Welcome to my tales of cookery school, food and travel

The first 30+ posts of this blog describe my experiences as I complete a nine month cooking course - the City and Guilds Diploma in Food Preparation and Culinary Art. I did this after I moved out of full time employment and it was purely selfish - I love food, cooking, eating and drinking. Subsequent posts are about, food, travel and adventures.

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Friday, 7 September 2012

Food on a stick

Let me begin with a firm statement that I like the United States - a lot.  I like the American people in general and some of them in particular.  The ones I meet tend to be friendly, very hospitable, generous, kind and polite, and  I am sure the Americans I know represent the great proportion of others in that vast country.  

However there is a segment of the American population I just do not understand.  

I can best explain this through the following true story I read in Dining section of The New York Times on my recent visit.  The article relates to the Iowa State Fair and their annual effort to create new and exotic food, preferably on a stick, as food on a stick accounts for a 30 to 40 percent increase in sales.  I understand the economics, but the execution leaves me faint with disbelief.  It is not the 2012 treat that amazes me -  a "deep-fried pickle dawg". This concoction is a pickle slice, pastrami or ham and cream cheese. The creators of this treat were sadly defeated in their efforts to make it stay on a stick and had to serve it in a cardboard boat. 

Which makes the 2011 creation even more marvellous in both inception  and execution.  

If I give you 10 guesses I bet you will never come up with the answer.  

If I tell you the symbol of the Fair is a giant butter sculpture of a cow,  you may start to think along the right lines.  As an aside, the Butter Cow starts with a wood, metal, wire and steel mesh frame and about 275kg (600lb) of low moisture, pure cream Iowa butter. Layers of butter are applied until a life-size butter cow emerges - measuring about  1.67 meters by 2.4 meters (5-1/2-ft  by 8-ft ).




Is it an ice cream on a stick?  Too easy, besides, it has to be deep-fried to be truly delicious.  How about something cheese-y.  We all know melted cheese is good to eat.  No, let's go for gold.  

The Iowa State Fair PROUDLY brings you, for the second year by popular demand, at a price of just $4, DEEP-FRIED BUTTER ON A STICK.  If you would like to try this at home, take 60 grams of butter and put a stick in it, keep it close to frozen and dunk it in funnel cake batter (what the hell is this? I am afraid to google it) with cinnamon and spices, then fry in vegetable oil heated to 200 Celcius (400F).  Cook for 60 to 90 seconds then drizzle with a honey glaze - go on, I dare you.
Larry Fyfe, the brilliant man behind the concept

Kids, don't fry this at home.


In case you are thinking of a trip to Iowa in 2013, the website tempts you with a list of foods on-a-stick, but be warned - not all foods are deep-fried.
  

Here's the list of foods on-a-stick as of Fair 2012

Too many deep fried foods on-a-stick?
  1. Chocolate-Covered Chocolate Chip Cannoli - NEW in 2012
  2. Chocolate-Covered Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pop - NEW in 2012
  3. Fruit (with yogurt dipping sauce) - NEW in 2012
  4. Double Bacon Corn Dog (a hot dog wrapped in bacon, deep fried, dipped in bacon bit enriched batter and deep fried again to golden perfection) - NEW in 2012
  5. Bacon
  6. Chocolate-Covered Frozen S'more
  7. Fried Butter
  8. Peanut Butter & Jelly
  9. Chocolate-Covered Deep Fried Cheesecake
  10. Griddle Stick (turkey sausage wrapped in a pancake)
  11. Cake Pops
  12. Fair Square
  13. Chocolate-Covered Tiramisu
  14. Chocolate-Covered Turtle Mousse Bar
  15. Twinkie Log (frozen Twinkie dipped in white chocolate and rolled in cashews) 
  16. Octodog (hotdog in the shape of an octopus)
  17. Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Bar
  18. Chocolate-Covered Key Lime Dream Bar
  19. Carmellows
  20. Pickle
  21. Pork Chop
  22. Corn Dog
  23. Cheese
  24. Cajun Chicken
  25. Sesame Chicken
  26. Carmel Apple
  27. German Sausage
  28. Teriyaki Beef
  29. Corn on the Cob
  30. Cotton Candy
  31. Veggie Corndog
  32. Turkey Drumstick
  33. Nutty Bar
  34. Hot Bologna
  35. Chicken
  36. Monkey Tail (chocolate-covered banana)
  37. Honey
  38. Ice Cream Wonder Bar
  39. Deep-Fried Snickers
  40. Deep-Fried Milky Way
  41. Deep-Fried Twinkie
  42. Breakfast Lamb Sausage (brat)
  43. Deep-Fried Ho-Ho
  44. Deep-Fried Cupcake
  45. Dutch Letter
  46. Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake
  47. Pineapple (Fresh pineapple dipped in funnel cake batter and deep fried)
  48. Hot Lips (breaded chicken breast smothered with hot sauce, served with blue cheese      dressing)
  49. Cornbrat (bratwurst dipped in corndog batter)
  50. Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich
  51. Rock Candy
  52. Salad
  53. Hard-Boiled Egg
  54. Unicorn Lolipops
  55. Rainbow Popsicle
  56. Push-ups
  57. Turkey Tenderloin

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