“You’re like the ‘Jackass’ of food writing,” my friend Lyn said to me.
I don’t think she meant it as a compliment.
While many friends of mine have been fascinated and supportive of my culinary trailblazing for the “Yeah, I Ate That” column, Lyn wants no part of it. She’s genuinely concerned for my health after eating something like a Meat Mountain, and who can blame her?
So it was a big deal when the two of us went to Milwaukee's Summerfest on Sunday to see Sting and Peter Gabriel, and she grudgingly acquiesced to take photos as I bought a deep fried Old Fashioned right in front of her.
I hadn’t been to Summerfest in a few years, but didn’t know it to be a haven for unusual foodstuffs like the Wisconsin State Fair. But I should have known that having that many people and that much beer in one location would lead to some creative and possibly regrettable menu items. When I heard that Trinity Three Irish Pubs was debuting something called the Deep Fried Old Fashioned ($6.50) this year, I had to try one.
I expected that the Deep Fried Old Fashioned would be a brandy Old Fashioned, Wisconsin’s signature cocktail, served in a goblet made of fried dough. I mean, that’s logical, right?
But no. It’s much better.
The Deep Fried Old Fashioned is in fact a dessert, an orange pound cake filled with a brandy cream cheese filling. Then it’s deep fried, of course, and covered with a brandy orange caramel drizzle and — wait for it — bitters whipped cream. And then, of course, an orange slice and a cherry as garnish.
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. I was worried the pound cake would be too dry, but it was moist and soft inside the deep-fried shell. The casing was a little tough to get through with the plastic fork, but once you do, the taste is heavenly. Mix in that bitters whipped cream, and it really does taste like a brandy Old Fashioned (although all the alcohol is cooked out of the dessert). I ate the cake and left most of the deep-fried shell intact, and that was more than enough.
The Trinity folks said they began working on the recipe back in October and finally perfected it a couple of weeks before Summerfest started. While the festival is over, Trinity plans to bring the Deep Fried Old Fashioned back for the Wisconsin State Fair in August.
It is well worth seeking out. I think even Lyn looked a little curious about it. Or maybe that was her look of relief that I survived another column.