Throughout the history of humankind, every village, undoubtedly, has suffered the burden of a village idiot amongst its ranks. Some villages have more than one, but that’s mostly out East. To the benefit of man, those village idiots who didn’t become politicians or lawyers, became food testers. Many generations ago at the dawn of time, let’s call him Blah Blah, the village idiot was sent forth to discover festive foods, specifically foods that one could serve at a tailgate party, or perhaps a snack while drinking fermented pond water. Blah Blah walked for miles tasting one bitter weed after another; he even tried some snails, and something he called sushi, none of it edible.
I am not going into exactly how Blah Blah came to be in possession of a pair of calf fries, I will only say he was feeling dejected and ashamed as he headed back to the village devoid of any festive foods what-so-ever. He was painfully aware he was not a very successful food tester. If he weren’t careful they were going to make him become a lawyer; or worse a politician.
As he clambered into town, covered in mud and bruises all the villagers gathered around him. What had he found? They all hoped it would be delicious. He held up his bounty, and the questions became audible. “What is that you got there Blah Blah?” He realized, in all the commotion he had forgotten to name the food. One of the benefits of being the village food tester is getting to name food. Nuggets, he thought, chicken nuggets? Nah, that doesn’t even sound like something chickens would have. How about bull fries, no that sounds too dangerous? I got it, “Calf Fries!”, he exclaimed, to the surprise of the crowd.
Now evolution is a fickle thing, some say it doesn’t exist, but I am here to say the original version of calf fries were not the delicacy they are today. In the beginning, before fire they were simply rolled in dirt and swallowed whole. The dirt helped with the texture, but one couldn’t get enough pond water to wash them down. One day, and probably at the hand of God, a politician was struck by lightning and caught fire, and quite by accident I might add, cooking was invented. Lightning is also a fickle thing, but that’s another story. As the years rolled on beer was eventually created by a great village food tester named Bud. Bud wasn’t very creative with naming his discoveries, so he just called it Bud. It was an amazing invention, but very filling. He soon discovered he could make twice as much beer if he watered it down. He called it Bud Light. From that first batch of Bud Light came so many other inventions and past times, most of which started with the phrase, “Hold my beer”.
Years passed, and people had grown to love calf fries. The population of bovine began to dwindle to almost nothing. In fact, it had become a bit of a contest for some to see who could eat the most calf fries. The record was firmly in place at twenty-eight, until a fella came through town and took up the challenge and managed to eat at least a hundred. Of course, he had according to some, cheated when he combined dirt with a beer in order to save the step of having to drink between bites. He called them beer battered calf fries. The festive food became the world’s first fast-food. Tender and crunchy, with a savory finish. I mean who could argue that dirt isn’t savory. With all the time saved not having to drink in between bites, people had more time for fun activities. One evening when the sun was just setting, the village was invaded by a carnival. Blah Blah went down to try out some carny food and enjoy some fun activities. He was amazed at how far humankind had come. Everything that could be fried was on the menu. There were deep fried calf fries of course, but also something called a deep-fried pickle, deep fried twinkies, there was even deep-fried butter. Blah Blah ate a giant fried turkey leg and had a couple of turns on the zipper until it broke down and left a poor fella stranded at the top. A couple of villagers chunked calf fries up to him, otherwise this fella might have starved. Indeed, calf fries saved his life that night.
A few years on and a village food tester invented craft beer. This was specially formulated beer brewed in small batches, way to valuable to make the batter for calf fries. People got away from fast food and started something called the slow-food movement. It was no longer acceptable to mix beer with dirt to batter calf fries. Now, it was all the rage to slow down, enjoy a hand-crafted beverage and chew your food. I don’t know if calf fries had ever been chewed before the slow-food movement took over, but with new highly developed taste buds, it was clear something was missing. Mankind began experimenting anew, a dip of some sort was needed to make calf fries more palatable. However, it wasn’t until the invention of ketchup, just a few years ago, that calf fries made a major comeback. A food tester had a near-fatal accident, in an effort to save his craft beer after slipping, he landed on a tomato with a handful of calf fries. The combination was overwhelmingly delicious. The invention of ketchup sparked a whole new generation of inventive eaters. It would eventually be proven, by science, that anything can be made edible if slathered with ketchup. Specifically, calf fries.