Monday, August 9, 2010
The 2010 State Fair of Texas fried foods, oh what will they be
Some helpful suggestions for State Fair frying king Abel Gonzales.
DALLAS The 2010 State Fair of Texas doesn't start until September 24, yet some folks are already salivating over the idea of the food -- specifically the fried food.
Frying food items that seem unfry-able has become a signature of the annual event, especially for vendor Abel Gonzales, who's made a name for himself by coming up with unheard-of items to fry such as his earth-shattering 2009 creation, fried butter and his 2008 award-winning fried Coke. His innovations have made him a media star; his most recent appearance was on July 28, on Rachael Ray, where he demonstrated how to make fried butter.
If some of the previous fried foods seem impossibly absurd, keep in mind that at least one -- fried avocado -- has wormed its way onto menus at high-end restaurants such as Bailey's Prime Plus.
The official list of 2010's fried foods won't come out for another couple of weeks so there's still a chance for us to sway Gonzales with our list of clever suggestions for foods we'd like to see fried:
1. Fried Dr Pepper. In 2008, Gonzales galvanized the food world with his revolutionary-at-the-time Fried Coke. The concept of frying a liquid was mind-boggling. Fried Dr Pepper would be a fine follow-up, not just because Dr P tastes good but also because its Dublin, Texas origins make it a local(ish) tradition. Its only shortcoming: Gonzales likes breaking the mold, and this would be a spin-off of a prior item.
2. Fried ranch dressing. First, ranch dressing is a liquid, which puts it into the "How do they do that?" realm. It is also, far and away, the most popular salad dressing in America. People don't just put it on their salads, they use it as a dip for fried foods of all kinds, from celery to chicken wings. Fried ranch dressing would dispense with the onerous task of having to actually dip the food item into the dressing by combining the ranch dressing with the fried crust.
3. Fried sliders. The baby burger known as the slider is so common that you can't even call it a trendy item anymore. They're sold everywhere from TGIFriday's to Kroger supermarkets. And we know it can be done: The 2010 Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, Calif. is doing fried White Kastle burgers, the original baby burger.
4. Fried chicken-and-waffles. Chicken & waffles are a bona-fide food trend in which a waffle is topped with fried chicken, served at restaurants such as Victor Tango's on Henderson Ave. Doing chicken & waffles would represent a savvy combination of two items already fried and served: funnel cakes and fried chicken. Why, one of the chefs on Top Chef even made chicken & waffles in a recent cooking challenge. Then again, she went home.
5. Fried canola oil. Mmmm, could there be anything more decadent-sounding than fried canola oil? No? OK, it doesn't have quite the sexy ring of its fatty cousin, "fried butter." But canola oil has been recommended by nutritionists for years as a worthy butter alternative. Come on, "fried butter" sounded weird when you first heard it. Fried canola oil, just say it a few times, it starts to sound good.
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