It’s no secret that the best selling foods of today are fried. There’s fried chicken from KFC, fried hamburger patties from McDonalds, the potato chips we eat, and so on. It’s safe to say that there is hardly a family these days who doesn’t eat fried food at least once in a week.
Do you know how much cooking oil is used each year? According to Statista, an online research firm which supplies information of all kinds, 209.14 million metric tons of vegetable oil was produced during the 2020/21 period.
According to the website worldometer, there is unfortunately now more than 7.9 billion people on earth. This means that on average people have absorbed 0.0265 metric ton of cooking oil for 2021 alone.
There are 1,000 kilograms per metric ton. This means that each human on average has consumed on average 26.5 kilos of cooking oil. I’m not saying that this calculation is to the point, but this figure could be close enough.
Imagine this much amount of cooking oil going to your stomach. There are many articles which link obesity and diabetes to the overconsumption of cooking oil. If humans on average use this much cooking oil, these articles could be on to something.
Let me be upfront to you first before you continue reading this article. This article would not discuss the health issues associated with consuming cooking oil. This article focuses on the battering and deep frying of foods instead.
I was eating in an eat all you can buffet restaurant and of course, they also offer deep fried battered chicken and pork dishes. I was pleasantly surprised that mixed in with these deep fried meat dishes was deep fried plant leaves.
I might be wrong, but I think these plant leaves were water spinach leaves or “kangkong” as they are called in some parts of Asia. When I tasted them, they were delicious. It was like I was eating fresh deep fried potato chips sans the crispiness.
When we got home, I asked my mother to cook me some deep fried edible leaves we have in our garden. To my surprise, the deep fried battered leaves from our garden also tasted good. This got me thinking already.
In the Philippines were I currently live, Saba bananas and sweet potatoes are covered with brown sugar and are deep fried. They are popular snacks of the locals here and I wonder if the leaves of the edible plants here can also be battered and deep fried and sold as snacks or meal dishes.
Let’s face it, fresh leaves are nutritious, but many people shy away from it especially children these days who have been reared on diets consisting of fast food dishes. Imagine if children would eat battered deep fried vegetable leaves instead of only French fries.
There are many articles online which attempts to answer this question. Some go about it the scientific way, others are from a cook’s perspective or simply based on personal opinions, but there are familiar answers.
There is no question about this. The human body has evolved a lot, but there are still many things that have been slow to change. One of this is the human body’s predisposition to crave fatty foods.
I’m sure you know the story. Primitive humans depended on a lot of meat diet to survive during the early days of mankind. Animal and even insect meat as compared to plants has a bigger capability to give instant bursts of energy when consumed by a human.
The humans of today might not exactly be eating a pure meat diet because they have progressed so much that their food tastes have changed. However, fats are still a major part of a human’s normal food cravings.
And the humans of today have substituted cooking oil from the actual animal fat they used to crave before. It is no secret that the animal fat which are produced when an animal is baked in an oven is also used by even famous chefs to flavor their food.
I did a quick search on Amazon and found several animal fat products being sold. They are categorized as “tallow.” I also found out that it has many uses. I advise for anyone who’s cooking produces tallow, to preserve it instead of just throwing it away.
Humans also need salt. The human body uses salt to be able to balance the fluids in the blood and to maintain healthy blood pressure. Salt is also essential for the function of the nerves and muscles.
If the tiniest of insects like ants need salt to survive, what more a much, much bigger organism like a normal human. If humans don’t regularly consume salt, the operation of their body would break down.
Your craving for salt is usually a reason that something is wrong with your body and your body is trying to tell you this when you have an almost uncontrollable craving for salt. This is the same reason why there are people who crave salt.
A dose of salt helps soothe the cravings you feel for it because there may be an imbalance in your body. Besides, this salt also makes fried food appetizing. If you eat fried meat without salt, it would most likely have a bland taste.
We therefore have a craving for salt because not only does our body naturally crave it, but it also improves the taste of food.
