Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I love the food at fairs.

Now that summer's drawing to a close, it's time to turn your thoughts to county fairs. There's a distinct... um... cuisine that's available at fairs. Of all those delicacies, my favorite is those sausage sandwiches you get with the peppers and onions on them. Restaurants could easily make them but they don't; they seem to be exclusively the domain of fairs.

The genius who invented fried cheese sure waltzed in to a natural market. Fried cheese is good for fairs and good for anywhere else; it's easy to make and it's popular, and it's easy to eat out of those little trays. It seems that this is an important component to fair food, which is why you don't see tuna salad booths or Hungarian goulash stands at the county fair.

Since this is America, there's always a craving for something new, something that's never been done before, something familiar that's been repackaged in a way we've never yet experienced. Come up with new ways to sell old, unhealthy food to people and the heart surgeons will beat a path to your door. I, of course, have ideas.

·Fried sugar. This would be great. If you could find a way to get a lump of sugar to hold together while you batter it, you could apply the fried cheese principle and sate this familiar craving. Aha! I know! Freeze corn syrup, batter it, and it'll hold together while you drop it into the Fry Daddy™. Of course, you might have to find a way to make the corn syrup sufficiently gelatinous, like cheese is. Maybe add flour? Just a thought.

·Porksicles. Pork fat is rubbery and feels gross in your mouth. Who needs that? But pork fat does stick together well. I guess if you puréed it enough you could freeze it and stick it on a stick. Alternatively, you could find a way to keep it more solid so you could lick it at room temperature. I guess these could be accompanied with either dipping sauces like barbecue or sweet and sour, or maybe with little containers of brightly colored sugar that you can roll them in.

·Kracklin' Krisps. We're all familiar with the wholesome goodness of pork cracklins: fried skin of pig, but different from pork rinds, in that sometimes you get a clump of pig fat still stuck to it. But pork cracklis can be a bit tough, so why not take care of this by really really seriously deep frying the things? I bet there's a way to get pork cracklins as crispy as potato chips, which I would dub Kracklin' Krisps™.

·Flavo-Fries. How about French fries that already have ketchup inside them? They'd have to be bigger, like cottage fries, but this could work. You could also put other things inside, like mayonnaise or mustard or chocolate sauce. You're only limited by your imagination! Again, you'd probably have to add a few things to the ketchup or other fillings to make it able to withstand the deep frying, but I'm sure the researchers at Dow or DuPont can come up with something.

Ha! This is more exciting that those old funnel cakes, isn't it? Anyone have any other bright ideas?

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