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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Test Your Fair Foods IQ!

By Monica Gomez

Deep-fried, please! From frog legs to Oreo® cookies, you can find all sorts of goodies battered up and deep fried at the fair. You can even find something called a "cow pile," and no, you don't need a shovel, gloves, and a mask for this pile. You just need a spoon and a few napkins, if you're inclined. What do you know about these culinary delights? Match the fair food with its calorie and fat contents.

Giant turkey leg: 1,136 calories and 54 grams of fat. Put the leg down. Walk away. Good news. You're going to live. That calorie count is almost as much as some people consume in an entire day! Let's compare, and I'll even be a little crazy by including the calorie count of a smaller turkey leg with skin. A 4-oz. serving of turkey leg (roasted, with skin) has 192 calories and 6.1 grams of fat (1.9 grams of saturated fat). Leave that giant leg at the fair—the giant everything, actually—and roast (not fry!) your own turkey leg.

Funnel cake: 760 calories and 44 grams of fat. According to The Daily Plate, a funnel cake is "batter poured through a funnel into hot oil in a circular pattern and deep frying it until golden-brown, often served with powdered sugar, jam, or other toppings." Sounds like sugary goodness to me, until I realize that 396 of those calories are from fat and the 44 grams of fat equal 68 percent of the daily allowance. Maybe the 80 grams of carbs will give you a nice rush when you brave the human slingshot.

Elephant ears: 606 calories and 24 grams of fat. Not the large-leaved plant variety, of course. I mean the fried, cinnamony, sugary, and flattened dough variety that is served up at the fair. Not to be mistaken with the funnel cake, a serving of two elephant ears also contains 844 milligrams of sodium and 90 grams of carbs. Dee-lish!

Footlong hot dog with bun: 470 calories and 25 grams of fat. This is before the relish, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, bacon (maybe even chocolate-covered bacon, since it's accessible), onion, and whatever else you find in the condiment section to experiment with. Maybe the salty zing from those 1,220 milligrams of sodium will kill the taste of any experiment gone wrong. Just get on Disk-O when you're done eating that hot dog—you won't know what to blame for that stomachache.

Deep-fried Snickers®: 444 calories and 29 grams of fat. And that's just for the regular-size bar. Before batter and oil, that Snickers bar has a mere 163 calories and 8.9 grams of fat. A king-size bar (no batter, no frying) has 510 calories and 27.8 grams of fat. Dip it in batter and fry it, and you end up with something as bad as meat lover's ice cream (sorry, bacon lovers).

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