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'Fair' is fair, right?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
http://www.courier-journal.com/story/life/food/2014/08/29/prize-winning-pie-state-fair-investigated/14798293/

any thoughts?

Guess my question on all this would be,if it were for a state fair competition, wouldn't an entrant have to make/buy a lot of pie crusts? Would someone in a small town not notice that ALL the pre made/pillsbury pie crusts were being bought up? Or did the 'winner' go to other towns over a long period of time, in the dead steel of night and buy them all up? Wouldn't the store manager notice that there was a rush on premade pie crusts Are state fair contestants that calculating? Who would have thunk it? If so, her award and title should be yanked. I live in a small town where like on 'Cheers', everybody knows your name',bas well as what's in your grocery cart.....just saying.....just curious...OTOH, the winner is also claiming that her winning pie entry is a cross between a chess pie and a cheesecake....her winning entry was nothing like a cheesecake in my mind, and nothing even remotely original....its simply a chess pie....wonderful and silky smooth in it's own right, but not certainly not reinventing the wheel here. i'm thinking maybe she won by putting crack in her pies....like krispy kreme doughnuts, nothing to them, but so totally addictive!! Compared to a 'real' bakery made doughnut KK's are nothing but air,sugar,and cheap hot oil but people go bonkers over them. Lastly, i think if i were a contestant in that state fair and worked my fanny off making pies and pie crusts, i'd be pissed...and duly so. Might even blow a whistle or two.
As an aside,it kinda sorta happened to me one year.kinda, sorta... A few years back i won both the 'judges award' and the 'peoples choice award' in a 'chocolate fantasia' fundraiser competition. its a huge local event that is very well attended. A contestant, not in my category, went into GREAT detail to the local paper, and got headlined in the food section,which everyone reads, about how she made her signature logo piece laboring for days on end with making the cake and the fondant and decorating and this and that....lots of labor, lots of love, blah, blah, blah. Well, the following day i had to return to the event site to pick something up i left behind the night before. Low and behold i spotted the contestant's
precious fragile 'signature' piece across the room so i walked over to it...i touched it...it was styrofoam with painted/ sprayed on icing with some sticky fondant b.s.decorations on it.. I almost dropped a dime on her right then, but i didn't. I should have taken a picture, but didn't have my phone...the whole point is that if we had been in the same category and she won, i would have been beyond pissed..just not fair....just not right.....so it goes...rolleyes.gif

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #2 of 10

I'm also scratching my head over the idea that the same amount of filling will fill one nine inch or TWO eight inch pies, as her recipe states.

 

Definitely should have to give up the prize if she did, in fact, use a Pilsbury crust.

post #3 of 10

I think it's all a ploy by Pillsbury!!! This poor retiree was just the fall girl making a few bucks. " oh! I think Philsbury pie crust is sooo buttery"!

I think PBury was mentioned a half a dozen times. Is there butter in that PB crust? I think that recipe is on one of the packages:D

I think this goes way deeper.

I say put this 67 yr old in the dunkbooth next year!! And a big sign across the building " NO PILLSBURY PIE DOUGHS ALLOWED "

@durangojo,

do they really say " drop a dime on somebody" in your small town?:lol:

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #4 of 10

I go, annually, to two county fairs in my area.  My favorite exhibits are the preserved and baked goods... and the little piggies too.

 

At both fairs it seems that there are "favored" entrants who seem to win most of the prizes.  Often I can clearly see why.  Other times, though it is much less obvious, especially in baked goods.  It seems like some entries may come with a "halo" and "aura" because they come from highly experienced entrants who have past wins.  No problem with that (except the jealousy on my part).

 

But some of the baked goods clearly are flawed yet win prizes.  For example, in the cake division there were at least two cakes that had fallen and the dip was filled in with frosting.  If I could see that clearly it is not a stretch of the imagination that the judge could also.  For me that would invalidate the entry as a potential winner... no matter how yummy the cake may have been.  In another entry the center didn't even seem fully cooked.  In the fondant-covered/decorated cake division there was one that had obvious patching on the base layer of fondant -- not small patches but large ones.  Yet they all won ribbons... which to me seemed to diminish the value of the ribbons on the spectacular entries.

 

At both fairs it is impossible to find a listing of either the divisions or the judging criteria.  One can try to figure out the divisions since they are all listed on the entry cards, but without having a list that is a challenge.  And criteria... does not appear to be available at the fair and not easy to find at the fair web site.  Judging criteria should not be a secret (nor should the identities of the judges).

 

Maybe I just haven't found the secret information source... but I remain a bit skeptical about these fair events.  I don't want to be skeptical but there is just too much missing information.  A few years ago I seem to recall finding a booklet with all of the information but that was before I even thought about entering.  If only I had a better memory, or a better filing system.

 

One thing I do recall, though, is that all parts of the entry must be home-made.  So Pillsbury pie crust would be an invalidating component of a pie.  Too bad, because I'm sure the pie was yummy.

 

Maybe there should be a new division of "hybrid cooking" in which a mix of prepared and home-made ingredients are used.  I recall when my grandmother got to the age where arthritis prohibited her from making pie crust.  I think she was in her mid 80s.  She swore by Pillsbury crust and coerced all of her daughters to using them.  Those pies were good but thankfully for me, my Mom is an "in-law daughter" and continues to make home-made crust for her pies!

post #5 of 10
What's fair is fair???? Carl Sagan the Astrophysicist once said "If you want to make a pie from scratch, first you must create the universe. So how far do we take this? So the flour used to make the pie crust is not grown, harvested, and processed? The butter is not hand churned from the morning's milking? I too live in small town America and have been asked to judge one of those dessert contests and can tell you first hand the concoctions people come up with can be quite....(cough) interesting to say the least. I think we are at perhaps a junction where country and city ways are evolving into something new.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
@Panini.......when you are from the east coast and married to a new yorker, yes you do use that phrase as well as a few choice others wink.gif

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #7 of 10

If the judges can't tell then what's the point of winning even?

post #8 of 10

@kuan

Good point. Especially if the judges can't discern the difference between commercial frozen and homemade

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
True kuan, very true....I'm thinking that just for s&g's i will make a chess pie as a dessert special this weekend using premade roll out pie dough and see if anyone notices any difference.

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #10 of 10

The hard part of making pie is the crust. So if you didn't make it yourself you don't deserve a prize. 

 

Having said that Pillsbury is better in texture than what most people make. But it's so (fake) buttery.

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