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Deep-fried butter

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Deep-fried butter at the State Fair of Texas, 2009
Deep-fried butter at the State Fair of Texas, 2009

Deep-fried butter is a snack food made of butter coated with a batter or breading and then deep-fried.[1][2] The dish has been served at several fairs in the US; among them, the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, Texas, and the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa.[1] Fried butter is a similar dish, for which recipes exist dating to the 17th century.


United States[edit]

Abel Gonzales Jr., also known as "Fried Jesus", of Dallas, Texas, invented deep-fried butter,[3][4] serving it at the 2009 State Fair of Texas in Dallas, Texas. Prepared using frozen, battered butter, it was awarded the "Most Creative food prize" at that time.[1]

A version of deep-fried butter on a stick debuted at the Iowa State Fair 2011,[5][6] which was prepared using frozen butter that is dipped in a honey- and cinnamon- flavored batter, deep-fried until browned, and then topped with a confectioner's sugar glaze.[1] This concoction on a stick was invented by Larry Fyfe, an entrepreneur and concessionaire at the fair.[6] Deep-fried butter has also been served on a stick at the State Fair of Texas.[7]

In 2011 at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, California, deep-fried butter was paired with chocolate-covered bacon and dubbed the "coronary combo." ABC News made a comparison regarding the pricing of this food pairing, stating, "the $10.50 price rivaled some health plans' co-payments for a visit to a cardiologist."[1] This dish has also been served at other events and venues, such as the State Fair of Virginia[8][9] and the Musikfest music festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.[10]


Food signage for deep-fried butter and other foods at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto

The debut of deep-fried butter in 2010 at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, Canada may have led to a rise in attendance at the event.[11] During the 18-day event in 2010, the concession stand purveying the dish sold 9,000 orders, which equated to 36,000 individual deep-fried butter balls using 800 pounds of butter.[11] The dish was served in portions of four balls at the event, which totaled 315 calories.[11]

United Kingdom[edit]

In 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland, a pub named The Fiddler's Elbow served a dessert dish named "Braveheart Butter Bombs" that consists of deep-fried butter served with ice cream infused with Irn-Bru and coulis.[12] Some critics in Edinburgh have referred to deep-fried butter as a "coronary on a plate", but chefs at the pub have stated that when consumed in moderation it "should be all right".[12] The pub also planned on offering a variation using whisky in place of Irn-Bru.[12]


A cross section view of deep-fried butter at the State Fair of Texas, 2010
A cross section view of deep-fried butter at the State Fair of Texas, 2010

Deep-fried butter's flavor was compared to that of French toast, and described as tasting like "the most buttery bread you've ever had".[13]

ABC News called it an "artery-clogging snack."[1] Celebrity chef Paula Deen published a recipe for fried butter balls,[14] which uses a blend of cream cheese and butter that is frozen, coated, frozen again, and then deep-fried.[14] The cooking time in this recipe is short, for only ten to fifteen seconds, whereupon the product attains a "light golden" color.[14]

Fried butter[edit]

Fried butter is a similar dish, for which recipes exist dating to the 17th century.[15] The first known recipe for fried butter dates to 1615.[15] Fried butter was documented in the cookbook The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy in 1747.[15] The recipe entailed soaking butter in salted water for a few hours, placing it on a rotisserie ("spit it"), covering it with breadcrumbs and nutmeg, and roasting it under a low fire while continuously covering it with egg yolks and additional bread crumbs.[15] Oysters were recommended to accompany the dish.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Allen, Jane E. (August 12, 2011). "Tasty Trumps Nutritious: Deep-Fried Butter". ABC News. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  2. ^ "Deep-Fried Butter History + Recipe". Travel Food Atlas. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  3. ^ a b "Come fry with me". The Economist. October 8, 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  4. ^ Sedacca, Matthew (July 22, 2015). "Meet 'Fried Jesus,' the State Fair Food Genius Who Invented Deep-Fried Butter". Vice. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  5. ^ Munson, Kyle (August 7, 2014). "Who mourns State Fair's deep-fried butter on a stick?". Des Moines Register. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Fritsch, Jane (August 13, 2012). "In Iowa, Deep-Fried Butter on a Stick". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  7. ^ "The 15 Most Ridiculous State Fair Foods Of All Time". Huffington Post. August 24, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  8. ^ Bryan, Alix (September 24, 2015). "Complete State Fair of Virginia 2015 Guide, now including deep-fried butter". WTVR-TV. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  9. ^ Hausman, Sandy (August 31, 2015). "Deep Fried Butter? It's Almost Fair-Time". WVTF. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  10. ^ Huth, Kelly (August 11, 2015). "How to make deep-fried butter, Muskifest's new food". The Express-Times. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  11. ^ a b c "Did butter-balls save the CNE?". Toronto Star. September 8, 2010. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c "Deep fried butter goes on the menu in Edinburgh". BBC News. December 20, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  13. ^ Hensley, Scott (September 4, 2009). "New Frontier In Fatty Food: Deep-Fried Butter". NPR. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  14. ^ a b c Neely, Gina (October 24, 2014). "Paula's Fried Butter Balls". Food Network. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  15. ^ a b c d e Eveleth, Rose (January 3, 2014). "Long Before Paula Deen's Fried Butter Balls, Cooks Were Trying to Roast Butter on a Stick". Smithsonian. Retrieved May 19, 2015.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  16. ^ Laussade, Alice (September 2, 2011). "Abel Gonzales Jr: Dallas' Fried-Stuff Savior". Dallas Observer.
  17. ^ Bryan, Andy. "The Apex of American Ingenuity- Fried Soda". Inventor Spot. Retrieved 17 February 2012.

Further reading[edit]