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Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

The fries of Texas are upon you.

I’d never been to Austin, Texas and while I was familiar with their unofficial motto of “Keep Austin Weird” — I truly felt I was prepared for anything.  Why wouldn’t I be?  I was born in Santa Cruz, CA where the UCSC mascot is the ariolimax dolichophallus or, more commonly: the banana slug.  Imagine my surprise when I found out about some of their more unusual culinary choices.  Ten minutes into the walking tour of the University of Texas campus my daughter and I took, we encountered an entrepreneurial young man with a folding card table, small Fry Daddy and a homemade sign shouting in bold marker, uppercase letters and exclamation points: Deep Fried Oreos!  3 for a $1! 

 

Conspiracy theorist that I am, I cannot help but wonder if the University of Texas System, which has nine academic universities and six health institutions, isn’t looking to recruit more research patients with this evil little eating scheme of theirs.

 

Fairgoers often rank food as one of the top reasons to attend the Texas State Fair aka Fried Food Capital of Texas.  And apparently, not just any food will do for these folks.  All hail the deep fryer as Texans hotly compete in the quest to become the next big fried thing.  That’s not hyperbole on my part, as the annual contest is actually called the Big Tex Choice Awards (if you’re curious, you can learn more at www.bigtex.com and click on the Food Locator).  Past winning dishes of this contest include fried ice cream, deep fried PBJ & banana sandwiches, chicken fried bacon, deep fried peaches & cream, Texas fried cookie dough and deep fried butter (hello – how do they do that?).  I recently learned that Texans also managed to crack the code on how to deep fry a latte and Coke.  It boggles the mind but, honestly, I’m really not all that surprised.  Texas is known for its big-ness, which I suppose includes brains and the capacity to dream the impossible deep fried dream.

 

I feel sort of small, knowing that my lust for any type of potato shown to hot oil is small potatoes, at best.  Well, by Texas standards, at any rate.  I may have to expand my horizons.  Even if deep fried Oreos seems a little weird to me.

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