Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fletcher Corny Dogs, Julia Child and Sunshine

Once mid-September hits, Dallasites change their usual greeting. We go from saying, “How are you?” to “Have you had your corny dog yet?”  It’s State Fair season and no one goes without eating a genuine Fletcher’s corny dog. After all, it’s only once per year.

Fletcher Corny Dogs are like no other corny dogs in the world.

It’s a chilly, rainy Sunday;  I get my State Fair coupons and look for a Fletchers stand.  You can always tell – they are the stands with the lines.  Inside the stands, cooks prepare the dogs, dipping once, turning up to make the batter cover the dog, and then dipping again. They slowly release the dogs into the boiling oil. Steam escapes, clouding the small kitchen.

I order my dog; the overcast skies blanket the fair in chilly darkness. The attendant pulls out a freshly fried dog, wraps it in parchment.  The parchment absorbs the last few drops of hot grease. With a warm smile and a wink, he says, “It’s hot. It’s a hand warmer!!” Unwrapping the parchment, the dog warms and relaxes my cold stiff fingers.  Large pump bottles of ketchup and mustard stand waiting. These are your only two options.  You don’t need any others.  I choose mustard.

Biting into a corny dog, the crust doesn’t simply crunch; it shatters. Slightly sweet cornmeal accents the meatiness of the dog.  The yellow mustard tastes bright and hot. This must be what it’s like to eat sunshine. 

The clouds begin to part.

The story goes that one year, in her old age, Julia Child came to be the celebrity judge for the cake contest.  She was terribly late. People began to worry and wonder if anything  had happened to the aging icon.   By and by, she walked in briskly, carrying a corny dog in each hand.

Even culinary giants bow to corny dog greatness.

No comments:

Post a Comment