Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
While many consider America to be the home of excessively indulgent food, it does not have a monopoly on artery clogging extravagance.
Across the world there are many who would usurp America’s crown and place themselves on the Fry-on Throne. Weight gain is coming. Beyond fried chic-Kings Landing, here’s a selection of decadent dishes that you may not have heard of.
1. Aligot – France
Everyone knows that the French love their cheese, almost as much as their wine and their berets. Equally well known is the threat that cheese poses to your waistline, and no dish is more ominous than Aligot. Originating from Occitaine, this blend of mashed potato, butter, cream and mountains of Tomme cheese is guaranteed to terrify diet clubs everywhere.
2. Churros – Spain
You know how, on occasion, when you have a particularly stressful day ahead, you may treat yourself to a sneaky morning donut? Now imagine a whole bucketload of the deep fried devils. With dipping chocolate. Definition decadence. An Iberian staple, churros blow other doughy breakfasts out of the water with their sugary goodness.
3. Khachapuri – Georgia
For many, few things are more joyous than a huge hunk of bread and cheese. However, after a while, all the dipping, cutting and spreading can become tiresome. In Georgia, they have the perfect solution to the calorific conundrum. The khachapuri is a doughy miracle with melted cheese baked within it. A family favourite in Georgia, some say it’s even better than pizza. Bold claims, but with this much cheese, who’s going to argue?
4. Jalebi – India
The Spanish are not the only ones to indulge in fried parcels of doughy joy. The Jalebi is a curly treat that has the added benefit of being covered in sugar syrup once it has been removed from the fryer. Common across Asia as well as North and East Africa, the Jalebi has given joy to billions over its lifetime. God bless frying.
5. Deep fried Mars Bar – Scotland
Speaking of frying, there is one nation that might be able to truly America’s love of oil. Since the advent of the deep fryer, the Scottish have been determined to plunge anything and everything into its bubbling depths. The most infamous creation has to be the deep fried mars bar. Chocolate, nougat, caramel and batter in one bite – a real middle finger to cardiologists everywhere.
6. Acareje – Brazil
What’s worse than cooking with regular oil? Cooking with palm oil. The Brazilian acareje seems to have been created with the express purpose of finding out how much of the stuff you can pack into each oily mouthful. The dish features palm oil fried beans, shaped to contain a palm oil based filling of flavoured prawn and shellfish paste. Just don’t hold a naked flame near one.
7. Croquembouche – France
Profiteroles are a beautiful thing: balls of choux pastry, stuffed with sweet cream and doused in a dollop of milk chocolate. Joy. Now imagine a lot of them. A mountain of them. A pastry pile high enough to scrape the heavens, with individual roles connected through caramel and bound by sugar. Desserts don’t get better.
So, next time you feel as though you’ve earned something truly gluttonous, take a second. Don’t reach for the pizza menu or head to the nearest chicken shop. Branch out. If you can get hold of any of the dishes on this list, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.