In the South, we deep fry things. Corn dog = yum. Funnel cake = yum. Okra = yum.
On a trip to Rodeo Houston, I took culinary travel to a new level by testing out the fried oatmeal crème pie (Spell check added the accent, so I left it there to sound more exotic.)
The esteemed oatmeal crème pie is made with corn syrup, flour, and partially hydrogenated oils as its primary ingredients. If I need to explain why this is wrong to begin with, then you should probably quit reading now.
At a food booth at Rodeo Houston, they took this shortening-based food, rolled it in batter, and dropped it in shortening, which, dear reader, is quite unlike dropping ice cream in milk to make a delicious milk shake. Instead, the “pie” hoovered up the oil, leaving us with a battered squishy mess. The crème itself clearly wanted to escape, and like mingling of the waters between the Amazon and the Rio Negro, the white crème joined with its darker and less tasty brother, the hot oil in the fat fryer, leaving us with nothing but a soggy battered deep fried shape, which soaked into two plates and perhaps the wooden picnic table beneath. And it tasted pretty much like sugar-laced shortening, with a powdered sugar garnish.
The fried oatmeal crème pie is successful on at least two fronts: as both a delivery device for shortening and a lifespan reduction device. How could there be so much right with the funnel cake, yet so much wrong with the fried oatmeal crème pie? I wanted to ask for my money back or to trade it in the half-consumed pie for the time tested funnel cake, but I didn’t have the guts to admit defeat at the hands of a culinary mistake.
Next time, I will have the courage to pass up random deep fried things. I will have the courage to stick to the essential fried carnival foods. And if I am to make another purchasing mistake, I will have the courage to let them know.
For more about deep fried Rodeo Houston foods, check out the reviews on the Houston Press blog: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/2009/03/rodeo_food_wurst_kabob_and_dee.php#