On the plus side, regular vegetables taste heavenly now.
August 2, 2015 10:57 AM   Subscribe

Remember back in the halcyon days of about five weeks ago when griphus inflicted the Minnesota State Fair menu on us? Many of us sighed, thought Oh, if only..., then moved on to discussing the President on a podcast or marriage equality becoming the law of the land or some less important nonsense. But what if you really wanted to know what that stuff will do to you? Fortunately, the Cracked team is there for you (albeit at the Calgary Stampede rather than the Minnesota State Fair), with 10 Carnival Foods Invented By Crazy People (Taste Tested).

The foods aren't quite as insane as the Italian Dessert Nachos (this is Canada, after all), but at least we can read about some poor bastards walking up to a bunch of carny trucks and ordering the Cactus Burger, Grilled Cheese Donut, Camel & Kangaroo & Crocodile Sliders, Mini Donut Pop, Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly, Chocolate-Covered Bacon, Deep-Fried Vegetables, Red Velvet Chicken Strips, Cheese On A Stick, and Pickle Juice (with Tabasco and/or ghost pepper).
posted by Etrigan (55 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Preview: The third chocolate covered bacon image, looks like a chocolate (or something) covered, flayed, possibly fried, bloody bat carcass.
posted by Oyéah at 11:05 AM on August 2, 2015


The link leads to the second page, which means you only get five of these hellish concoctions. Here are the first five crimes against food.
posted by egypturnash at 11:19 AM on August 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Deep-frying vegetables is like filling your swimming pool with concrete. Nothing's stopping you, but it's a crude mockery of the original purpose.

Tempura begs to differ.
posted by Splunge at 11:20 AM on August 2, 2015 [60 favorites]


On the other side of the weird mutant food equation I had a sandwich made of two latkes and pastrami from this van the other day and it was AMAZING.

Probably about a thousand calories.
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


tempura begs to differ

I wonder how many of these are genuine bad idea, versus bad execution and/or ingredients, versus compulsive snarky writing. The fried vegetables look like the middle option.
posted by Artw at 11:28 AM on August 2, 2015 [11 favorites]


The writing is so over the top, it's simetimes hard to tell what it really tasted like.
Pickle juice with pepper?
posted by Omnomnom at 11:29 AM on August 2, 2015


Like, I've had crocodile, and crocodile is not all that weird - basically tastes like chicken with more of a fish texture. So are the sliders guys just murdering it in preparation?
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on August 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Deep-frying vegetables is like filling your swimming pool with concrete. Nothing's stopping you, but it's a crude mockery of the original purpose.

Tempura begs to differ.


Yea, I was scratching my head over the Deep-Fried Vegetables entry, too. I mean, DF mushrooms have been a thing on appetizer menus everywhere since close to forever. Ditto for cauliflower, zucchini, etc.

I will give them props for this line, though:
Cauliflower is basically broccoli's cynical cousin...
posted by Thorzdad at 11:32 AM on August 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Pork belly and deep fried vegetables are perfectly normal fare.
posted by cnanderson at 11:37 AM on August 2, 2015


Pork belly and deep fried vegetables are perfectly normal fare.

Do people normally wrap pork belly in more bacon, though? As for deep fried vegetables, I've had so many disgusting versions of them, even the allure of decent tempura is not enough to lure me back. I love going to fairs and seeing this sort of food, but so many of it just seems like the worst idea ever: sometimes adding more of something to a whole heaping pile of that something is not actually a good idea. (Sort of like Jurassic World: the answer to an issue with runaway dinosaurs is rarely adding more dinosaurs. But with grease and fryers.)

I found this hilarious, especially the pickle juice reaction. That's my dog's reaction to realising he's snatched and devoured something too vile even for a dog. He drops what he can and runs away as if he could out run the taste, poor guy.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 11:42 AM on August 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Needs more maggot grilled cheese.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:58 AM on August 2, 2015


I've had chocolate covered bacon, It was good. This guy's a wuss.
posted by jonmc at 12:16 PM on August 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


On the other side of the weird mutant food equation I had a sandwich made of two latkes and pastrami from this van the other day and it was AMAZING.

