The Most Insane Thing I’ve Eaten at a Red River Revel: Bacon Maple Donuts

Fall weather signifies the arrival of lots of different things in Louisiana. Depending on the cut of your jib, it could mean football season, hunting season, gumbo weather or lots of other things. When I feel that first brisk morning in October, there’s only one thing that I feel compelled to do: Locate the first festival I come across, buy the strangest food they’re selling, and eat it.  I’m like the resourceful squirrel, gathering acorns for winter, except that I’m gathering funnel cakes, and, instead of saving them, I’m just going to eat them now.

A photo of a food booth at the Red River Revel
The booth labeled “Shaved Ice Mini Donuts” offers maple syrup and bacon-covered donuts served by the dozen.

Today I struck out in search of the most outlandish food item available at the 38th annual Red River Revel, and you’re looking at the result: A platter of hot mini-donuts, covered in maple syrup and bacon crumbles. And, for the sake of being as ridiculous as possible, they’re served with a side of maple-flavored icing for dipping. These bad boys can be had for $6 at the booth called “Shaved Ice Mini Donuts” (a combination of words whose time had come), which is a fundraiser for the Caddo Career and Technology Center.

These little donuts, served by the dozen, are cooked when ordered. They come out of the fryer steaming hot and get a thorough soaking of maple syrup before being covered by actual bacon crumbles. The bacon was key; If the bacon crumbles had been fake, I think it could have ruined these outrageously good little treats.

There’s a pretty great variety of food at the Revel this year, including more Cajun and Creole options that I can recall seeing in recent years. Gumbos, etouffees, red beans and rice and even boudin balls are available. Popular eatery Counter Culture was considerate enough to bring out healthy sandwich options and stuffed avocados as a healthy alternative to standard festival fare. A booth called “Blackened Catfish & Gumbo” is selling homemade peanut butter sheet cake and 7-Up cake.

The 38th annual Red River Revel is underway now through October 12 in downtown Shreveport’s Festival Plaza. If you head down to the Revel and eat something crazier than maple bacon donuts, please drop me a line in the comments and let me know.

Thanks, Angie Costakis, for pointing me in the direction of the mini-donuts booth.

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