Texas vs. Minnesota: A deep-fried rivalry

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 28, 2010 - 8:37 PM

When we weren't looking, the Texas State Fair invented Deep-Fried Beer.

I'll just let that sink in for a second. Wisconsin should feel the greatest shame, of course; America looks to the People of the Cheese to create new, innovative forms of beer. But we go to the fair every year wondering what will be deep fried and stick stuck. It's only a miracle we avoided Deep-Fried Vuvuzela. If anyone's going to come up with something heart-choking that also stabs your liver, it's us.

'How?' you ask. How can beer, a liquid, be deep-fried? This question vexed researchers for years, who noted with frustration that beer refuses to cohere into delicious batter-coated nuggets, unlike cheese. Yet cheese and beer go together. There must be an answer. Indeed: The wily Texans injected beer into a pretzel, which served to shield the malty goodness. You bite into it, and the beer runs out. I know what you're thinking: Gosh, hot beer streaming down my chin? Where's the line?

It gets worse. The latest innovations at the Texas State Fair include:

Deep-Fried Pop-Tart S'mores. Lame. We have actual S'mores up here, not the Pop-Tarts version, which tastes like really old particle board. So on this score, we win.

Deep-Fried Margaritas. 'Inconceivable!' you say. 'The beer thing blew my mind, man, but this -- what secret alien-derived technology are they using down there?' It's this: They combine margarita ingredients with funnel cake batter. So it's a solid margarita. You could eat it with a knife and fork. If you miss the intoxicating aspect, I'm sure someone can hit you on the head with a bottle.

Fried Club Sandwich. Take that, vegetables. All tomatoes guaranteed to have been taunted before being sliced and dipped! This is how we deal with your kind, Texas-style! Remember the Alamo!

Texas Fried Caviar. Can't imagine there's a lot of call for deep-fried fish eggs, but then again, you could deep-fry bolts and hamster feet and people would try it once.

So that's where we stand in the war with Texas. We have to do better, people. I know what you're thinking: deep-fried Spam. We tried that. People kept cracking their teeth on the can.

James Lileks • jlileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858 More daily at www.startribune.com/blogs/lileks.

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