This place does pastrami between two knishes. Haven't tried it yet (they keep weird hours) but it looks great.
posted by jonmc at 12:23 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


NOISE! ??? Each bite is regret. ??? Death?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:28 PM on August 2, 2015


Pastrami is not death!
posted by clavdivs at 12:37 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I await so eagerly the end of the hyperbolic nerd reviewing state fair fare trope
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 12:44 PM on August 2, 2015 [15 favorites]


The only problem with the fried vegetables was the execution. It sounds like their fryers are too cold, the oil is probably filthy, and the batter may not have been safe for human consumption anymore.

(Tip: if you ever happen to be in Fort Worth, go to Zeke's. The fish is great, but there's a reason the "Our Specialties" section is fried vegetables. Take friends so you can order all of them. They're all cornmeal battered, not beer, and they've clearly studied the perfect format for each vegetable. The zucchini, for example, is spears rather than rounds, so you still have some resistance in there even after it's fried.)

And alligator is really good but very lean (they're all muscle and they don't float so good), you don't want to eat it ground, and certainly not ground and overworked and overcooked. It's very good fried, which is really how you oughtta get it at the fair anyway.

Whoever decided to fry cheddar cheese is an asshole, though. Melting is specifically the one thing cheddar is known for not being good at. It's one of the few cheeses - even the really fancy stuff - that doesn't get a whole lot better at room temperature, and quickly gets worse.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:46 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I vote for bad execution (or quality of ingredients), rather than bad idea. Check out Reading Terminal Market (Philly) for various versions of chocolate-covered bacon. Quality all around.
posted by datawrangler at 12:47 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


So yeah, just went through the menu from Griphus' post and apparently someone has created a cross between tater tots and convenience store nachos and called it "totchos" and has somehow not been awarded a Nobel Prize yet
posted by Hoopo at 12:48 PM on August 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Totchos are excellent trash food for when you want to be total trash.

And again, a gazillion calories.
posted by Artw at 12:53 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Metafilter stand at the state fair would be all abut liquidized cheeseburgers served as shakes and have the banner "TASTES JUST THE SAME".
posted by Artw at 12:55 PM on August 2, 2015 [13 favorites]


Unfortunately, the cockroach pizza was not available at this year's Stampede for Cracked's article.
posted by nubs at 12:56 PM on August 2, 2015


TECHNICALLY PROTEIN!
posted by Artw at 12:58 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the reason fair food in general is usually gross and greasy has to do with the state of the fryers, not anything to do with the inherent properties of fried food. I went to a party once that basically involved some little cheap home fryers and a bunch of various things for people to put into them and even those all turned out pretty delicious compared to fair food. I think the only reason I have fond childhood memories of fair food is that it was one of the only times I was allowed any considerable amount of junk food. Some of these things, I'd love to try, in virtually any other context.
posted by Sequence at 1:04 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah this sounds like a pantywaist cliche of a cliche trying to impress a cliche clique with cliches. We get it, you're hip and lean. Fried vegetables? Oh noes. If you don't get chocolate covered bacon, turn in your soul and hipster glasses
posted by aydeejones at 1:06 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I liked it and think it was funny!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:13 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you don't get chocolate covered bacon, turn in your soul and hipster glasses

These dudes (of which there are plenty of photos) are definitely not hipsters and they are definitely not wearing hipster glasses.
posted by ssg at 1:18 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Grilled ham & cheese doughnut? that's just a cheap & sleazy Monte Cristo. Not particularly weird to me.
posted by evilDoug at 1:21 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I mean, these are basically food trucks, with a similar set of gimmicks, and everyone loves gimmicky food trucks now, so what gives?
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on August 2, 2015


Deep Fried Vegetables: Normal and delicious
Pickle Juice: Weird but delicious
Nopale Cactus: Normal and delicious. A little strange to put it on a burger, but I can see it working.
Camel, Kangaroo, and Crocodile Sliders: These are all slightly exotic meats in North America that many many people eat elsewhere in the world. I see no reason they wouldn't work as a burger, considering that chicken and turkey burgers are a thing.
Cheese on a Stick: sounds like basically a fried cheese stick, which is totally normal and delicious pub food.
Mini Donut Pop: This is basically an ice cream cake.

I don't doubt for a second that they were all disgusting, but I'm certain the horror got in there during the execution, not the conception.
posted by 256 at 1:31 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


clavdivs: "Pastrami is not death!"

