Listener Letters: Fried Food At The State Fair

Melissa Block and Robert Siegel read letters from listeners about fried food at the Texas state fair and other stories.


We end this hour with your letters and this correction. Yesterday, in talking about a new movie from director Ron Howard, we said world champion race car driver Niki Lauda was from Germany. We should have said Austria. Our apologies to Vienna, where he was born.


KATE SMITH: (Singing) God bless America, land...


That's Kate Smith. I talked to Sheryl Kaskowitz, who chronicled that song's history in a new book called "God Bless America" and for listener Nancy Inobnet(ph) of Boring, Oregon, our interview conjured a bit of personal history. It reminded her of a performance at her father's 80th birthday party. She writes this: my mother is a first generation American of Lebanese parents and several of the 75 attendees were relatives who had immigrated to the United States from Lebanon and Cuba.

Dad had requested a talent show for entertainment and my 9-year-old nephew who had recently learned of the Irving Berlin classic chose to sing "God Bless America." When he hit the final note, we all cheered. But as I scanned the audience, the lasting image is of the many new citizens wiping tears from their eyes as they indeed blessed America.

BLOCK: And finally, yesterday we talked fried food and not just any fried food, Texas State Fair fried food.

SIEGEL: Whether it's fried ice cream...

BLOCK: Fried bacon cinnamon roll on a stick...

SIEGEL: Fried Thanksgiving dinner...

BLOCK: Or even fried Nutella, the competition to come up with the tastiest and downright strangest fry-nomenon is fierce at the Texas State Fair. And our story yesterday came with a warning from a dietician.

STEPHANIE DEAN: So if you are a 200-pound adult and you plan on going to the State Fair this year to have the deep-fried Nutella, you would need to walk for two to five hours to burn off the calories from that deep-fried Nutella.

BLOCK: But Madonna Laslow(ph) of St. Louis is unfazed. She writes this: could you ask her how long it would take if you were, say, skipping joyfully while singing "Zippedy Doo-Dah," 'cause that's what I'd be doing after eating one of those.

SIEGEL: Well, thanks for writing, though it won't burn a lot of calories. Please keep the letters coming. Just go to and click on Contact at the bottom of the page.

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