Fried Jesus: architect of State Fair deep-fried butter

Abel Gonzales Jr was raised by Tex-Mex restaurateurs, and began his career as God of the deep fryer out of necessity, when he was desperate to come up with a dish for the Texas State Fair's Big Tex Choice Award, and all he had was a fryer.

He ended up with a runaway success: a deep-fried version of Elvis's fried peanut-butter and banana sandwiches. In the years since, he's proven himself to be a restless inventor of new kinds of fried foods, culminating with his breakout confection, the Fire and Ice, "deep-fried pineapple rings crowned with instant frozen whipped cream," which attained notoriety thanks to the enormous quantities of smoke it generated during the cooking process.

Well, what better way of doing that than deep-frying straight-up butter? The phrase "fried butter" is admittedly a little off-putting to many. But it turns out that the stuff is delicious. And the media went insane for it. The Dallas Morning News even said at the time that Gonzalez should be named "Texan of the Year" for his invention.

Akin to a sopapilla or fried bread in terms of texture and flavor, the deep-fried coating forms a dense, bready casing, housing the big, warm pat of butter—hence the name. Topped with a drizzle of honey and a dusting of powdered sugar, the pastry explodes when you bite into it, with a sweet, oozing flavor that makes knees quiver and teeth hurt. Not that this has stopped anyone from ordering a second one.

Meet 'Fried Jesus,' the State Fair Food Genius Who Invented Deep-Fried Butter [Matthew Sedacca/Vice]

(via Naked Capitalism)

(Image: Deep-fried butter at State Fair of Texas 2009, Collin Harvey, CC-BY)