The Gospel of Deep-Fried Pepsi

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It also comes in Diet.

GateHouse– Last year over at the Big Fresno Fair in Fresno, Calif., a man — no, a patriot — named Charlie Boghosian, who is more commonly known in fair circles as the “deep-fried guy,” unleashed on the world a bizarre concoction he has christened the Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich. I will now take a minute to let your salivary glands stop doing virtual loop-de-loops in anticipatory delight.

OK, welcome back. I should point out here that I have never eaten a Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich, which you can tell, because I am not currently dead. Nor have I seen one, because I’m a little afraid that laying eyes on them would either permanently etch their damning visage onto my skull for life, or I’d go, “Hey, that looks pretty good,” and ingest one. Frankly, I can’t take the chance on either eventuality. But I imagine that what we’re dealing with here is a Krispy Kreme donut, bisected into two pieces and jammed with miscellaneous chicken lumps, which serve to, I’m guessing here, bring out the subtle, delicate flavors of the custard filling.

Anyway, Boghosian did this last year partly because he is the “deep-fried guy,” and this is what deep-fried guys ostensibly do, and also because he apparently has a long and tangled relationship with his heart.

But compared to what he came up with this year, the Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich is an organic tofu burrito wrapped in kelp and compost and pieces of Ed Begley Jr. That would be deep-fried Pepsi, which made its debut at the fair earlier this month and is a food-like item which, at long last, marries the health benefits of carbonated syrup material with the taste of something that’s spent hours submerged in grease. “I tell people this Pepsi doesn’t need a straw,” Boghosian told a reporter who was hopefully standing in a completely different tent, “It needs a fork.”

It’s tough to envision what deep-fried Pepsi looks like without seeing a picture of it; conversely, it’s tough to see a picture of deep-fried Pepsi and not spend the subsequent 15 minutes in the throes of violent retching, so, you know, circle of life.

But let’s give it a shot: Boghosian makes a batter by mixing flour not with water, but with Pepsi. He pours lines of this batter-pop into soybean oil, and then lines, once in the mouth-watering grease, form little shapes like curly fries, sort of like a funnel cake. The mixture is then removed from the liquid, scooped into a cup and adorned with powdered sugar and a cherry, which is the one part that makes it a little bit unhealthy. And it’s then served to people who will very soon be dangling upside down or on a Tilt-a-Whirl of some kind, and yeah, basically you don’t want to be walking around the Fresno County Fair without shoes on, if you know what I mean.

Boghosian does not stop with Pepsi; this year’s fair also boasts deep-fried frog legs, deep-fried S’mores and a deep-fried take on Elvis Presley’s legendary peanut butter-and-banana sandwich (“I can fry anything,” Boghosian says, and I’ll be damned if I’ll be the one to question him).

So if you happen to be out at Fresno, or are sitting around the house thinking, “Jeez, I need to make a dinner, but we had elephant ears and cotton candy last night and I’m plumb out of fried Twinkie ingredients,” indulge in a little tribute to Boghosian’s rubbery, gummy arterial system and fire up some deep-fried Pepsi. And don’t worry about the health side of things — you can always use Diet.

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About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

3 responses to “The Gospel of Deep-Fried Pepsi

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