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Georgia National Fair: The sweet history behind Granny's Apples

For the last 30 years, Michelle Cornett has been serving up cinnamon apple dumplings, but do you know the story behind the treat?

PERRY, Ga. — Let's face it, very few of us can leave the Georgia National Fair without indulging in some kind of sweet or savory treat.

We all have our favorites, whether it's a funnel cake or a corn dog.

There are a couple of new things to tell you on the food front at the Georgia National Fair this year. 

First of all, there is a shrimp shack where you can get shrimp made all different kinds of ways.

Then, at the Polar Bear ice cream tent, you can get an over-the-top peach ice cream milkshake with whipped cream, peaches, gummies, and cupcakes called "Way Better."

Griffin Gillette created the concoction and that culinary creation took its toll.

"About 20 pounds," he said.

And no doubt you might gain weight when you visit the fair, but that's okay, after all, this is a special occasion.

"Kind of over the past 10 or 15 years it's, 'What's new at the fair?' Is it fried butter, is it fried Oreos, and it goes all the way up to crazy things like this milkshake," Griffin said.

Then there are the old standbys, the stuff you rely on to pop up every year like Granny's Apples owned and run by Michelle Cornett.

"30 years ago, my husband and I went to visit friends down in a festival and we came away with an idea that we needed to do something," she said.

Cornett and her husband came up with the concept and built the rustic booth. The bright red sign stands out on the food strip.

"We start with an ice water pie crust, we wrap it around a Rome red apple and we stuff the middle that's cored and peeled with brown sugar and cinnamon," she said.

Granny's started when the fair opened 30 years ago.

"This was by far the biggest event we had done that long ago. Little did we know what we were getting into. We had to up our game," Michelle admitted.

These days, Michelle has pulled out of some other festivals like the Cherry Blossom. Her husband who helped her with the start has passed away. 

"I did lose my husband seven years ago and he is the idea of Granny's 100%. It was his vision and he would be so proud of seeing where we are 30 years from where we started," she said.

She's proud too, and part of the Georgia National Fair food history that's served up every fall.

Michelle says she's got a few more years in her to do Granny's Apples at the fair. She uses her vacation time from work to come set up shop at the Georgia National Fair.


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