Sure, there are always new culinary innovations, many including bacon —chicken-fried bacon, roasted bacon-wrapped corn, chocolate-covered bacon. But the new height of fryolator art is more than simply selecting a foodstuff, dipping it in batter, tossing it into a wire basket and lowering it to its greasy death. Like a pickle or a BLT, it is a combination of unlikely things. I am talking about a peanut butter, bacon and banana bomb.
The vendor’s menu featured a long list of the usual suspects for frying: Oreos, Twinkies, Snickers bars. But at the bottom it said, “Peanut butter, bacon and banana.”
“Is that a sandwich?” I asked.
“No,” said a young man holding a fistful of five-dollar bills. It’s peanut butter, bacon and banana.”
It was hard to picture what I would actually be getting for my money, but there was a long line behind me and a few insulting stage whispers about me holding things up.
“I’ll take one.”
The cashier takes my bill and yells over his shoulder to the cook, “One Dead Elvis!”
Seconds later I was handed a softball-sized blob of hot, fried goodness on a paper plate. The goodness was not the banana. A deep-fat fried banana tastes like baby food. The peanut butter was problematic, too. Hot peanut butter hits the relatively cool roof of your mouth and solidifies into a protective shell. It takes the work of a finger, a mirror and a spork to remove it. I probably should have used my own finger, but I do want to thank the stranger who finally pulled it out.
The bacon, however, was sublime. A poem of pork, a song of swine, a melody of meat. Perfect with cheesy fries and a non-vintage red wine slurpy.