CMH Gourmand

Culinary Discovery & Misadventures in the Ice Cream Capital of the World (Columbus)

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  • Archives: August 2006 to Now

Fun at the Ohio State Fair.. In Search of the Perfect Lemon Shake Up

Posted by cmh gourmand on August 5, 2007


I made a sojourn to the Ohio State Fair, I try to go once per decade. I really enjoyed myself this year, so I may change up to once every five years. I am a sucker for fair fare – elephant ears, funnel cakes, fair fries, and deep fried anything (in particular snickers and twinkies) – the Ohio State Fair has plenty of all that. I spied several food vendors that had signs stating as seen on Food Network.  I’d love to see Nigella Lawson at the fair!


This year, I was on a quest for the perfect lemon shake up. I am a super sucker for shake ups in the summer so with the hot, hot heat of Saturday – I was on a mission, I could not sip enough of these.

The first sampled was at Big Jeff’s Original, billed (on their sign) as the best at the fair. The stand is strategically located near the center of the midway. The one I sampled was light on the ice.

Shake it up

Shake up number two was at the stand run by JP’s Ribs. This one was the cheapest – $1.50 compared to the $2.00 standard. The shake up I was served was a bit watery. This stand is to the east of the Coca Cola Coliseum.

My third for the day was the best. The Marshall family has a berry farm that keeps them busy all year long. Since 1969, they have come to the fair to peddle their shake ups with raspberry or strawberry added in for an extra 50 cents. I opted for the lemon shake up with a raspberry twist. I was a little disapponted that the raspberry component was a spoonful of raspberry preserves (from their farm) – what I was hoping for were some real raspberries – but it shook together well. It turned out the be the perfect mix of lemon, ice, sugar and water. This was my Lemon Shake Up Best of Show for this year. This stand is located near the 17th Street entrance. I counted about 15-20 Lemon Shake Up opportunities at the fair – so if I missed the mark – let me know.

Other items of note at the fair.

A must do at the fair is a journey to the Dairy Products building to see the Butter Cow and to get a big heaping serving of fresh ice cream in a bowl. Also of note, several awards for best Ohio cheese went to Guggisberg and Pearl Valley (both mentioned in an earlier post). The top winners were Ragersville Swiss Cheese and Steiner – so now I will be on a quest to find those out in Amish Country.

A quick shout out to the Tracey family. Their Coney stand has been at the fair for over 50 years now. I wrote a short article mentioning them in 1998 for Ohio Magazine so I am glad to see them going strong.

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3 Responses to “Fun at the Ohio State Fair.. In Search of the Perfect Lemon Shake Up”

  1. Erik said

    Had some great Kielbasa and Pierogies, but no lemon shake-ups. There’s always next year.

  2. Michael said

    I’ve had Ohio State Fair lemon shake ups before. They are (O.K.) But, Nothing, Absolutely Nothing compares in flavor to the Original Lemon EarthQuake Shake-Up Lemonade at the Anchorage Market & Festival on 3rd & E. St. (Mid May thru Mid Sept on the weekends). The Original Lemon EarthQuake Shake-Up is a special blend on mix added with fresh squeezed lemon juice with a tossed in lemon rind shaken up in two yellow glasses and poured over a glass of ice. It is so delicious many have claimed it to be worth the trip to Alaska just to have one or two or three or four. Get the point? Oh, And, Hold on to your wallet as these specialty drinks cost $3 to $6 each. The drinks are served quick but be prepared to stand in a long line to get one. After you’ve had one you’ll agree it is the best lemonade shake-up you’ll ever have. Way better than Ohio State Fair Lemonade. But that isn’t all. If you think the lemon shake-up was great. Wait until you’ve had a blended Strawberry Lemon Frost. Ohhh Myyy God. You will be addicted after that as strawberries (not preserves) are blended to the lemon shake-up with ice. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

  3. Robin said

    Is there a certain lemon you use for lemonade shake-up??

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