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Move over funnel cakes, fried Kool-Aid is here

By Julie Watson

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, June 22 2011 2:35 p.m. MDT

Three girls who declined to give their names try fried Kool-Aid balls at the San Diego County Fair Tuesday, June 21, 2011, in Del Mar, Calif. The crispy balls with their red-hot insides are a big seller at the fair this year.

Gregory Bull, Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Move over funnel cakes and corn dogs, deep-fat fried Kool-Aid is here.

San Diego County fair goers can't seem to get enough of the newest, oily treat that debuted at "Chicken Charlie's" food stand about two weeks ago when the annual event kicked off at the Del Mar horse race track and fairgrounds.

"Oh, the moment of truth," said Joe Cocoba, a 31-year-old nursing student before biting into the glistening brown dough ball with a pink fluffy interior. "I can taste it (the Kool-Aid)! It's good."

Cocoba said biting into a kid's drink only made him want to try more of Chicken Charlie's other deep-fried offerings such as Klondike ice cream bars, Girl Scout cookies, Twinkies, avocados and the ultimate cholesterol-builder: A Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich. Yes, it's two deep-fried doughnuts with a chicken breast squashed between them.

"I can feel my arteries screaming at me," Cocoba joked.

Charlie Boghosian — aka "Chicken Charlie" — is the 300-pound (135-kilogram) man behind the creations. The 42-year-old Boghosian has spent two decades testing the limits of what can be cooked in grease and still taste good. Each year, he adds new, unusual items to his popular, bright-yellow and red food stand.

Boghosian said he has sold 100,000 fried Klondike bars last year and two million fried Oreo cookies over the past decade. But the $5.95 fried Kool-Aid is quickly becoming his top seller.

He says so far he has fried up 500 pounds (225 kilograms) of Kool-Aid powder — which is then added to dough to be fried.

"It's been huge," he said. "People are loving it."

Well, not everyone.

Chelsea Lightfoot scrunched up her nose at the thought.

"It just seems really weird," said the 23-year-old college student after buying a plate of fried zucchini at his stand. "Things like fried Kool-Aid, Twinkies, are kind of gross."

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