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August 9, 2007

Latest at the Fair: deep-fried Pepsi

barrett.newkirk@heraldbulletin.com

Deep-fried Pepsi is the latest fad food to hit the Indiana State Fair.

This is where you, the reader, say out loud, “What will they think of next?”

Fairgoers have already seen fried candy bars, fried Twinkles and even fried milkshakes. A fried soft drink might have been the next logical leap.

“Instead of water, we just use Pepsi to make the batter,” said Jeremy Orme, manager of the concession stand selling the new snack near the northwest corner of the Pepsi Coliseum.

Orme brought deep-fried Pepsi to Indiana after hearing about its success in Texas last year. He did some research online and began to develop his own recipe.

He said his version is better because it used a “double-dose of Pepsi.”

Once the batter is cut into small circles and stuck with toothpicks, it’s dipped into a second Pepsi mixture and fried in vegetable oil.

The final product looks and tastes like a doughnut hole but with a noticeable Pepsi undertone. A eight-piece serving costs $4 and can come with cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar and whipped cream.

Like most vendors at the fair, Orme uses trans-fat-free oil, but he said he had no way of determining the calorie count.

Sales were brisk on Wednesday, he said. Deep-fried Pepsi was even rivaling Orme’s biggest hit, fried Snickers bars, but he didn’t know which was selling better.

He said he was still anxious to see what the crowd’s reaction would be.

“When you’re doing a new product, you never know if people are going to like it,” he said.

In the case of deep-fried Pepsi, reviews at the State Fair were mixed if not mostly poor. When asked what they thought of the food, most people trying it for the first time gave so-so reactions.

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