What Should and Should Not Be Deep-Fried at the State Fair

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt |

No, this is not a chocolate-covered corn dog. This is butter. A whole stick of freakin' butter. © ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

It’s State Fair season and much like Fashion Week in New York everyone is looking down the midway to see which hot new foods are being deep fried this year. Fair frequenters have eaten plenty of fried butter, Coca Cola, and even watermelon off transparent paper plates in the past. But before you go throwing all of your groceries into the Fry Daddy, here’s a handy guide to which eats do and do not deserve the hot oil treatment:

DO FRY: Salad - Not just lettuce or carrots or the individual elements of a salad. We’re talking a ball of salad with a browned and crunchy crust on the outside and a cold, crisp Cobb on the inside. It’s actually popping up in competitions (in Texas, of course) as we speak.
DON’T FRY: Ranch Dressing - There’s no need to put on the inside what we’ll already be dipping all of our fried things into on the outside. Leave it as is for the fried salad.

DO FRY: Apples - We already have caramel and candied apples, so this should be the year of the fried apple. Sprinkled with cinnamon and skewered, it’s like a pie on a stick.
DON’T FRY: Oranges - For the same reason you don’t see anyone serving up a piping hot slice of orange pie. One guy attempted it and it wasn’t pretty.

DO FRY: Raisins - They need all the help they can get. Chocolate and yogurt dipping are not cutting it. Let’s crisp these little disappointments up.
DON’T FRY: Grapes - No. A hot grape it's like eating an eyeball.

DO FRY: Nutella - Please. Do anything with Nutella. I personally brush my teeth with it and receive Nutella massages from my personal trainer. This one might not be new, but it’s like the little brown dress of food: always fashionable.
DON’T FRY: Hummus - That is, don’t bother. It’s basically falafel.

DO FRY: Gummy Worms - They’re like the candy version of mozzarella sticks. THE CANDY VERSION OF MOZZARELLA STICKS. (The precedent for this one was set at the New York State Fair)
DON’T FRY: Bubble gum - No one wants to blow a big, greasy bubble. The idea was already nixed in Texas.

DO FRY: After Dinner Mints - This is a natural conclusion to our progression of fried foods. After a three-course meal of golden crispy goodness, we all could use something to freshen our fried breath.
DON’T FRY: Moist Towelettes - While we also need these after a fried feast, greasing up a Wet-Nap would be like making soap out of dirt. Let’s leave well enough alone.

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