Heart-stopping moments

Once again it's time for one of the most important events on the food lover's calendar. Not the increasingly tedious Michelin leaks, not the Yorkshire forced rhubarb season (which gives food writers their only break between Christmas and Valentines), not even the increasingly insane Madrid Fusión. No, it's the only event that's for real connoisseurs of deep fried crap, ladies and gentlemen … the 2010 Florida State Fair.

The organisers of this wonderful event have realised that there's little to be said about roller coasters and stalls selling things for carving vegetables into interesting shapes and that if you want global press coverage you need to fry something absurd. This year's best offerings are the Over the Top Krispy Kreme Doughnut Burger, deep fried butter, and deep fried Coke batter balls - all confections that would choke a goat. Over the past few years the Florida State Fair has become the unofficial Global AGM for an increasing international trend in monstrous junk food.

One of the big online phenomena of last year was thisiswhyyourefat.com a sort of crowdsourced freakshow of the worst that the fast food industry can dream up. It's impossible to tell if it was a cause or a symptom of a Pantagruelian zeitgeist but we've also seen the legendary Glasgow 'Munchy Box' and a series of dares amongst the burgeoning community of online bacon obsessives which evolved into a genuine purchaseable product, the astonishing 'Baconnaise'.

In fact, to the casual observer it might seem that the more governments, public health officials and the media bleat about healthy diets, the more these of these culinary Molotov cocktails pop up.

When I was a student, our local Market Diner Cafe served something called 'The Gutbuster Big Boy'. It was an entire fried breakfast in a bun and required two hands, and possibly a strong friend to get it all into your mouth. There was a student who held parties where the centrepiece was a giant tray of mash, stuck with sausages and with a layer of Ginster's pasties concealed within. These were not foods we chose to eat because we were starving or hungover. We ate these things for the same reasons we listened to dreadful, ear-bleeding music and pierced bits of ourselves. It was another infantile way of demonstrating our defiance of parents and other authorities whose well-meaning health recommendations came across as unconscionable affronts to our liberties and new-found independence.

Could it possibly be that these awful fat-soaked agglomerations of sugar, cheap meat and dough were never truly intended for consumption but are instead symbols of rebellion? I'm sure there are well-meaning health officials looking at the Florida State Fair and asking where they're going wrong. What can we say, they wonder, that will frighten these people so much that they'll stop eating this deadly crap? And like any parent or any authority that dares to act like one, they're going to find that the answer is the same as it ever was. The more you object, the more fun it becomes to flaunt our misbehaviour in your face.

I no more want to put a Krispy Kreme burger into my body than I want to go to gigs, get myself pierced or wear those ridiculous skinny jeans with the crotch round the knees. It fills me with joy though, that there are people out there still prepared to do these things on my behalf - a kind of joyful, if vicarious, two fingers. What would you love to see these hypertension dodgers, these heart attack deniers tucking into on your behalf?

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.


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