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Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011

Yes, There's Deep-Fried Beer Now

Here's what's frying at this year's Wisconsin State Fair

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The Wisconsin State Fair never fails to introduce at least one or two almost impossibly decadent food items each summer, so it's in typical fashion that this year's fair debuts a couple of head-turning additions to its fried-food menu: deep-fried beer and deep-fried butter.

Unlike the deep-fried Coke that caused a stir at state fairs a few years ago, a product that was actually a fried Coke-flavored batter, deep-fried beer uses the liquid form of its signature ingredient. Ravioli-sized, pretzel-flavored pieces of dough are filled with Michelob AmberBock, deep-fried and salted, and then served with a cheddar-cheese dipping sauce—though not before cooling for at least 10 minutes, to avoid serious mouth burns. The snack is sold in five-piece servings for $5, and since the beer retains its alcohol content, it is only available to fairgoers 21 and up.

Even richer is the deep-fried butter. Each is a ball of whipped butter that's been frozen, covered in dough and then cooked in oil. The result tastes like the most butter-saturated hot roll imaginable.

Those aren't the only new items hitting the fryer this year. The Lakefront Brew Pub & Eatery is debuting a dessert called the Elvis—a peanut-butter cup dipped in banana batter and fried. Apollo Gyros, meanwhile, is offering a deep-fried, bacon-wrapped hot dog. For relative purists who prefer their bacon straight, Firehouse Wings has country-fried bacon, which it serves with gravy. Saz's, meanwhile, has added a menu item called Hog Logs: deep-fried wontons of barbecue pork and cheddar cheese. Compared to those offerings, the fruit tempura at Joey's Tempura Fruit and Vegetables seems relatively guilt-free.

Two other new desserts stand out: Ultimate Confections' chocolate-covered Fritos, a traditional sweet-and-salty combination, and Lehmann's Bakery's Whoopie Pies, a frosting-filled cake popularized in New England. Both are good options for those who don't need their sweets battered and fried.
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