Deep-fried Butter: Iowa State Fair Food
Deep-fried butter is one of those enduring legends of the already legendary Iowa State Fair — people talk about it with a combination of awe and horror, whispering, “Have you had it?” as if it were illegal.
I honestly wish it had lived up to all the decadent hype. I imagined a kind of Midwest soup dumpling — liquefied butter contained in a crispy coating. Instead, the whole thing tasted like a pre-packaged breakfast pastry from the gas station on a road trip.
It’s no secret how deep-fried butter is made, though: Take a frozen stick of butter, dip it in a cake-like batter, and deep-fry it. That’s it. Then give it a drizzle of sugary icing before serving. The problem is the dense batter absorbs all the butter, so there’s an empty hole in the middle of the cylinder, and you’re left eating just buttery, greasy batter.
I thought I was being a daredevil; instead, downing deep-fried butter was a pretty pedestrian fair-food experience. There are far better things to waste your caloric intake on at the Iowa State Fair.
Let’s go find ‘em.
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