pearls around the neck • 153
action film? A flurry of fireworks illuminating the night skies? And… the delicacies of the local
There you have it! I insist, what is there not to be overjoyed about…? But wait, there is a hitch: “No
alcohol, not a single tiny pint, not the smallest ounce of hooch, not even the shadow of a beer mug.”
And yet, since everything may be substituted, alcohol has been replaced... with FAT. Yes, fat, OH YEAH,
fat. Everywhere. For here, in the South, going to a fair equals PILING ON FAT.
On the menu, all that is familiar to our taste buds: from Frankfurters to candied apples and cotton candy.
Ha! And let us not forget the menus offered by the churches that, irrespective of denomination, have
opened canteens to sell their evangelic convictions coated with caramel or dunked in watery coffee.
Moreover, you innocent tourists from the old continent who have been going to fairs since a tender age,
you will also find on the menu a list of delicacies that would be inconceivable anywhere else but here.
Come and have a look at the indigestible world of fried food.
Fried Snickers is a chocolate mousse bar, coated with chocolate and then deep-fried.
Fried Sauerkraut is, as the name indicates, sauerkraut fried in sizzling lard.
Fried Coca Cola remains a complete mystery to me!
Fried Corn Dog is a sausage dunked in thick batter, then deep-fried twice (twice!). The exact term for that
Fried Bacon was a huge hit at the Los Angeles fair last year: Bacon going for a dip in a bath of 180°C dirty
grease? We will skip the Funnel Cakes, which are a safe bet but let’s discover the latest culinary find of
these ‘cordons bleus’, which is bound to make any honest nutritionist turn a sickly green: Fried Butter.
It took many hours of tenacious negotiation but I managed to squeeze the recipe out of one of the
assassins who concoct this poison! When you have the list of ingredients for such a weapon of mass
destruction, you don’t just give it away, especially to a Jane Doe whose English is more than tainted by a
Paul Bocuse-like French accent!
A thick slice of butter, approximately 4 spoons, is rolled into puff pastry and… deep-fried. As soon as
the dough turns golden, the Fried Butter is taken out of its ablutions. The murderer is dressed in a white
chef’s coat and disguises this lethal venom with impalpable sugar and serves it to an unfortunate sweet-
The poor victim of this feast will die instantly after enduring headaches, incontrollable vomiting, painful
liver failure, dyspepsia, a cholesterol explosion and – not so surprisingly – a sudden heart attack.
The cause of death will, however, never be clearly established since the autopsy will be seriously hindered
by the overabundance of adipose tissues in the corpse, requiring a specific freezing process before any
organ can be analyzed.
Some, here, claim that the victim dies of pleasure and that I simply don’t get it.
Author: Catherine Beeckman, USA, 2012
English translator: Sylvie Froschl
Illustration: Catherine Beeckman