From garlic fries to funnel cakes, fried foods are standard carnival fare. But the concession stand's deep-fryer has seen increasingly interesting ingredients in the last few years, resulting in some of the wackiest foods ever made-fried or not-including the following eight odes to greasy greatness.
Deep-Fried Coca Cola
What better way to wash down your cheese fries and deep-fried cheeseburger (yes, really) than with a deep-fried Coke? In 2006, Abel Gonzales, Jr. introduced his fried coke at the State Fair of Texas, where it won "Most Creative" in the annual food competition. The cooked concoction uses frozen Coca-Cola-flavored batter, which is deep-fried and then topped with Coca-Cola syrup, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar, and a cherry. One cup of fried Coke is approximately 830 calories, but that didn't stop the 35,000 people who paid the $4.50 per order price tag within the first month of its debut.
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Deep-Fried Kool-Aid Balls
In June 2011, self-proclaimed grease guru and creator of the deep-fried Oreo, Charlie Boghosian, debuted his pan-fried pièce de résistance, fried Kool-Aid balls, at the San Diego County Fair. The sweet treat, which is made from a simple mix of dough and Kool-Aid powder, sold somewhere between 400 and 600 five-piece orders on its first day alone, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
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Fried Butter Balls
Not surprisingly, southern chef Paula Deen-who is known for the high amounts of fat, sugar, and salt in her recipes-introduced one of the most cholesterol-rich snacks ever-fried butter balls. These rich dairy delights have creamy centers made of butter, cream cheese, salt, and pepper.
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Beer batter has long been used to make fish and chips and onion rings, but last year, Mark Zable, inventor and amateur chef, took the potable ingredient to a new buzz-worthy level by introducing fried beer pockets at the State Fair of Texas. Exactly what they sound like they would be, these ravioli-shaped pockets have a beer center (usually Guinness) that pours out at first bite. No need to lament spilt suds on your plate-you can simply use the fried encasement to sop up the ale!
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Fried Club Salad
Even healthy fare isn't safe from the deep-fryer! Last summer, Christi Erpillo debuted Fernie's Fried Club Salad at the State Fair of Texas. The not-so-healthy choice is a 12-inch spinach wrap filled with ham, chicken, shredded iceberg, carrots, cherry tomatoes, sharp cheddar, and bacon that's deep fried and served with fried croutons on a bed of romaine lettuce. Sounds good to us!
Deep-Fried Frozen Margarita
One of the wackiest foods we've ever seen-fried or not-is the deep-fried frozen margarita. This cooked cocktail is more like a funnel cake, made with tequila-infused batter. Once fried, it's sprinkled with margarita mix and served in a salt-rimmed glass, which inevitably inspires a hearty "Cheers" among its fans.
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Photo credits: The San Diego Union Tribune, Flickr/willrad, Flickr/celloc, Flickr/Stacey Huggins, Deep South Magazine
Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.