The Herald Bulletin

July 24, 2013

Favorite foods mix with new offerings on 4-H fair midway

Cold and creamy versus hot and spicy

By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — Everybody has their favorite fair food.

The elephant ear that’s like no other you’ve had. Anywhere.

A lemon shake-up with the perfect balance of sweet and tart, the one that’s so perfectly refreshing you wish it came out of the faucet.

Melt-in-your-mouth pork tenderloins as big as your head.

And you look forward to them all year long.

Once you’re out on the midway, though, it’s also fun to search out what’s new, different, delicious and fun.

The F.A.B. LAB is all of those.

Food And Beverage Lab is the long version of Stacie Cowgill’s ice cream truck, which is making its world debut this week at the Madison County 4-H Fair.

We know what your’e thinking. It’s just an ice cream truck. How new, how different could it possibly be?

Well, it’s the only ice cream truck you’ll likely find anywhere nearby with a huge nitrogen tank nestled in one corner. That’s different.

It’s ice cream. Automatically delicious.

Cowgill uses the nitrogen to instantly freeze the ice cream mix. Different, and fun; even educational in a scientific kind of way.

Instant freezing with nitrogen — minus 320 degrees — makes the ice cream smoother and creamier. But don’t take our word. Conduct your own taste test.

“I’ve been doing research for about three years, and I wanted something completely different,” said Cowgill, of Anderson. “This is what I settled on and it’s working great.

“I was a store manager in retail. I wanted to own my own business and that’s how we started,” she added.

Cowgill may need a bigger truck, however. After just two days, her nitrogen supply was gone by 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, which meant a drive to Praxair in Speedway early today for more.

Also new this year, is Jeff and Leah Green’s “The Big Easy” food truck.

Leah Green was raised in Oak Grove, La., a state known for its flavorful, spicy cuisine; where favorite family recipes are handed down from one generation to another. The couple has been catering their New Orleans style food for the last eight years.

What you’ll find at The Big Easy, are such Cajun favorites as red beans and rice, po-boy sandwiches, Jambalaya and beignets.

The couple has toyed with the idea of opening a restaurant over the years, but settled on the food truck instead because it allows them to make the food they love to serve and eat at family gatherings, yet still have a life.

Jeff works for FedEx in Muncie; Leah works at the Children’s Bureau.

“I think this is coming back,” Leah said of food trucks, “because it’s way to expensive to run a restaurant.”

Added Jeff: “We run this, it doesn’t run us.”

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