No. It is life itself.
posted by Splunge at 1:36 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Napkin Freinds is coming around again on Tuesday and I am going to be so there.
posted by Artw at 1:43 PM on August 2, 2015


goddamn now i want tempura
posted by nadawi at 1:45 PM on August 2, 2015


Napkin Freinds is coming around again on Tuesday and I am going to be so there -- artw

Really? I've seen them a few times when we used to have a food truck pod near my office downtown, and I was never really all that impressed with them. They were greasy and kind of bland. There's probably a good latke/brisket sandwich idea out there, but Napkin Friends isn't executing on it.
posted by ChrisR at 1:46 PM on August 2, 2015


Maybe I just caught them on a good day, we shall see.
posted by Artw at 1:58 PM on August 2, 2015


napkin friends sucks, they're riding the coattails of napkin freinds. that's the prob
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:05 PM on August 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


The difference between the French and Americans is that the French think cheese is a food. Americans see cheese as a chemical engineering project.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:11 PM on August 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


a sandwich made of two latkes and pastrami

...this is almost the distilled essence of Ashkenazi Jewish food. Now, if you just dunked the whole thing in schmaltz...
posted by thomas j wise at 2:12 PM on August 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Why did no one explain that the pickle juice is for picklebacks?
posted by peppermind at 3:21 PM on August 2, 2015


It's a little bit like drinking a Big Mac

OK, that's making my slogans look good.
posted by Artw at 3:27 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


thomas j wise: "a sandwich made of two latkes and pastrami

...this is almost the distilled essence of Ashkenazi Jewish food. Now, if you just dunked the whole thing in schmaltz...
"

Do not forget the kasha varnishkes. That would be the salad, I guess.
posted by Splunge at 3:27 PM on August 2, 2015


The Brick Store in Bath NH has maple and fudge covered bacon on a stick. Quite good.
posted by brujita at 3:44 PM on August 2, 2015


The most gross to me was the red velvet chicken, but I have never understood red velvet cake. Isn't it just normal yellow cake full of red food coloring? Can anyone enlighten me about the difference?
posted by mermayd at 3:54 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I thought the cream cheese was the important part, and that's clearly absent.
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on August 2, 2015


@mermayd: Red Velvet cake is close to a Devil's Food cake, only with a shitload of red food colouring. And Artw is right - the cream cheese frosting is the best part.
posted by guster4lovers at 4:42 PM on August 2, 2015


nononononoNO! the problem is that everyone makes red velvet wrong and it has become this cultural thing that doesn't in any way resemble what is so great about this variety of cake.

first of all, like most amazing things that the south gets right, it involves buttermilk. secondly, the red color used to come from the kind of cocoa used/how it reacted to vinegar (and some would enhance with beet juice or other red food coloring type of ingredients). it's not a deep rich chocolate - it's a subtle chocolate, which is the thing i like about it.
posted by nadawi at 5:01 PM on August 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Red velvet cake is yet another tiring example of "well it looks kinda like the original so therefore it must be as good as the original" thing that happens so often.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:57 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Like Hostess cupcakes, yeah?
posted by clavdivs at 6:58 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


There should be more super enthusiastic reviews of stuff like this. Something that makes you want to cheer, stand up, and say "Yes! I will eat these peanut butter cups that have been wrapped in bacon and deep fried!"

That would be much more fun.
posted by teponaztli at 2:01 AM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


My workplace blocks the Cracked link as follows:

"This Websense category is filtered: Tasteless."
posted by jonnyploy at 3:27 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


They sent boys in skinny jeans to do a man's job.
posted by Muddler at 6:10 AM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Minnesota State Fair menu

Did anyone ever figure out what "fried in wine" meant?
posted by Panjandrum at 7:33 AM on August 3, 2015


These dudes (of which there are plenty of photos) are definitely not hipsters and they are definitely not wearing hipster glasses.

Not sure if serious or inhabiting Berenstein universe
posted by aydeejones at 8:33 AM on August 3, 2015


Makes me want to invent candied fish heads.
...
... hey, wait! (c) Reg. Tm
posted by Chitownfats at 11:10 AM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd like to call attention to this classic cracked article, which I feel is the superior spiritual forebear of the one in the FPP.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:45 PM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


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