I blame the turkey craze.
Because once crazy people started dipping turkeys into boiling oil everyone had to get in on the act.
And now September and October have become the most unhealthy months of the year because local and state fairs throughout the nation are taking junk food and making them junkier, greasier and mostly too disgusting to resist.
I finally noticed this year that the freak shows were gone from the Cleveland County Fair. I’m fairly certain they weren’t there last year either, but I didn’t notice becuase our gang was fascinated by a whole new level of freaksomeness.
Gaudy lights and greasy smells enticed us to try stuff that would make a grown nutritionist cry. Deep Fried Snickers and Oreos tasted so good, but had such a disturbing after-effect that this year we stuck to the traditional fried stuff – corn dogs, french fries and the now standard dill pickle chips.
One booth did tempt us though – they were offering deep-fried Pop Tarts. Strawberry Pop Tarts. Hmmmm. But, no. We gave them a pass. Because there’s always next year.
What is wrong with the country? The workers at the delicious crepe stand sat idle as fair-goers piled grease on grease. I’ll tell you why. Everyone is a teenager at the fair. Mesmerized by the lights, even the strongest dieter can cave in for one night and rack up thousands of calories in the blink of an eye. And if we all just saved up our badness for one night who would care?
But deep-fried foods have insinuated themselves into our daily diets. Remember when those fried pickles were a novelty? I could count off five restaurants that have them on the regular menu now. Deep fried chicken, fish, shrimp, corndogs, calamari, crab wontons, tortillas, french fries, mozzarella sticks, apple sticks and mushrooms also appear on daily menus.
Basically, if we can batter it, we will try. You think I joke?
Go to the Texas State Fair and try the beer.
Yep, fairgoers in Texas can enjoy inventor Mark Zabel’s deep fried beer. He spent three years trying to figure out 1. How not to be splattered with exploding beer when the dough hit the hot oil and 2. How not to cook away the alcohol content. He serves beer wrapped in a salty, pretzel-like dough that looks like ravioli. With a 20-second kiss of boiling oil, he produces a hot beer batter bite.
A quick perusal of recipes and websites created an alarming list of other things dipped and boiled in oil. We’ll list them – but only in the name of research.
If you try them, it is at your own risk.
But let me know if the Pop Tarts are any good….
I give you the Deep Fried Wonders of the World:
Sweet: Peanut butter balls, Peeps, chocolate chip cookie dough, Cadbury Creme Eggs, s’mores
Savory: pizza slices, cheeseburgers, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches