‘Carnival Eats’ – Why Noah Cappe loves his job
If there are two skills Noah Cappe will one day take away from Cooking Channel’s “Carnival Eats,” it’s being able to eat anything fried and to talk for extended periods on camera without a script.
“All like that scary stuff that is normally everybody’s biggest fear,” explains the Canadian-born presenter and actor, “you know, being on stage or having to speak in front of large crowds or not knowing what you’re going to say – are the weird things that I love the most. I love when the camera starts rolling and all I know is the vendor’s name and what we’re making and it’s like, let’s have fun getting there.”
“When people say to me, ‘What’s your dream job?’ I’m like, ‘Well, I kind of have it.’ I mean, you can eat fried food and travel around and ride rides and play games all day. It’s kind of a dream job.”
The seventh season of the culinary travel series kicks off Sunday, June 9, and once again finds Cappe venturing across the southern U.S. to sample more of the outside-the-box creations that vendors sell at local, county and state fairs. In the fresh batch of 13 episodes, he hits fairs in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, plus a stop in Toronto, to try everything from funnel cakes and German desserts to cajun treats and Mexican dishes.
In Sunday’s opener, he’s at the Arkansas State Fair in Little Rock, where the Arkansas Slamwich and something dubbed the Stuffed Thanksgiving Taco are on the menu.
“It is exactly what it sounds like,” Cappe says of the latter comestible. “I mean, it’s in a tortilla and kind of sealed up but filled with all of the classic Thanksgiving elements. You know, the turkey and potatoes and cranberry and all the classics, stuffing. Just hot and delicious and rolled up and sealed in a taco kind of burrito hybrid. It’s one of those things that you’re like, ‘I’m sure I’ve heard of that before. I’m sure I’ve had something like that.’ But you realize that, no, it feels like you should have done it but it makes a lot more sense when you eat it.”
Also in that episode is a visit to the Greater Jacksonville (Fla.) Agricultural Fair, where Cappe munched on deep-fried rice pudding, a bite-size treat made by rolling rice pudding into balls, freezing them, dipping them in batter and dropping them in the fryer.
“By the time that frozen part is done kind of thawing and melting,” he says, “it’s now hot and warm and gooey in the middle but the outside has been fried up perfect. So that one trick alone, it’s amazing how many things you can deep-fry. I mean, we’ve done deep-fried coffee, deep-fried pina coladas, margaritas. I mean, all kind of crazy things on this show now with that freezing technique.”