Freaky Fried Fair Foods

It seems lately that food creations are only limited by one’s own imagination and creativity. Consider this – Is there anyone out there that hasn’t either marveled or shuddered over accounts of deep-fried Twinkies? or Deep-fried Snickers? or Deep-fried bacon?

Well, brace yourself one more time, because a new deep-fried item has been created that’s so bold, so audacious, so brazen, that it’s bound to take your breath away. The invention is none other than…

Deep-fried butter…..


Deep-fried Butterballs

That’s right. This artery-clogging, heart-stopping dish is among eight new deep-fried concoctions that were unveiled to the public at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas this past summer. Every year, fair concessionaires try to outdo themselves, as well as their competition, by dreaming up recipes that could send you racing to your cardiologist if they ever became regular staples of your diet. The friendly competition has become so intense that fair officials have dubbed the fairgrounds… the “Fried Food Capital of Texas.”

fried coca cola

Deep-fried Coke

This year’s fried butter entry was the brainchild of 39-year-old Dallas resident Abel Gonzales Jr., winner of past state fair competitions for his Texas Fried Cookie Dough, Fried Peanut Butter, Jelly and Banana Sandwich and Fried Coke recipes.

You heard right ….. Fried Coke (see picture at right)

To make fried butter, the butter itself needs to have an outer coating, or shell, if you will — something that can withstand the bubbling cauldron of the deep fryer.

“I mean, butter by itself does not taste good,” Gonzales said. “Nobody just grabs a stick of butter and eats it. That would be gross.”


garlic-grape-cherry Butterballs

Now for purists who simply want the unaltered taste of butter, Gonzales serves up plain-butter versions of his creation. For others who want a little more pizzazz, he offers three additional versions with flavored butters…  garlic, grape or cherry.

“When you taste it, it really does taste like a hot roll with butter,” said Sue Gooding, spokeswoman for the State Fair of Texas. “It tastes great.”

“It’s like a mix between a biscuit or a croissant that is just stuffed to the gills with butter on the inside,” Gonzales said. “I think that’s the best way to describe it.”

If you place an order from Gonzales for fried butter at the fair you would get three or four pieces of piping-hot dough in a small cardboard boat. “Any more than that and I think it would be a little bit too much,” Gonzales said. “A little bit too rich.”

Other deep-fried creations that were showcased at this year’s Texas State Fair included:

  • Green Goblins >> Cherry peppers stuffed with spicy shredded chicken and guacamole, battered, deep-fried and topped with queso.
  • Twisted Yam on a Stick >> A spiral-cut sweet potato, fried on a skewer, then rolled in butter and dusted with cinnamon and sugar.
  • Fernie’s Deep Fried Peaches & Cream >> Served with a side of vanilla buttercream icing for dipping.
  • Texas Fried Pecan Pie >> A mini-pecan pie battered, deep fried and served with caramel sauce, whipping cream and chopped candied pecans.
  • Country Fried Pork Chips >> Battered, thin-sliced pork loin deep fried and served with sides of ketchup or cream gravy.
  • Sweet Jalapeno Corn Dog Shrimp >> Shrimp on a stick, coated with a sweet and spicy cornmeal batter, deep fried and served with a spicy glaze.
  • Fried Peanut Butter Cup Macaroon >> A peanut butter cup wrapped inside a coconut macaroon, fried and then dusted with powdered sugar.

On Labor Day, all eight creations were judged in the categories of Best Taste and Most Creative. Gonzales bagged a trophy for Most Creative for deep-fried butter, and Christi Erpillo won the Best Taste award for her peaches-and-cream creation.

Image: Deep-fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich
State Fair of Texas
Gonzales won the 2005 State Fair of Texas’ Best Taste competition for his fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich. (For the record, Elvis pan-fried his legendary peanut butter and banana sandwiches; Gonzales deep-fried his.)

Now in it’s 5th year, the annual competition has prompted concessionaires to push limits and become ever more imaginative and daring with their entries. Previous competitions saw the debut of deep-fried lattés, fried banana splits and chicken-fried bacon.

