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THE GLUTTON

In addition to the standard cornucopia of foods that probably shouldn’t be deep-fried -- Oreos, Snickers, Pop Tarts, Twinkies, frog legs, avocados -- this year’s Orange County Fair (ocfair .com) offers four new artery-clogging options. In order, from best to worst: Spam, cheese ravioli, White Castle burgers and cupcakes. Praise the Lord, and pass the Lipitor!

The Glutton has never cared for Spam. Not in a house, not with a mouse, not at a fair, not with a bear. So it was a surprise to discover that breaded and fried, this Frankenmeat is almost as delicious as its pressed meat cousin, the mighty corn dog.

Though it’s nothing you can’t get at Olive Garden or its ilk, the deep-fried cheese ravioli could have been a winner, but the lumpish white filling dotted with a few lonely flecks of green had almost no flavor and was barely improved with a side of marinara.

Far worse were the White Castle sliders. Gooey and gross like they’d made the long trek from freezer to microwave to fryer to heat lamp, they bore the awful taint of a school cafeteria. As for the cupcake, it tasted like a kitchen sponge soaked in grease.

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The biggest surprise were the apple fries: Granny Smith apples sliced into rectangular chunks, lightly breaded, fried and then coated in cinnamon and sugar and served with whipped cream. As all-American as a deep-fried apple pie.

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theguide@latimes.com


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