8.04.2009

The One About Fair Food

Food on a stick. What a clever invention. I'm guessing the first cooked food was on a stick because, well, you'd burn your fingers otherwise. These days I am amused and delighted at the variety of foods on a stick that pop up at county fairs. And, of course, all the frying.

You've got the classic corn dog. What a brilliant way to eat a hot dog without getting your fingers too messy. Who hasn't had a corn dog, steeped in deliciousness, only to bite into it and find a hair? Look at it this way, at least you found it. It's like an added topping. I like the whole idea. We're so busy that we don't even have time for a napkin. Just put it on a stick and I can continue to eat while I lose at carnival games and waste money in general. And a good time was had by all.

Over the past decade, fair vendors have started to fry things other than funnel cakes. Which I think can run you six bucks now. It's basically just pancake batter dropped in hot oil and topped with confectioners' sugar. It's nothing short of divine. And yet, it's not on a stick. It's lost its panache.

I have had a fried Oreo. It tastes like a warm chocolate donut. I have also had a fried Twinkie. That is a smart idea. I personally think there is no such thing as a fresh Twinkie. I think all the ones on the shelves were made at least ten years ago, kept edible by the loads of preservatives. I found the fried Twinkie to be a little too much for me. But what with the gastric bypass surgery and all, I do have to watch my sugar intake. I managed a bite and knew any more of it would end badly for me. However, it's not on a stick.

I have not had a fried Snickers bar. Those who have speak of it like the second coming. I dream of it sometimes. Though I fear it would send me into a coma.

Most of the time, in case you're experimenting at home, the batter these delicacies are fried in is simple pancake batter. Some people even thin it out with a soda like Sprite. The Wisconsin State Fair has something on their menu which really intrigues me. Sounds like a win win, bacon, covered in chocolate, fried first, then frozen as I understand it. Seems a whisper of sea salt is added at the end. It is allegedly neither too chewy or too greasy. And it's on a freakin' stick. I love it. The idea of it anyway.

Some cooks are working on frying an entire cheeseburger. Imagine the calories. Imagine the fat intake. Wow. I wonder if it would be on a stick. Because if it's not on a stick, I don't want it. Food on a stick just increases the fun factor. It's like a prize in a box of Jack in the Box. When you're done with the food, you get to keep the stick. No wonder fair food is so pricey.

I've also read about the frying of a Boston Cream Pie. I'm guessing piece by piece. An entire pie, fried? It's bound to lose its integrity, wouldn't you think?

This year I think I will take both my girls to the local fair which is in full swing. It'll be a whole new world to them. Full of things I won't let them do, a petting zoo, and fried food on a stick. I only hope the world's largest rat is there again. It's one of my favorite exhibits. Just as long as it doesn't end up fried and on a stick, I'm cool with it.