Last year I took you to the county fair with me so there would be a visual record of how and why I exploded. However, due to a hearty constitution and low levels of shame, I managed to survive my foray into the culinary abyss of the carny-folk and come out the other side unscathed, save for some lower intestinal anguish.
This year I thought, "Why not do that horrible thing again?" Only this time, I would up the ante. Nearly everything I ate last year was a food you could eat just about anywhere. Pulled pork? What was I thinking? That stuff is delicious and worthy of praise. No, this year I would full-on assault my innards with the most tragic of deep-fried terrors, because if not me, then who?
The purpose for this article, as you have no doubt surmised, is personal pain for your enjoyment. And also, perhaps, a handy guide so that next time you find yourself at the county fair you might skillfully avoid the poorer choices I've made and head directly for the poutine. That shit is delicious. Canada, you are adorable.
#9. Deep-Fried S'mores
Legend has it that if a carny fails at deep-frying a food, a team of ghostly clowns will hunt him down and give him all the hepatitis of every past carny in one foul dose that will literally make him evaporate into a VD cloud. Don't blame me for that story, it's just a legend that carnies live by. Anyway, the carnies must constantly deep-fry foods that have no business being deep-fried to prevent this from happening. That's how you get a deep-fried s'more.
Was this creative? Eh, hard to say. With deep-fried chocolate bars and bubblegum and Twinkies, the world seems to be running short of dessert products to deep-fry. Honestly, I'd like to see someone pull off a deep-fried Jello. This was OK, though. It's s'mores: how do you fuck that up?
#8. Deep-Fried Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms
My apologies for the repulsiveness of my photography, but there wasn't much I could do to pretty up the inside of this mess. It was a mushroom crammed full of cream cheese and then battered and fried. Deep-fried mushrooms are a staple bar food. This just added the cheese dynamic. Is anything worse when combined with cheese? Funny you should ask, because, as I'll soon show you, the answer is a disgusting yes. But mushrooms and cheese are just dandy.
#7. The Cheese Abyss
I wish I'd taken better pictures of this to allow for some perspective. As it was, my camera refused to focus on it properly for no fewer than eight separate images. The amorphous, textureless lack of structure sent my camera into a panic as it desperately tried to understand what I wanted to showcase. Nonetheless, this fried blob is about the size of a child's fist and naturally comes on a stick. That off-white pustule in the center there is just cheese.
Imagine a delicious mozzarella stick, and then imagine you infected it with the T-Virus from Resident Evil and it mutated into a man-hating cheese sphere (on a stick). That's mostly this. It was spicy Havarti cheese, and the block was so ridiculously thick that the center was actually still cold, because even oil at 400 degrees can't penetrate a congealed heart of devil this rotund.
It is my sincere belief that carnies went to the supermarket and bought a brick of cheese, cut it in two, impaled one half, battered it, and fried it, and that's what they handed me. Had it been cooked all the way through, it would have been slightly more appetizing, but probably also would have burned my face beyond recognition as the molten cheese lashed out like tendrils from the Venom symbiote. I felt sleepy while I ate it.
#6. The Death Spiral
Would you look at this mess? The truck selling this had chicken and waffles, and I was so close to just buying chicken and waffles and enjoying myself, but I thought, "No, that's not weird. I think it's even the name of a Ludacris album." So I saw this tomfoolery on the menu and dove in.
What you're looking at is two, maybe even three, whole potatoes that have been spiral cut and then fried. Nothing else occurred. Do you want to know a secret? Something else needs to occur to make this shit edible.
Simple as it seems, this failed miserably, and the picture tells the tale. You'll notice on the left a big ol' spiral of white potato and on the right a dark brown one. The dark brown tasted like I was licking clean the underside of a barbecue grill, while the white side tasted like a raw potato, because it was a raw potato. You can't eat raw potato, did you know that? I mean, you can, in the sense that anything that fits in your mouth is a thing you can technically eat, but you shouldn't, and your stomach doesn't want you to. Also, there was no salt on this thing. I'm not a starving Irish peasant, carnies. This is ridiculous.
#5. Frozen Hot Chocolate
I felt like I was being mocked at this point. Isn't frozen hot chocolate just chocolate milk? Possibly a chocolate milkshake? The answer is worse than I would have guessed. Looking at this, you might think: "Looks all right. Something chocolaty in a cup with whipped cream on top, what's the big deal?" Sadly, this was not enjoyable, as the chocolate used in its manufacture is of the pure diabetes variety. I had no idea you could force that much sugar into such a small space. After saturating my liver in all that grease, it didn't need a sugar shock to wake it up, it just needed time. This was not helpful or tasty -- like thickened chocolate sauce with ice particulate in it, some sort of dessert you'd find in a gutter in mid-January. I had to trash about two-thirds of it.