BOISE, Idaho, August 24, 2011 —One of my favorite parts of traveling the world is eating. There’s just something about trying all those new and exciting and foreign foods that’s… well, exciting. The unique combinations of spices and ingredients, the distinctive way of using various cooking methods, all of it novel. Actually exhilarating. It’s one of the best parts of travel.
I’ve traveled the world over but, honestly, I think the most unique foods I’ve discovered came from right here in Boise, Idaho this week at the Western Idaho State Fair.
I wandered the food court and my eyes bugged out at the sheer variety of grease-laden fair food. I could buy a pound of fries or twisty potatoes on a stick. Corn dogs, Greek gyros, or Mexican burritos. They’ve got it all at the fair.
I love the way state fairs bring out the best of local delicacies. Here in Boise the sizeable Basque population has a booth every year and sells delightful Basque croquetas and other Basque delicacies. We also have a baked potato booth. I mean, we’re in Idaho.
And then there are the Famous Idaho Ice Cream Potatoes. Amazingly, they really do look like potatoes, except they’re made of vanilla ice cream and rolled in cocoa to simulate the skin. They’re split open just like potatoes and served with a generous dollop of whipped cream and Oreo sprinkles. Nobody can go to the Western Idaho State Fair and not eat one.
I love fair food and every year I look forward to the fair with gleeful anticipation. It’s always so much fun to watch the hypnotists and jugglers while munching on deep fried onion blossoms.
But then as I lay on the grass waiting for my son to get off the Fire Ball, I happened to glance over at one of those food carriages in the midway. You know the ones – covered in lights and bright colors with cotton candy and caramel popcorn dangling in plastic bags from the front? And there it was, in all its glory:
Deep Fried Oreo Cookies
What were they thinking?
I’ve come to expect deep fried corn dogs and deep fried potatoes and deep fried funnel cakes, but Oreos? I think they’ve gone too far.
And yet, there was a part of me that was curious. Kinda like the Elephant Child’s insatiable curiosity, and it kept drawing me back. After all, what kind of adventurous traveler was I if I didn’t try Deep Fried Oreos? That’s some kind of new-fangled American delicacy, right?
And so, I ordered some. I handed over my five bucks and watched as the cook threw six Oreos into a bucket of batter. Then he tossed them into the deep fat fryer and they bubbled. And bubbled. Until they were a beautiful golden color and he pronounced them done.
I will freely admit I stood there looking at my deep fried Oreos for not a few minutes before working up the courage to try one. I gingerly picked it up and brought it up to my mouth, and then put it back down.
Deep Fried Oreo Cookies? What were they thinking?
In time, I managed to work up the courage to take a bite of that sweeter-than-honey cholesterol fest…
…and it was surprisingly good!
The cookie had softened and was surrounded by light, fluffy dough with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar on top. It was actually quite delightful.
“They have deep fried Twinkies down at the other end of the midway,” the cook told me. “You should try them too. They’re good!”
From that point on, I was bounced from one deep-fried treat to another. Deep fried Snickers, deep fried peaches. Deep fried pickles (yes, I did say pickles). Deep fried cheese or… cheeseburgers?
I’ve even heard one state fair was serving deep fried butter. And Kool Aid.
I have to wonder what deep fried marvel will be served next year? As for me, I think I’ll stick with my plain ol’ onion blossom, Greek gyro, and a Famous Idaho Ice Cream Potato for dessert.
Nancy Sathre-Vogel is just a mom who decided to take a bike ride. On the longest road in the world. Some people say she’s exceptionally brave. Others say she’s outrageously foolish. She doesn’t think she’s either. She’s just a mom who wanted an adventure and time with her kids. Her most recent adventure was cycling from Alaska to Argentina, a journey she documented at www.familyonbikes.org
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.