“It’s been so long since we’ve talked about fried foods, my Cholesterol levels have almost gone done to healthy levels. Almost.”
~AFFotD Food Critic, John Goodman
Fried food. Crunchy goodness. Grease’s children. The culinary manifestation of a fat man punching himself in the heart. Whatever you call it, battering food and dipping it in boiling oil is as American as apple pie, assuming that you battered the apple pie and immersed it in boiling oil beforehand. We’ve documented the cutting edge of American fried foods six times before, but it’s been about a year since we’ve sat down and scoured the dumpsters of our nation’s state fairs to find the latest in delicious food that technically can be considered a murder weapon in several of our more obese states. And that is far too long to go without terrifyingly complex fried foods.
So grab onto your nutritionist’s desperate letters urging you to, “Stop, for the love of God, do you have a death wish?” because things are about to get a little unhealthy.
America’s Craziest Fried Foods: 2013 Edition
The internet is a tool, and like most tools, it can be beneficial, or dangerous. Similarly to how a hammer can build a house or be used by a chap named Maxwell for more sinister purposes, likewise the internet can be used to perpetrate crime or, ugh, Japan, while also serving as a beacon of light in a sea of dark ignorance. No matter what evils we stumble across in our dubious internet searches, there are always people out there who say, “Why do carnivals have all the fun? I have a deep fryer, let’s get weird with this.” And those people are true American heroes. So while, yes, state fairs remain the hotbed for unhealthy food creation, we’ll start to have some homemade dishes work their way in here, so you might be inspired to go home with your cornballer and splatter your kitchen with flecks of oil that are kinda a pain to get out. Which brings us to our first dish.
Beer-and-Bacon-Battered Deep-Fried Doritos
If there’s a reason why we toss the word “hero” around a lot here, it’s that America is pretty chock-full of them. Take the folks over at Dude Foods, for example. They didn’t have to take Doritos and deep-fry them. They didn’t even have to use beer in the batter. And they didn’t have to add bacon to that crunchy concoction. But, they knew that America needed this, so goddamn it if they didn’t combine all three into glorious triangles of delicious death. Getting a coronary while munching on these isn’t quite as good of a way to shuffle off this mortal coil than, say, a heart attack during sex, but it’s about as close as we’ve found yet.
It’s important to keep in mind that Doritos…are fried in the first place. A Dorito is literally a cut up and fried tortilla that is then seasoned to taste like deliciously fake cheese. And we decided that was too healthy so we fried it with beer and bacon. Goddamn it, America, every time we think we can’t love you any more you go ahead and do something like this for us. It’s okay, we just need a minute. It’s just, it’s so beautiful. It’s really dusty in here. *wipes away a single tear*
Now if only someone thought to do that with Cheetos…
You guys! Really, that’s too kind of you, you’re spoiling us here. Brooklyn’s Park Slope Chip Shop decided that we weren’t spoiled enough, and made a double fried Cheetos for our culinary pleasure. Somewhere, we’d like to imagine that the creepy new CGI Chester Cheetah is watching a woman eating these while leeringly purring, “Careful Karen. You’ll burn yourself. On the cheesy.” Man Chester Cheetah, when did you get so sketchy?
Deep-Fried Jelly Belly Jelly Beans
You know who loved Jelly Beans? The Gipper. You know who else loves Jelly Beans? Everybody. Little balls of sugar that can be made to taste like everything from watermelon to awful, they’re a delicious snack that can be enjoyed by everyone, except for the spice flavored ones you sometimes find in your Easter basket because seriously fuck those spice flavored jelly beans.
We’re not upset that it took us this long to find a way to put jelly beans in dough and deep fry it into balls of sugar, but we are a bit disappointed. Think of all the years we missed having not found this holy union. This delicious, heart-clogging union.
It takes a lot to win the Texas State Fair fried food competition, but the sheer brilliance of deep frying a classic Cajun dish almost seems like cheating. By combining shrimp, sausage, rice, and seasonings in flour and frying it to a “golden perfection” as Chef Abel Gonzales states, spicy ranch is served with the dish because the only thing that sounds better than fried Jambalaya is fried Jambalaya with spicy goddamn ranch dressing. Gonzales claims he gained 20 pounds while perfecting the recipe, which we believe even if we think he got it right on the first or second try and then just started eating it for every meal for the next month, because that’s exactly what we’d do if we were him.
While the Fried Jambalaya won last year’s Texas State Fair’s taste test, this magnanimous monstrosity here was definitely in the running, if only because it’s been a while since we saw Frankenstein so we forgot how that movie ends. The fried Picnic-on-a-Stick doesn’t have the best grasp of what most of us bring to picnics, but we’re not going to nitpick when someone tells us they plan on combining fried chicken, tater tots, and dill pickle for the sole purpose of frying it all together in stick form. We can only assume that this concoction was created in the first ever fried foods-version of Jenga. When they added the pickle, it warbled, so when they tried to add the pie to all of it the whole damn thing collapsed, they all screamed “Jenga” (or, more likely, “OH GOD IT FELL RIGHT IN THE BURNING OIL AND INTO MY EYES I’M BLINDED OH GOD NOW I KNOW HOW THAT ONE KID IN SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE MUST HAVE FELT”) and decided it’s best that they just stick with the 3 ridiculously combined fried ingredients, for safety sake. And then promptly went on Craigslist to find a new head chef.
Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll
Since we’ve already got two entries from last year’s Texas State Fair, we might as well close things out on the trifecta by showing you the winner of the “most creative” contest. It’s simple enough that you can find recipes to make it online, though there’s always a 50% chance that when you click on that link it’ll re-direct you to a coffin warehouse website. All you have to do is take a cinnamon roll, dip it in sweet pancake batter, roll the batter in fried bacon crumbles, then deep fry it and add powdered sugar afterwards because you’ve already made your life decision and what do a few extra calories and diabetic blindness matter when you’ve gone so far down this road. Just embrace it.
Embrace all of it. This is your future, America. And it’s delicious. Also fattening. But, mostly? Delicious.