posted by Christopher Swope
You've probably heard about "fried Coke," the latest delicacy at the fried-food bonanza that is the Texas State Fair. Well, I had the honor of tasting this culinary innovation at Fair Park in Dallas this weekend. In my eating schedule, it fell somewhere after the Fletcher's corny dog, but before the fried chocolate burrito. I am lucky to be alive to tell the story.
How do you fry Coca-Cola? I had expected to see chefs popping the tops of red cans and pouring the cola into a spattering fryer. I was wrong. Instead, what they do is make up a Coke-flavored batter, roll it into balls and drop those in for a hot-oil swim. Once crispy, the Cokeballs go in a cup, where they are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, dunked in Coke fountain syrup and capped with whipped cream and a cherry. I shot the video at the finishing station (click twice on the screen).
The whole concoction tasted better than I expected. I know, I know: what's fried tastes good. But really, this was quite yummy. Digging in with a fork, fried Coke at first gave off the airs of a supersweet donut. It got soggier and sweeter the further down into the cup I got, until the very bottom, which was all Coke syrup and shreds of wet dough. This is where more conventional Coke-consuming methods, such as a straw, came into play. The last gulp was a thick deep-brown sludge, warmed by residue from the fryer, and delicious.
The New York Times says state fairs are dead, but I can see why the Texas State Fair remains profitable. Every year there are new foods to go along with the giganto cattle, which must get old after a little while. Not everybody who visits the Texas fair is going to catch the Marilyn Monroe impersonator, the pig races or the card stacker. But everyone eats. Give them something new to chew on, and they'll keep coming back for more.