Depending on the salt deposits in the place you live in or have access of, the salt found in your place could be what is called designer salts. There are for example salts called Himalayan Salts and Norwegian Salts.
These kinds of salts command higher prices than normal salts because of their perceived health benefits and perceived unique tastes which as their marketers would say blend best with some kinds of foods.
It is therefore worth looking at the kind of salt you have and try to establish if you have some kind of designer salt. For example, Norwegian salt is 25 percent more expensive than normal salt but is still popular.
Could this higher market price and the ensuing demand the result of clever marketing or a real in-depth study by cooks regarding Norwegian salt’s unique taste? You be the judge if you’ve ever tasted Norwegian salt.
Have you ever noticed how food tastes when It is crispy? There are foodies online who would comment that the feeling they derive from chewing on a crispy food is almost sensual. I believe I don’t need to explain this, but crispy foods do have a very surreal appeal when being eaten.
The above factors may be the reason why the leading fast food restaurants in the world has stuck to predominantly selling fried or battered and deep fried food. You might even say that humans are genetically designed to crave these kinds of foods.
Still don’t believe me? Two of the biggest bread or pastry or whatever you might call it brands in the world are Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme. Although they might not be battered in the true sense of the word, doughnuts are made up of a lot of flour, butter and salt.
As you can see, a lot of our favorite fast food dishes or snacks are most likely being cooked deep fried with batter or something similar. Imagine KFC meals which consists of deep fried chicken and deep fried chips. And many people throughout the world eat this everyday.
Almost all foods can be deep fried. Frozen ice cream covered in bread slices are battered and then deep fried, the same can be done with chocolate bars. As I have talked on earlier, plant leaves can be deep fried as well.
If you are interested in videos about people trying on all kinds of deep fried food, I would suggest you watch a few videos of the YouTube channel CultMoo.
We could call them the “What If” of battering and then deep frying. They for example battered and deep fried McDonalds and KFC meals which are in the first place already battered and deep fried already.
But we may not truly know what kind of foods people have in mind when they want a certain food battered and deep fried. Here’s an idea, perhaps you have a food stand where you sell battered and deep fried food. Why not offer to batter and deep fry a food that people already have?
For example, hotdogs are sold in many places like fairs and events, why not offer to batter and deep fry again these hotdogs which people have already brought from another food stand? How about chocolate bars or grilled sandwiches? The food ideas can be infinite.
One thing my mother always does when we have sliced bread that is not being eaten is to make butter breads out of these sliced breads. Whenever she does this, we always finish all the butter bread she has cooked.
And she’s not the only one doing this, I know of a famous bake shop which does the same thing to their old breads. They also make them into butter breads. I think the reason is obvious, the saltiness of the butter plus the addition of cooking oil in the bread makes these stale breads delicious.
And why did I mention this? Because my mother does the same thing with some of the leftover meals we have. She would take out the meats from our leftover meal and deep fry or batter them and deep fry them as well.
The same goes for leftover rice. You can also make battered and deep fried rice balls. It is simply a rice ball covered with batter and then deep fried. This is an interesting product. Since many people eat rice like in Asia where they eat this with everything, this could be an inexpensive meal to offer.
It is also convenient as a fast food dish. Since the rice balls don’t need to be eaten with a spoon and fork, they can seriously compete with other foods that can be eaten by hand alone. I see a good market for this.
Imagine if fried rice is marketed this way. We can even add bits of meat or vegetable to the fried rice ball being covered with batter. As can be seen, food covered with batter and deep fried is very convenient as a fast food dish.
It seems that humans have a predisposition to crave deep fried as well as battered and deep fried foods. The fat in the cooking oils, the salt, and the crispiness in these kinds of foods are a few of the main factors why a lot of people like eating them.
A lot of foods can be battered and deep fried even those foods already battered and deep fried. This also includes leftover dinner food and staling bread. It’s only a matter of knowing which food tastes best being battered and deep fried.
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