This past Saturday, I had some people over to my apartment to take part in a very serious scientific study. This blog entry will serve as the equivalent of a tri-fold piece of cardboard entered in the science fair.
Question: Does everything taste better deep-fried?
Hypothesis: Yes. Yes it does.
Experiment: Invite subjects to taste a wide spectrum of foods and judge whether deep-frying improved the taste.
Equipment: A deep fryer was provided, but lacked a necessary electrical cord. To save the experiment, the researchers filled a large pot with approx. 3″ of vegetable oil and set on a stove top burner (medium-high heat). A metal cage scoop was used to lift foods in and out of oil. Subjects were to each bring food items they thought most appropriate to test the hypothesis. Beer was provided by the tester.
Twinkies were frozen, sliced, and dipped in batter (heretofore known as “Twinkie Batter”) consisting of flour, milk, and vinegar. First attempt to fry Twinkies was unsuccessful due to poor technique — instead of setting pieces on the cage and lowering into the oil, researchers realized the cage should be submerged first, and pieces dropped directly into oil. Once this hurdle was cleared, 100% of subjects agreed Twinkies taste better deep fried.
An entire onion was beautifully sliced and dipped in Twinkie Batter before being carefully slid into the oil. Sadly the onion was too large to be submerged and all the batter came off. Subjects rightfully complained that this was not a fair test of the onion. Onion study was therefore discarded.
A soft Portuguese cheese was sliced, rolled up, and chilled. After 20 minutes in the cooling device, the cheese was dunked in Twinkie Batter, rolled in bread crumbs, and dropped in hot oil. In a short amount of time, the cheese liquified and formed a mass of hot greasy goodness. All test subjects agreed that fried cheese was more delicious than non-fried cheese.
Tester mixed Harpoon IPA, flour, and cinnamon to make a batter, which was funneled into the hot oil a la “funnel cake.” A beer syrup was created using the same IPA and sugar. The beer funnel cake was then dusted with powdered sugar and presented with the syrup as a dipping sauce. The results were unanimously positive; however, when subjects were asked to choose whether the concoction was better than (raw liquid) beer, all were reticent to make a direct comparison. It was agreed that for the purposes of this test, a tie of sorts would be declared as both beer and fried beer are totally awesome.
Three candy bars were chosen from the Stop & Shop’s “3 for $1” bin and frozen for three hours. Each was then sliced, dipped in Twinkie Batter, and dropped in hot oil. The results were overall positive, with 100% of subjects approving of Three Musketeers and 80% approving of Milky Way. Subjects were evenly split over whether Snickers were better raw or fried.
Frosted strawberry generic brand Pop Tarts were used with no batter coating, as researchers assumed the frosting would be a suitable substitute. 83% of respondents reported that the deep-fried pastry was more delicious than the raw.
Cocoa-flavored Marshmallow Peeps (Bunny-shaped)
Upon opening the package, subject remarked that the Peeps smelled “vile,” possibly biasing the other subjects. The Peeps were first thrown into the oil with no batter, and most subjects refused to touch the runny mess that came out. Of those who did, 30% thought the frying improved the taste. The Peeps were tested again, this time using Twinkie Batter. 0% of subjects preferred this method.
Bananas were sliced, dipped in Twinkie Batter, and deep-fried. 60% of subjects preferred this method to raw bananas.
Mushroom caps were dipped in leftover beer batter, rolled in bread crumbs, and dropped in oil. They emerged with a golden appearance, and researchers were confidant they would be met with approval — however, in a tremendous surprise, 83% of subjects preferred the mushrooms raw. Further probing revealed that the batter overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the mushrooms. Mushrooms were then fried with no batter, and 100% of tasters agreed frying improved the taste over raw.
Red and green gummy worms were dipped in Twinkie Batter and rolled in bread crumbs before being deposited in hot oil. The oil immediately dissolved the worms, leaving red and green-dyed bread crumb husks in their place. Subjects unanimously agreed raw gummi worms were preferable.
Klondike Bars (vanilla ice cream surrounded by milk chocolate) were dipped in Twinkie Batter and placed in oil. As the ice cream inside began to lose structural integrity, the bars were removed and served. 75% of subjects preferred fried Klondike Bars to raw.
For the final test, corn and wheat tortillas were fried and presented with cinnamon sugar. 60% of subjects preferred this method to raw tortilla.
Conclusion: The results, particularly those in the gummi worm and Peep tests, suggest that the hypothesis is incorrect. However, further testing is needed to rule out inconsistencies due in part to the researchers’ inexperience with equipment and cooking techniques. Attached, please find a helpful graph illustrating the number of foods tested that were better fried vs. raw. More graphs may be added later as statistics are processed.
Graph #2 shows the number of people who preferred each food raw (inside circle) or fried (outside circle). Thanks, Microsoft Graph!
Graph #3, a handy area chart showing preferences across all food items.