Health. Annoying, isn’t it? The road to longevity is paved with early nights, early mornings, and extremely thick condoms that aren’t flavoured because that probably affects their imperviousness. To be healthy is to be sensible. No flirting with death. No being a rebel with a cigarette dangling from your lips. No burgers or gateway drugs or dressing for summer when it’s winter. Health is all about eating out of Tupperware containers and setting alarms and saying annoying stuff like “if the moon affects tides then surely it affects moods.” Health is just one long joyless struggle from the bottom down to the very bottom, and then you die.
But on the upside, deep fryers exist. Because really, a deep fryer is a wonderful way to live in the moment, which if you think about it is quite Buddhist. Don’t worry. Don’t hope. Don’t think about the future. Don’t think about nutrients or essential oils. Because I’ll tell you what: I’ve never found any oil essential unless I’m frying. Oil is very essential for deep fryers.
With all that in mind we embraced the shit out of deep fried food. By which I mean we took a bunch of unhealthy, nationalistic food items and deep fried them. Why? To live briefly in the moment. That’s one meat pie, a parma, a lamington, a bunch of barbeque Shapes and a slice of smashed avo on toast, all covered in batter and sizzled in magic.
But first, meet our deep fryer guy.
This is Joe from D'Lish Fish in Port Melbourne. Joe usually makes amazing fish and chips that are light and perfect and nothing like the nonsense we created for this story. So if you want quality, go to D'Lish Fish. Now let’s deep fry a pie.
1 The Meat Pie
First Joe dusted the pie in flour, submerged it in batter, and chucked it in the fryer.
I’ve always wanted to do this. Ever since I was a teenager, trying to pack 30 million kilojoules into every night, I’ve dreamed of this pie. And now it was here, kind of looking like a McDonald’s apple pie, which I guess isn’t surprising given that’s the world’s only other example of a deep fried pie… that I can think of.
It was a bit… Asian fusion. Like the meat tasted like a regular pie, but the exterior resembled a dish you might get in a country town Chinese restaurant. You know, one of those sweet and sour numbers that’s either pink or orange. It wasn’t great, and I didn’t want to finish it, but no regrets! 4.5 out of 10.
2: Smashed Avo With a Twist
Hot avocado is a weird experience. A cold avocado is delicious, but if you apply a bit of heat the flavour balloons completely out of control. It’s like putting water on a dog. A dry dog can smell nice, but a wet dog smells like too many dogs. Put water on a dog and it’s like you’re suddenly surrounded by dogs. All the juices come out and—especially if you’re locked inside a car—it’s like drowning in some kind of dog-scented nightmare. This is the same with avocado. Heat an avocado and the world becomes avocado, and that was the problem with this. 3/10
Hey! While you’re here you should check out our man Gocsy visiting a chicken salt factory:
We're glad you watched that. Now, back to the article:
3: The Hot Lamington Krispy
Lamingtons are forgettable. They’re like pears or Albury Wodonga. It’s possible to go whole years without thinking about lamingtons, until you’re overseas and someone inevitably asks “so what foods do you have in Australia?” And then you remember lamingtons and resolve yourself to five whole minutes of pure boredom by talking about lamingtons, only to remember pavlova, and gratefully talk about pavlova instead. That’s what lamingtons are.
But hold the goddamn phone. Because deep fried lamingtons are incredible. All that nondescript sponge cake becomes hot and gooey, and sits in delicious contrast with the crispy exterior. And the jam inlay turns into strawberry magma, which is also incredible. I’m not joking about this. Deep fried lamingtons are delicious. 9.5/10.
4: Refried Barbecue Shapes
These cunts were gross. And I feel at liberty to use that kind of language because there was something a bit rude about them. Like they’d turned into oily weasels that got down your throat and log-jammed.
They refused to move into the stomach and just sat in your oesophagus, leeching filth, and making you crave showers. Also there was no textural difference between the Shape and batter. It was all just one pasty hexagon of gunk. 1.5/10
5: A Deep Fried Chicken Parmigiana Which Was Pretty Much Indistinguishable From a Normal Parmigiana
In certain parts of Australia chicken parmigianas are more than a food. They’re a pub night institution giving introverted men a reason to leave their houses and socialise, and consume parmigianas that look like steam-rolled pterodactyls laid over chips with side salads that are basically just onion. People like to pretend that some parmas are better than others, but that’s not true. All parmas are pretty good, which is why dudes like them. They’re dependable and loyal… If it ain't broke, don’t fix it. Or try to improve it. And as I discovered, nothing—not even a deep fryer—can ruin, or improve, the flavour of a chicken parmigiana.
Except maybe it tasted slightly more like pizza than usual. I think that was the Dolmio pasta sauce that I used. Also by this time I didn’t really care that it tasted like pizza or chicken parmigiana because I was really full from all the other crap I’d eaten. Except for the lamington. That wasn’t crap. That was a recipe that needs to be in restaurants ASAP.
All photos by Roberto Pettinau