The Big E

A Sneak Peek at the Food at This Year's Big E

From sweet sips to ethnic dishes, there will be plenty to try at the Big-E.

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Next month, look forward to America's only multi-state fair in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Celebrating 106 years, this longstanding tradition is where millions of fairgoers enjoy entertainment, crafts, and a unique variety of food.

From sweet sips to ethnic dishes, there will be plenty to try at The Big E.

"The purpose of The Big E was to create markets and draw attention to agriculture and industry from New England," said Gene Cassidy, President and CEO of The Big E.

The Big-E returned in 2021, which marked the third largest fair in its history. President and CEO Gene Cassidy says he expects to break another record this year, giving food vendors quite the exposure and platform for their menus. Cassidy says 44% of attendance comes from Connecticut.

"I'm a big boba fan," said Eddie Chen, Manager of Cha Feo in Boston. "We are based in Boston, so it's a big, competitive area. In order to survive there, we have to create our own specialty drinks.

Chen has run a boba tea business for the last five years. This will be the shop's first time at The Big E, and he says he is eager to serve customers. 

And when it comes to drinks, you'll want to save room for milkshakes topped with chicken and waffles or cheesecake. These shakes are signature menu items at The Place 2 Be, a growing Connecticut-based brunch spot.

"We're really known for our over-the-top menu items and our over-the-top presentation," said owner Gina Luari. "We're only three months old in Springfield, so for them to choose us is such an honor."  

As for grub, the fair plans to have vegan options. What might taste like a burger is entirely plant-based at Soulfully Vegan. The food truck business got its start in Connecticut last May, and they're bringing the flavor with their Spicy PB&J burger.

"On the bottom, you've got jelly meets jalapenos, so we've got the sweet and salty. On top, you have peanut butter meets cheese, all together -- flavor burst," said Soulfully Vegan Owner Allison Vaughan.

Food from different cultures will also be available. For a traditional Lebanese and Greek experience, think hummus, grape leaves, and baklava.

"I think what we bring that's a little different from everyone else is that it's homemade, fresh, fresh herbs, we even dehydrate our own mints," said Mila Husseini, co-owner of Villa of Lebanon in South Windsor.

The Big-E kicks off Friday, September 16 through Sunday, October 2.

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