Monday, April 19, 2010
Clogged in the Pipeline...a tribute to Deep Fried Oreos!
Sorry to keep you waiting with bated breath, but I was in Boston last week, away from access to any of the amenities of the 21st century.
Seriously, the walk from my hotel to the nearest drug store was 15 minutes!
But, Boston was a beautiful town...from what little of it I was able to see. Turns out they have this place called McDonald's that sells a Krustyburger with Cheese, but they don't call it a Krustyburger with Cheese. Instead, they call it a "Quarter Pounder with Cheese." (!)
But I digress. After scarfing down far too many deep fried oreos on Saturday, I have resolved to provide you with a sweeping survey of this confection's venerable history.
It all goes back to the 1990's, when a Brooklynite came up with the idea of deep frying candy bars. This may have been influenced by the Deep Fried Mars bar, which is an ancient Scottish dessert that was introduced circa A.D. 1995. However, some sweetner scholars disagree, and propose a 4 source hypothesis to the problem.
What is known is that deep fried candy bars were sold at state fairs in the Midwest (where else?) starting in the late 90's. Within a year, this grew to include twinkies (as requested by Hostess). The introduction of deep frying frozen oreos has gone unrecorded (I guess those blessed enough to see this weren't wise enough to write it down). However, they have been a staple at New York City Fairs ever since, where I go through them like Bugs Bunny goes through carrots.
If you're in the market for anything deep fried, it is important to watch and verify that it is being prepared correctly. The whole point of deep frying an oreo, twinkie, or Mars bar is to remove the excess moisture. Meanwhile, the sugars will carmelize, and the whole confection should soften, but like any chemical reaction this takes time. If you see a vendor scooping the oreos out within a minute or two, ask him to put them back in. A crunchy deep fried oreo is only an overpriced ordinary oreo offering an outer envelope of oil. When it comes to deep frying a sandwich cookie, buyer beware.
And, this is why a deep fried oreo is amazing-it's soft, but not gooey. It's transformed, but still shares the essential properties of an untouched oreo.
If I were you, I would grab one while I can, because it looks as though street fairs might become a little less frequent in the Big Apple.