Friday, September 11, 2009

The L.A. County Fair's Deep Fried King

(Flickr pic by Bobbiteenager.)

Charlie Boghosian wants to kill you.

OK, not quite. But the man known as "Chicken Charlie" at the L.A. County Fair has become famous for his deep fried concoctions -- which he sells in the tens of thousands at the annual event. The L.A. Times' Elina Shatkin profiles the man with the deep fryer:

One day while working a fair in Miami, he noticed a vendor selling deep-fried Twinkies. "I liked the idea, but I didn't like the way it tasted," Boghosian says. "It had been dipped in a very thick, wet batter and you could barely taste the cream inside. I decided to dip it in an egg wash and roll it in dry, sweet flour, creating a thin crust that was very crispy and crunchy. You could taste how nice and warm the Twinkie was." The year he debuted it at the L.A. County Fair, 2001, he sold 10,000 pieces.

"After that, everyone asked: 'What will you do next year?' That question stayed in my head. When the season was over, I bought some portable fryers for my kitchen at home and started experimenting."

In 2002, Boghosian introduced deep-fried Oreos, which he dips in pancake batter, deep-fries, drizzles with chocolate syrup and dusts with powdered sugar. The next year, he deep-fried avocados using fish-and-chips batter. The year after that, he invented his infamous Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich: a raspberry jelly-filled doughnut, sliced in half, stuffed with a seasoned chicken breast and topped with honey sauce. "We have sold tens of thousands of those," he says. This year at the Orange County Fair, he debuted the Zucchini Weenie, a turkey frank tucked in a hollowed-out zucchini that's dipped in corn dog batter and (what else?) fried.

(Flickr pic of Deep Fried White Castle hamburger by My Last Bite.)

I don't know if I'm disgusted or hungry. Or perhaps both. The L.A. County Fair runs Sept. 5 to Oct. 4.

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