Few cooking techniques can transform ingredients as magically as frying. Fried food is half the reason most of us go to state fairs (let’s be honest — no one goes for livestock contests) and people have waited in line for hours in the U.S. (and even gotten into fistfights) for sublime fried chicken sandwiches. From falafel to karintō, here are 18 of the best fried dishes from around the world.
The exact origins of the churro are debated, but many consider this centuries-old fried dessert to be a Spanish invention. Both creamy and crunchy, churros are tubes of dough (flour, water, salt) that are deep fried and topped with sugar. In Spain, churros are almost always made by pushing dough through a spiral-shaped funnel before frying, putting a unique spin on the churro’s French-fry-esque shape.