Fried Jambalaya: A Food Critic's Tasting Notes

Categories: Food News

Fried Jambalaya.jpg
I hope you haven't packed your shorts for the summer yet. The weather for opening day at the State Fair of Texas is hot and muggy with a fine aerosol of crisp and clean frying oil.

I zipped over to Fair Park today to find the winner of this year's fried food competition. Abel Gonzales' deep fried Cajun stew was supposed to be "not fucking bad," according to Donovan Lewis, who judged the competition. I wanted to see if the small nard of deep-fried goo was worth the $4 price tag.

The glistening orb is slightly larger than a ping pong ball and encased in a thin veneer of golden brown crust that snaps a touch when you break it open with a fork. Inside you'll find a warm mixture of savory, creamy rice, and sausage the color of wet newspaper. The balls are supposed to have shrimp, but I think I got a bad scoop.

The spicy ranch tastes about as you'd expect, but when the whole bite comes together in a redneck-arancini sort of way, you realize it kind of works, and is indeed rather appealing. I'll one-up Mr. Donavan, and offer that they are pretty fucking good.

Location Info

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Fair Park

1200 S. Second Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: General

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11 comments
bigjondaniel
bigjondaniel

I think there was a food truck in Dallas that used to do fried spaghetti balls (Naples street food).  they were pretty damn good

Peacock214
Peacock214

Being a native of south Louisiana, part of me wants to be horrified that something as awesome as jambalaya is being deep fried and now resembles a hush puppy, but then I remember that I live in Dallas where all of the "Cajun" and "Creole" food is so off the mark that it's laughable.  

G_David
G_David

You didn't answer the question though... is it worth $4?

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

oo much frying of things.......hmmm,must be southern thang. 

CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

 @Peacock214

 I'm from Louisiana, and I feel the exact same way. Winner or not, I won't be trying this.

dumbass
dumbass

 @G_David if youre worried about the 4 bucks dont buy it, it is delicious

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

 @G_David No. But you're going to get one anyway, because it's the winner and you're curious. And as you eat it, you will think "yes, this is indeed, pretty fucking good." And then you will not purchase another.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

@kergo1spaceship Dallas is trying desperately to keep the Most Obese Texans title away from Houston.

G_David
G_David

 @dumbass Well, since the fair's half over dumbass, I actually have tried it.  It was like most things out there, sort of okay as a novelty, not anything I'd want to eat more than once.  I'll save my appetite for the real thing.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

 @primi_timpano   

 

That's what I'm thinking; it's deep fried this, and that baked in lard, or Crisco, or some other manner of gelatinous fat.  There is a reason why Texas, and the Southern states are FAT. People really don't eat like this in other ports......trust me, I know. I can honestly say I have never deep fried anything (other than okra) for my immediate family-I care for them TOO much. Growing up the Italian way it was cooking in a kiln, outback, or pan seered-that's it. Nothing encased in grease. 

 

With that being said, the traditional kergie favorite Italian meal of pasta, bread, stuffing balls, etc. was probably too much on the carb front.

Double-O-Joe
Double-O-Joe

 @kergo1spaceship  @primi_timpano 

I would add a caveat to that, though.  Eating fried food is okay...  as long as you don't gorge on it.  Sure, have a bite.  Maybe two or three, or a piece of fried fish.  It's when you start deep-throating whole buckets of KFC that you have a problem.

 

Unfortunately, it's near impossible to control portion sizes unless you cook it yoruself. 

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