Top 20 Incredible Edible Fair Foods – If You Dare

Top 20 Incredible Edible Fair Foods – If You Dare

fair-foodThroughout much of the United States and Canada, summer time means fair time. Although state, provincial, county and district fairs pretty much exist year round (depending on what region of the country you live in, summer is generally associated with the bulk of them. And ….. when you think of fairs, many people think of the plethora of different types of food being served, as well as what the latest craze will be in exuberant and glorified fun food. In other words, what strange new concoction will be the big hit of this year’s event. Many food vendors travel on the fair circuit a large portion of the year.

At one time, the basic fair food consisted of corn dogs, burgers, cheese steak, Italian sausage,fried_dough_food_booth corn-on-the-cob, french fries, onion rings, nachos, giant pickle on a stick, cotton candy, popcorn, carmel corn, candy apples, snow cones, ice cream cones, lemonade, and the like. Nowadays, there seems to be no end in sight to the various concoctions and oddities that can be thrown together, and a it also seems like just about anything that can be put on a stick and/or deep fried will make a big splash on the general fair-going public.


fried cheese curds

Around the country, some formidable fair oddities over the last few years have included deep fried cheese curds in Wisconsin, fried Kronski’s sausage in Wyoming, fried pickles with horseradish sauce at the New York Dutchess County Fair, alligator-on-a-stick and the inevitable spaghetti-on-a-stick at the Minnesota State Fair. I’m not sure what the top fair foods are in other areas of the country

funnel cake

funnel cake

(though I’d like to know — the south and southwest must have some pretty extravagant signature dishes), but there is a back-story to a lot of these retro treats. Some of them represent arcane regional specialties ….. some of them are just insanely freakish sideshow snacks.

deep fried twinkie

deep fried Twinkie

Well, I guess if it can be put on a stick and deep fried, you have a tasty state fair treat!

fried coca cola

fried coca cola

Watch out arteries!

Here is a list of 20 (in no particular order) of the biggest, unusual, artery as well as gut bustin’ concoctions served at various fairs this year as well as over the past few summers.

zucchini-weeniCheck these out along with a few  pictures of  what they actually look like.

You say you’re going on a diet after you get back from the fair, right?

Makes your arteries harden just thinking about it, doesn’t it? 🙂

chicken fried bacon

chicken fried bacon

  1. Chicken Fried Bacon
  2. Fried Avocado Bites
  3. Spaghetti and Meatball-On-A-Stick
  4. Fried Frog Legs
  5. Hot Beef Sundae
  6. Pizza Cones
  7. Deep-Fried Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger
  8. Deep-Fried Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich
  9. Deep-Fried Twinkies
  10. Deep-Fried Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola or Dr. Pepper
  11. Key Lime Pie On-A-Stick

    Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich

    Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich

  12. Deep-Fried Snickers, Milky Way or Three Musketeers Bars
  13. Deep-Fried Twinkie-On-A-Stick
  14. Deep-Fried Oreos
  15. Deep-Fried Cheesecake
  16. Fried Mac & Cheese
  17. Fried Banana Split
  18. Deep-Fried Cookie Dough
  19. Deep-Fried Bread Pudding
  20. Deep-Fried Pickle-On-A-Stick

Bonus creations to salivate over …..

hot beef sundae

hot beef sundae

  • Deep-Fried Zucchini Weenie
  • Deep-Fried Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich
  • Deep-Fried Latte
  • Fried Banana Pudding with Vanilla Sauce
  • Fried Sweet Potato Pie
  • Deep-Fried S’mores
  • Fried Guacamole

Freaky Fried Fair Foods


Here are a few more “Best Fair Food” offerings in a few additional states.

pizza cone

pizza cone

Texas – Chicken Fried Bacon

California – Fried Avocado Bites

Minnesota – Spaghetti and Meatball on a Stick

California – Fried Frogs Legs

Iowa – Hot Beef Sundae

Indiana – Pizza Cones

California – Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwhich

Indiana – Deep Fried Twinkie

Texas – Fried Coca Cola

Minnesota – Key Lime Pie on a Stick


Here is another recent related post from this blog: