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First Person Experience: A fair amount of fried food

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Piles of fried onion rings, French fries, zucchini and frog legs at Chicken Charlie’s await orders from hungry fair goers. Chicken Charlie’s is among the most popular fried food venders at the L.A. County Fair, offering everything from vegetables to fish and desserts, including Oreos and Klondike Bars. The business has two separate locations at the fair. / photo by Garrett Gutierrez

Carly Hill
Arts Editor

Setting myself up to go to the fair, I didn’t eat all day. I knew what was coming. After flushing my intestines with a gallon of water, I was ready to gorge myself on delicious golden excellence.

Bombarded by neon lights and shining signs advertising the latest fantastic creation, I made my way towards the normal stand-by: the corn dog. It is a delicious and easy-to-handle alternative to a hot dog.

However, although I chose to go with the standard length, fair vendors have begun to extend the length of the corn dog, with some hitting the one foot mark.

“It’s really good, but I don’t know if I can finish it all,” said San Diego resident Peter Tannous. “You should probably share.”

The blooming onion, popularity often credited to Outback Steakhouse, made an appearance on my plate as well.

Along with fried zucchini, the delicious popularity of the fried vegetable mixes the healthy with the super unhealthy.

Do not be fooled by the vegetable on the inside as I was, the fried coating and oil cancels out the benefits from the veggies.

Fair food has also expanded the healthy into the unhealthy with the artichoke, mushroom and avocado. The avocado comes with ranch, and melted in my mouth.

As the ranch dripped down my face, I was considering stopping at one piece. I did not.

“The avocado is really good,” said Covina resident Audrey Carrillo. “I would eat it again.”

For one half of an avocado in a golden brown batter, there are 623 calories, 40.6 grams of fat, and 106 milligrams of cholesterol, according to

That adds about 400 calories to the usual avocado. But it is oh-so worth it.

And as the real deep-fried enthusiast that I am, there is the deep-fried Whitecastle burger.

The famous square burger is basically beef and cheese slathered in batter, and placed in the fryer until it is barely recognizable. When taking a bite, oil drips down your chin.

Barbeque and ranch accompany the yummy burger. Atop a bed of fries, the deep fried Whitecastle looks like a heart attack on a plate.

But it is worth trying, probably just to tell people you have tried it. And I’ve tried it.

Now after all of this, there is nowhere else to go but for the gold. Golden fried batter that is. Which brings us to dessert.

The deep-fried Twinkie is a popular staple.

The squishy cake meshes well with the fried batter, and is served with a chocolate or strawberry topping. I prefer the strawberry with powdered sugar.

“I always get the deep-fried Twinkie,” said Fullerton resident Courtney Moore. “It reminds me of the fair.”

The deep-fried Oreo is also available. When fried, an Oreo turns into a cake-like deliciousness that is not easily matched.

And for only 98 calories and 5.7 grams of fat according to, it can be worked into a fried food calorie budget easily.

I added it to my over 2000 calorie budget, which I save up for during the summer.

By going on a diet during the summer, the extra weight can be gained without regret!

And when you go home, make sure to hit up the Gas-X or Pepto-Bismol to avoid the severe stomach ache and heartburn these fried foods are likely to cause.

Carly Hill can be reached at

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