It's Our Turn - The delights of no-no foodsDisclaimer from the writer: I’m fully aware that there is nothing healthy about this column. I know a salad is a smarter choice than a cheeseburger, but the words just flow so much easier when I’m writing about the naughty, no-no foods.
By: Amy Chaffins, Alexandria Echo Press
Disclaimer from the writer: I’m fully aware that there is nothing healthy about this column. I know a salad is a smarter choice than a cheeseburger, but the words just flow so much easier when I’m writing about the naughty, no-no foods.
Recently, my diet has been extremely restricted and I spend an obscene amount of time thinking about food and which delectable goodies I will be sure to eat again when I can.
In fact, I’ve started a list – here are the highlights:
I could really go for a hot, steamy cheeseburger topped with a tower of green olives, nestled between two soft, butter-grilled buns. I’d round out my fantasy meal with a mound of salty, skin-on French fries snuggled up to a puddle of ketchup.
I also have a hankering for a mushroom swiss burger from Raaper’s. It’s so much more than your average mushroom-swiss – their version includes a magically rich gravy smeared on the burgers that’s dripping with mushrooms while swiss cheese oozes at the edges. Good grief, it’s delicious. However, your order is not quite complete without a side of their crispy, seasoned tater tots. This meal is dangerously delicious.
Have you ever had the privilege of digging into a Frito salad? Yes, it’s as sinful as it sounds. The base of the salad starts with a pile of irresistible Fritos. Next, a ladle of hot chili is poured over the crunchy corn chips and it makes the perfect canvas for a fistful of shredded cheddar cheese to melt over. Then, it’s topped with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced black olives and a plop of sour cream. A large spoon is required to dig in. I prefer mixing it all up into a creamy, goopy concoction of perfection. Oops, pardon me, I just drooled a little.
The smoked fish dip at The Fish House is worth the trip south to Fort Myers Beach each year. The smooth, creamy dip is best with a smoosh of fresh lemon squeezed over the top. This heavenly dip is served with soda crackers – yup, a big pile of two-pack Saltine crackers – and it works. The abundance of smoked fish in the cold dip makes every bite incredibly satisfying. I revel in that perfect bite where cracker crunch and fresh lemon zing are complemented perfectly by a dreamy bite of creamy smoked fish.
Then there’s county fair food – oh so many glorious options, but my all-time favorite is the classic corn dog. The crispy coating wrapped around a steamy hot dog is a once-a-year treat that I just can’t resist. But the corn dog is only elevated to perfection when it’s slathered in lots of mustard. What a spectacular comfort food.
This fall, I’m really looking forward to diving face-first into a slice of fresh apple pie with a giant scoop of cinnamon ice cream. It’s an annual tradition with my family. After loading up on a sweet variety of apples, we gather ‘round a picnic table under a tree and as steam rolls off our coffee cups, we each dig in to a glorious slab of apple pie.
My final fantasy food is my go-to comfort food that never disappoints – a goat cheese pizza generously sprinkled with salty, sliced green olives. It’s homemade, of course, and it’s my favorite. The crust is brushed with a hint of garlic-infused olive oil. The creamy slices of goat cheese melt into a zesty tomato sauce. The green olives are lusciously salty little nuggets of bliss – a delicacy all their own. I’ve never met a pizza I didn’t like, but this one in particular makes me weak in the knees every time.
My list of fantasy foods goes on and on and includes dreamy delicacies like Cheetos, guacamole ranch dressing and potato olés – not all at the same time, by the way.
I have plenty of time to strategize how I’ll go about devouring the list. Where to begin will be the hard part – do I start with lobster macaroni and cheese or Cool Ranch Doritos? Mom’s wild rice hotdish or my sister’s quesadillas?
Or nachos… ooooh… don’t even get me going on nachos…
• • •
“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.