When Beef, Cheese and Bacon Go Wrong: Reviewing the State Fair Fried Goods, Part Two
City of Ate this week set out to sample all the new fair foods that didn't make the Big Tex competition finals. Here, part two of our deep-fried review. Check out part one here, and see more food in our opening week slideshow.
Photos by Stephen Masker The chicken BLT. Why?
1. Chicken BLT
It's a grilled chicken sandwich with bacon on it. That's it. Is it ironic? Or the edible reply to an aggravated customer at last year's fair who demanded a chicken sandwich? No matter: The limp white-bread sandwich is a perfect match for more timid fairs-goers, the kind of chickens who think the merry-go-round is a thrill.
2. Kool-Aid pickles
Virtually unknown beyond the Mississippi Delta before Southern food scholar John T. Edge wrote a cover story for The New York Times' dining section, pickles marinated in tropical punch Kool-Aid are equal parts sweet and sour. Unlike fried beer, the floppy pickles are providing a taste thrill that fair goers actually enjoy: "Two ladies came back with Ziploc bags and got three each," a counter woman said.
3. Fresh dipped turtles
Turtles may be slow, but their namesake cheesecake's been quick to get around the fair: More than four vendors this year are offering the supremely rich chocolate-covered cake on a stick. Surely a must-do for cheesecake lovers, the snack tastes like a fattened-up ice cream bar.
4. Texas rattler wrap
Proving it is possible to go horribly wrong with beef, cheese and bacon, this portable serving of meat features a wrinkly cheesed-up interior that bears an unwelcome resemblance to the last, forlorn flavored sausage on a convenience store grill. The vertical burger's enveloped by a burnt tortilla and wrapped in a burnt strip of bacon.
5. Deep-fried Gummi Worms
Just as billions of subterranean worms wait for a rainstorm to reveal themselves, the worms encased in these innocuous-looking cocoons of fry are slow to surface. It takes a few minutes for the cinnamon-dusted orbs to start seeping green and yellow syrup, the first clue the churros-like concoction has an intensely sugary center.