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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Pulled Wiener: Disqualified
I didn’t eat this, but I still wanted to share it. It’s the pulled wiener. I include this because, as an adult, I find the name hilarious and feel like it was included on this menu with no sense of irony. No other puns or jokes were anywhere around this food vendor, just a lone pulled wiener afloat in the middle of a menu full of overpriced items (I think the wiener here cost about $12).
Why is it an 11-inch wiener on a 6-inch bun? Where does one procure 11-inch wieners? I thought footlongs were the standard; why cut off that inch? And then slap it on a wee bun with pulled pork and overcharge for it after giving it a name inspired by masturbation? Incidentally, that’s why I didn’t purchase this item: I refuse to eat anything that so openly invokes dong stroking. God knows it’d be my fault if the thing had “special sauce.”
The Long, Crusty Arm of the Law
Look at the size of that thing. Freud would have shit a kitten on his mother. This is a corn dog, and yes, I had a corn dog last year, but this corn dog was literally longer than my forearm. This would make a horse feel inadequate. No one should ever eat a corn dog of this magnitude. It’s uncouth and unpleasant. You have to gape your maw like some kind of deep-sea gulper fish and just push the crusty, greasy tip in. Just the tip, mind you, because any more will cut off your air, and you don’t want paramedics to show up and find you choking to death on a giant, crusty wiener. Do you? No, you don’t.
This is one of those food items where halfway through eating it you realize you’re actually breathing a little heavy, and when you pause chewing it’s to catch your breath for a moment, which is literally the most pathetic thing you can say about a meal. I had to catch my breath while eating it. Catch your breath all you like if you’re running down the street and eating a bowl of chili, but if you’re just sitting still, there’s no good reason for a food item to play such havoc with your pulmonary system.
Canadian Ambrosia, aka Poutine
Yeah, I did poutine last year too, but that came in a bucket. This was served sensibly on waxed paper in a cardboard boat of some kind. Doesn’t that look lovely? All the wet brown on the chunky white with fries under it. That’s majestic.
I can’t recommend poutine enough. It’s the best thing from Canada since that dreamboat Ryan Gosling. Isn’t he just the best? Ladies, I ate food from his country: who wants to share a Snuggie?
The Chunky Elvis
I want you to look at this photo for a moment and take in what you think you see. Some ugly chips, a couple pickles, and what? Grilled cheese from a panini press? Oh, you. Oh, you naive and precious person, you. I could hug you. This is not a grilled cheese. It’s partially a grilled cheese, in that way that a zombie is partially human or a turd is partially a meal you had yesterday, but there’s something transformative that has taken place, and now all the goodness is gone.
To better illustrate my point, here is another photo of the Chunky Elvis, which is the real name of this sandwich.
Do you see? Don’t turn away, now is the most honest moment we’ll ever share together. Now is the time when we decide if we’ll be lifelong friends or never speak again. Now is when you stare into the blackness and see where I spent 20 minutes choking this fucking thing down for the sake of Internet comedy. I ate the whole fucking thing! I ATE EVERY BITE!
This frantic melange of wrong flavor combinations and disgraceful intentions is a grilled cheese and bacon and banana and peanut butter sandwich. It is all those things. It should be not those things.
This sandwich is not one of those quirky “Wow, I can’t believe how good this thing is” situations where you enter into it with some trepidation but are delighted to find it somehow works. Bitch don’t work. Bitch is unemployed and staying that way.
Cheese and banana tastes like shit and cheese or shit and banana, as your personal tastes dictate. Peanut butter and cheese do much the same thing. Bacon and banana is also completely preposterous. In point of fact, I will venture out on a limb and say that there are probably only a tiny handful of flavors in the world that are actually complemented by banana. Sure, peanut butter is one of them, but all the rest are other fruits and chocolate. Meat and banana go together like tongue kissing and your grandma’s trach tube.
The only time this sandwich was palatable was when I was somehow lucky enough to taste only peanut butter and banana or taste only cheese and bacon. It forces you into a situation in which you’re a little sandwich piggy, eating two sandwiches at once because you can’t wait to do them one at a time, and it’s OK when you get a bite of one or the other but when they combine into a repulsive Voltron of greasy salt and sweetness it tastes like the punishment you deserve for eating this filthy thing in the first place. You did this to yourself, no one made you do it, so you’ll suffer in silence and no one will pity you.
Don’t ever make this sandwich, and don’t ever eat it. That is all.
For more from Felix, check out 9 Things You Can Eat When You’re Hungry and at a Porn Store and 10 Ways to Feed Yourself While Broke and Hungry.