Friday, September 2, 2016

Deep Fried Twinkies

THE GAME: Appalachian State vs. Tennessee

Nine years ago to the day, I watched Appalachian State upset Michigan in Ann Arbor, arguably the biggest college football upset of all time; inarguably one of the three biggest.

Last night I sat down to watch Appalachian State (an FCS - or, as it was known for decades - Division II school) take on #9 Tennessee in Knoxville. Hoping for another magical game.

Speaking of magical, have you ever had a fried Twinkie?

The first time I ever tried one was at a state fair on the Great Plains. I was wearing a camouflage "Chevy Trucks" t-shirt and a cowboy hat, the first and only time I've ever sported that combination. (To be honest, I bought the shirt at Walmart only to wear at the fair; I never wore it again.)

I watched a cattle auction, drank several beers, and was allowed - nay, encouraged - to test a bunch of different shotguns. It was a fantastic afternoon.

But the fried Twinkie was a tremendous letdown, a soggy mess of sugar and oil. I thought it was a fun idea but a terrible execution, and I let a decade pass by without considering another one.

Then one night at a restaurant in Brooklyn famous for its battered-and-fried food, I tried a fried Twinkie for dessert, dusted with powdered sugar and raspberry sauce. It was one of the best desserts I've ever had.

So when Walmart announced last month that they had exclusive rights to carry Hostess's new frozen, deep-fried Twinkies, I had to pick up a package, no matter how strange the product sounded.

NOTES ON THE FOOD:

  • This was freaking fantastic. I wasn't really expecting to like it, and I loved it. 
  • There are instructions for cooking it in the oven or frying it in oil for two minutes. I probably don't need to tell you that I chose the latter. (I wonder if there people who think: Well, a frozen, battered Twinkie sounds pretty good, but I don't want to deep-fry it... that sounds unhealthy.)
  • As you can see, I added powdered sugar and "Dr Pepper Cherry Dessert Topper," both of which were delicious.

NOTES ON THE GAME:
  • When Appalachian State missed a PAT in the first quarter, I - and I'm guessing 90% of the people watching - knew it was gonna be huge. It was; as a result, the game went to OT tied at 13.  
  • As often happens when underdogs find themselves on the road with a chance to pull off a huge upset, Appalachian State's clock management was awful. 
  • Tennessee scored the winning touchdown in OT when the quarterback fumbled the ball into the end zone and a UT player recovered it. It may have been the first SEC game of the year, but you will not see a more SEC-like touchdown all season. 
  • The over/under for this game was 59; the teams scored 33. When it ended, I switched over to the last few minutes of South Carolina-Vanderbilt. The o/u on that was 41; the teams scored 23. The SEC East is not exciting. 

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