The Great Snack Debate: Fried Food Throwdown

Ah, March. The time when a young woman’s mind turns sweetly to thoughts of basketball. The air is electric with competition, the ground anticipates raining treys, and while young men lace up sneakers and dribble-drive with the best of them, I sink back in my couch with snacks. Yes, snacks.  I promise I have a great pesto recipe soon, but today is time for deep-fried foods to take their rightful place in the spotlight.Deep-fried foods have a special place in my quickly clogging heart. Between donuts and beignets for breakfast and deep-fried beer as a midnight snack, the whole day can be filled with these unhealthy slices of heaven. Fried foods are the best foods, but when it comes to game day snacking, two reign supreme: the french fry and the onion ring.

In one corner, we have the french fry, cut in any number of ways. French fries drip with nostalgia and any condiment you may want. I like to keep it traditional with ketchup, but it’s pretty great throwing some sriracha or barbecue sauce on those golden sticks. French fries are beautiful in their simplicity and their ability to form the base of really creative snacks. There’s a whole restaurant in (shocker) New York City dedicated to french fries and the wonderful things you can dip them in. The best of the best, though, are those garlic fries you can get at stadiums or sports bars. I mean, your breath will announce to everyone what you’ve been noshing, but your stomach won’t be mad. Actually, one time, my man-friend ordered a huge one pound portion of these garlic fries at a local sports bar. We tried our best, but, I am ashamed to report, dear friends, that the fries finished us off.

Sitting in the other corner we have onion rings. These big boys tend to hold their own. I don’t see such creativity in dressing them up as I do with the french fries, but that doesn’t put the humble o-ring at a disadvantage. The onion’s flavor might be more interesting? OK, now I might be making stuff up, but, I mean, if it’s good enough for Homer Simpson to use as an engagement ring for the ever lovely Marge, then it’s more than good enough for me to dip in honey mustard and shove into my mouth. The onion ring’s primary disadvantage comes from the ease with which the onion can be entirely separated from the fried breading. If there was some sort of edible glue that could maintain the integrity of the onion ring, I’d be the number one customer.

I was going to declare a winner between the two right here, but after further thought, I’d like to take this matter back in the testing room. I’ll be out in a week. Or whenever I’ve eaten my weight in potato.

So which of the two do you prefer? How do you dress them up? What are your favorite fried snacks?

19 replies on “The Great Snack Debate: Fried Food Throwdown”

This recipe ( neatly and deliciously solves the problem of the onion ring losing its onion. They are so thin and amazing that the onion stays inside perfectly, and indeed, the ratio of fried parts to onion is roughly 10:1, so there is TONS of delicious fried-ness waiting for you to indulge. These onion strings changed my life, and my view of buttermilk, forever. They are AMAZING.

And conveniently, I discovered powdered buttermilk at my Wal-Mart, in the baking aisle, thus fixing my problem of being too cheap to buy $4 buttermilk and throw 90% of it away when I was done making onion strings.

I love them both but prefer french fries to onion rings. We make a version of poutine with homemade gravy and shredded cheese and it’s TO DIE FOR. I also sometimes like dipping fries in honey mustard, but I don’t usually go for ketchup.

The only slightly unusual fried snack I think I’ve had is fried macaroni and cheese; one of the local bars has it on the menu, and they’re these little triangle-shaped wedges of deliciousness. I really want to try fried avocado though!

Fried mac and cheese is ridiculously delicious. It’s a good thing I’ve only been entirely sober when sharing with people, because I can picture myself drunkenly grabbing the basket and not sharing at all, just mumbling, “Cheese and pasta and fried yummmmmmmmmm” while shoving those wedges down my throat.

The state fair has deep fried Snickers which I must get every year. They are so rich that I can never finish a whole one but the first few bites are worth the stomachache. I vote French fries mostly for the reasons you mentioned and b/c I pull the onions out of the onion rings and only eat the fried onion flavored breading part.

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