Photo: Norio Nakayama via Flickr
Happy Fourth of July, people! We know you’re probably grilling up your barbecues, assembling your picnic provisions and what not for the coming holiday, so before you commit to your weekend menu, take a moment to reflect on the fine foods that have come out of the American cookbook over the years. It’s sometimes hard to define what exactly constitutes “American” cuisine given the melting pot in which we live, so we took a few overarching categories — deep fryers, hotdogs and hamburgers, anything with trans fats — and found some of the fattiest, kind of delicious, most ridiculous foods invented in this lovely land of the free, home of the brave.
1. Pigs in a Blanket Pizza
Pizza Hut has set itself apart from its fast pizza competitors in its attempt to make pizza crusts as fatty as possible. What started with a simple cheese-filled crust soon turned into hot-dog-stuffed crust and has now reached its (hopefully) final iteration: pigs-in-a-blanket crust. The “Hot Dog Bites” pizza is much like a regular pizza, except the crust consists of pigs in a blanket. TBH, this looks pretty good.
Calories: A single slice has 330 calories
Nowhere is the hybridity of American cooking more evident than in the turducken, a Thanksgiving speciality that consists of a deboned chicken stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a turkey. The three bird speciality is typically roasted, but some may choose to deep fry it, as many cardiac-arresting Americans have chosen to do with their own Thanksgiving turkeys.
Calories: About 1,000 calories in one serving
3. Deep-Fried Oreos
Of all the American-made confections to deep fry, Oreos are perhaps the most trans-fatty, and thus, delicious. Go to the Jersey Shore boardwalk or any county fair to get them, or make them yourself — you don’t even need a deep fryer! Dip Oreos into pancake batter, fry them, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Calories: If one Oreo is 50 calories, its deep-fried counterpart is 150
4. Fool’s Gold Loaf
An Elvis Presley favorite, this PB&J-on-steroids was born in the kitchen at the Colorado Mine Company in Denver, where legend has it the King took a midnight flight from Graceland to satiate a craving. It consists of a hollowed-out bread loaf, one jar of peanut butter, one jar of jelly, and a pound of crispy bacon.
Calories: Um, 8,000
5. Donut Ice Cream Sandwich
Of all the diabetes-inducing creations to come out of the hybrid pastry craze of late, the donut ice cream sandwich might be the most food porn-worthy. Holey Cream, a Hell’s Kitchen ice cream and bake shop, is to donut ice cream sandwiches what Dominique Ansel’s bakery is to the cronut. A massive scoop of ice cream is sandwiched inside a donut then covered in toppings of your choice — chocolate syrup, M&Ms, Fruit Loops, Oreos, need we say more?
Calories: 600 calories
6. Deep-Fried Big Mac
The usual McDonald’s Big Mac (two beef patties, three pieces of bread, two slices of cheese), breaded in Panko crumbs, then deep fried in oil and topped with Big Mac’s special sauce. In McDonald’s heart-healthy defense, this wasn’t created by them, but by a Instagramming chef.
Calories: An ordinary Big Mac is around 550 calories, this bad boy comes in at 1,500
7. Chicken and Red Velvet Waffles
Chicken and waffles are a uniquely American delicacy. The unusual pairing of smothered fried chicken and buttermilk waffles with maple syrup is surprisingly delicious. Soul cooking champion Marcus Samuelsson took the sweet and savory combination up a notch with a red velvet version at his Harlem restaurant Streetbird, where the brunch special comes with a cauliflower because it’s never too late to incorporate veggies into your meal.
Calories: Somewhere around 1,000