A few weeks ago Wendy raved about the food at the Austin City Limits Festival, particularly Frito Pie. I too have become a fan of Frito Pie, albeit a version topped with BBQ chili. Recently I learned that one vendor at the 2007 State Fair of Texas has put yet another twist on this classic by relying on that age-old fair food technique of deep frying.
Fernie's Fried Chili Frito Burrito consists of a flour tortilla stuffed with chili and Chili Cheese Fritos and then deep-fried. I didn't even know Chili Cheese Fritos existed. I wonder if they're available outside of Texas. The Frito scoop came to my attention by way of a blog by Dallas Morning News reporter Katie Menzer who's covering the event until it ends Sunday. Appropriately enough her blog is called Our Fair Lady. Keep reading to find out about more newfangled fair fare. Deep frying various items at state and county fairs is a tradition as old as funnel cake, but it seems to me like the Texas imported some folks from Scottish chip shops to come up with some of these bizarre offerings.
First up are deep-fried peppermint candies, a would-be treat that Menzer gives a mixed review. Deep frying renders the mints gooey and the whole thing has an intense peppermint flavor. Her verdict: "I'm proud to say I tried it, but I wouldn't eat it again." If any fry cooks from the fare are reading this, here's a tip why not try dropping some Altoids in that hot fat.
What you see here has been dubbed a Donkey Tail, which was created by Ruth's Tamale House. It's a beef frank that's been slit and stuffed with cheese, then ensconced in a tortilla, and, you guessed it, deep fried. Menzer gives the taquitoesque treat a firm thumbs down because hers spent a little too much time in the fryer giving the tortilla a rock-hard consistency.
Also in the mutant Mexican food vein is the Choco-Rito, which as you can tell from the name is a dessert. Imagine stuffing a flour tortilla with marshmallows, coconut, candy, caramel and cinammon. Then dip the whole lot in pancake batter and fry it up. For some reason this reminds me of a sweet version of SNL's Pizza-crepe-taco-pancake-chili bag. It gets a big thumbs down because it tasted like bitter chocolate and coconut and was overfried.
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