Am I the last person to find out about fried okra? I’m not talking about the okra your mama slices and sprinkles with cornmeal or flour and fries in an ancient cast-iron skillet. That’s what “fried okra” always meant to me — up until this week, that is. Because now when I think about fried okra, I’ve got a completely different picture: Whole okra pods fried to light and crunchy deliciousness and sprinkled with a bit of salt. I’d had fried green beans before and was sort of underwhelmed, but I promise you, fried okra is incredibly tasty and addictive. I found them at a Fresh Market produce section and because I’m a junk-food connoisseur and cannot resist anything new — Oil! Salt! Crispy goodness! — I had to try them. And am I glad I did. Everyone I’ve shared with loves them, too. There’s a hint of okra’s signature “slimy” taste and a definite sort of fresh-from-the-garden flavor that reminds you you’re eating vegetables. And vegetables are good for you. Okay, these are fried vegetables. But still.
On the other hand, learn from my mistake and ignore this new product at Target: S’mores Tortilla Chips. You would think that chocolate and marshmallow and tortilla chips would be a great combination — well, I did, anyway — but they are not. Somehow, the usually rich and sassy combination of sweet and salty flavors did not work here. Instead what you got was something akin to the fancy candy bar you picked up on impulse from the clearance rack right before you got to the cash register and then when you got home you realized the expiration date was 2002. But you bit into it anyway. And were very, very sorry.