Fresh apple jacks at the fair
Taking apple jack orders at the Wayne County Fair
Freshly made apple jacks being served 
Delicious Apple Jack fair hand pies 

While the Wayne County fair has been put to sleep for the year, you can still snag an apple jack at the N.C. State Fair this weekend. Head over to Heritage Village where you can find them at Smitty’s Concessions in Pitzer Heritage Circle by the Grist Mill.

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