Any reputable U.S. state fair has enough hot oil on hand to fry Paul Bunyan bacon for a year, but the Eastern States Exposition, or the Big E, might take its love of lava-hot oil to the next level. With its array of battered and deep-fried wonders, crispy-crusted edibles are not in short supply, and the physics of suspending solid jelly beans in funnel cake batter are enough to pique most fair-goers interest, if not taste buds.
Deep-fried jelly beans require a combination of high-heat frying and a funnel cake batter that will, when scooped, hold the beans in place. Dropped in the hot fryer, the outside crust will form, containing the fruity pellets in somewhat mundane-looking fry balls. But once bitten, the crunchy exterior gives way to a classic pancake-y puff that’s pock-marked with rainbow hues of fruity flavor.
As if it wasn’t difficult enough to blindly guess the assorted flavors of naked jelly beans, friends also challenge each other to identify the beans encased in funnel fluff. Don’t put money on it though; everyone knows fair games are rigged.
Need to Know
If you feel too old for fried Easter candy, but are still jonesing for fruity, fried goodness, check out the Big E’s fried piña colada.
Where to Try It
This event runs for several weeks in late summer/early fall; check their online schedule for a list of daily activities and entertainment.