Americans love their fried foods. Not just fried chicken, French fries and potato chips, but now, thanks to county fairs across the nation, fried Coca-Cola, fried beer and the latest craze—fried Kool-Aid. The round, donut-like balls, made of Kool-Aid powder, flour and water, have gone viral on news and social media outlets. Everyone’s talking about the fried Kool-Aid craze. Is this what America’s come to? Fried Kool-Aid?
Fried Kool-Aid comes to us from Charlie Boghosian, a trend-crazed chef that’s brought us previous fried fads like the Krispy Kreme Chicken and Swiss Sandwich, fried avocados and fried Oreo cookies. He aims to hit on something new, something delicious and something “awe-inspiring” with these fried treats. And people have been going nuts for them, coming out to county fairs with the intention of treating themselves to these fat-laden, completely shocking takes on junk food. Didn’t think Kool-Aid could get any worse? Just try it fried.
People justify these kinds of foods as a once in a blue moon, rare treat. After all, we’re not eating this every day, and it’s fun, so where’s the harm? It’s a treat. What’s worrisome about that mentality is that somehow this artery-clogging excuse for food is being hocked as a treat, as a reward. Last time I checked, a treat was something that benefited someone, something that you were granted as a prize or gift that you earned for being good. When did a treat become something that’s inherently disgusting, bad for us and known to be harmful? Why can’t the treat be something lovely, natural, delicious and (gasp!)—NOT toxic? Must it inherently be a bit disgusting and shocking?
It’s the mentality that bad things, these harmful indulgences, are in fact a “rare treat” we all deserve—and that foods that we disdainfully call “healthy” (which really just means they aren’t toxic) are merely something dreaded that we all are forced to eat on a regular basis. It’s not about the harm in eating a fried donut ball once a year—yes, that won’t kill us. But the mentality that the fried donut ball is the treat is certainly the same mentality that has led our population to become morbidly obese, to become a country that places more satisfaction and pleasure on processed, sugared, adulterated “foods” over the pleasure in eating real foods… and that mentality is the thing that is going to kill us, from diabetes, obesityand heart disease. I vote we change our minds about what a treat is.