Within a week of each other, the New Bedford Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival wrapped up, and the Big E in West Springfield stretched out, expecting to tempt well over a million hungry guests.

Every year at the Big E, someone comes up with a foolish, loony and surprisingly flavorful food innovation. One time, someone replaced hamburger buns with two two Krispy Kreme donuts and created the Donut Burger. That's nothing compared to Deep-Fried Butter, a heart attack on a plate – or the Twix-Stuffed Twinkie wrapped in soft bacon and deep fried.

Do we have a love-hate relationship with our arteries?

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Last year, COVID canceled everything, so unusually larger crowds are expected in 2021. This is the year of the Dilly Dilly Dog, a hot dog on a stick covered by a hallowed-out dill pickle, dipped in a tasty wet batter and floated in bubbling clean oil until golden. Someone will most likely become rich for coming up with a pickle stuffed corn dog.

Let's create our own local improvisation, but instead of using the cult classic corn dog, we deck out our time-honored clam cakes? Think of a clam beignet with ground hot dog. Crispy, light, golden brown on the outside, perfectly fluffy on the inside. Aromatic steam rises from the first delectable bite.

This has the potential of revolutionizing the expression "surf and turf." I wish I still had the Shawmut Diner, where I'd be experimenting with different batters and variations of the recipe. This little glory could become the masterpiece of local street food. We'll work on coming up with a flawless name.

Can you see this becoming the gateway fritter of historic New Bedford, especially in the summer, with tourists disembarking from the ferry?

It beats deep-fried watermelon, that's for sure.

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