Chicken is delicious, but yakitori is super-delicious. Twinkies are good(ish), but deep-fried Twinkies are awe-inspiring in their fatty, lava-hot and bad-for-you greatness. Deep-fried Twinkies on a stick? That's even better.
Everything tastes better either served on a stick or made in stick-form. That's just one of those inarguable laws of nature. No one really understands why, but if this weren't the case, then why are there so many fat people at state fairs cramming their snack-holes with candy bars, pizza and SPAM on sticks? Obviously, the fat people know something. They know that modern conveniences like plates and silverware will only slow them down.
So still being in the grips of summer and summer being prime stick-food season, we've decided that the time is right for making a list of the best stick-based food items ever (to go along with our list of Worst Ever Stick Foods now online). Enjoy...
"A non-frozen balanced energy snack in rod form containing nutritionally balanced amounts of carbohydrate, fat and protein."--from the original description of the product, manufactured by Pillsbury. Sounds delicious, right? Rods are so tasty...
While food on sticks has been around since caveman days (and is probably the only form of food as old as grilling and older than barbecue), Space Food Sticks stand as the ultimate example of over-the-top modernization of the simplest thing in the world. Two funny things about Space Food Sticks? Astronauts never ate them (they were a purely consumer-oriented creation, though a version of the product did go up to Skylab as an absolute, last-ditch, total space-based emergency ration). And today, they stand as the culinary grandfather of all the bazillions of energy bars on the market.
Mr. Corndog goes to the fair!
There was a time when the only way for a crazy little fat kid (like me) to score a corn dog was to wait for summer, wait for the local fireman's carnival or weird Ukranian church fair to come to town, wait for your parents to take you, and then beg like hell for them to buy you one straight out of the fryers. Why could they only be gotten as carnivals and amusement parks and the like? Because only carnies knew the secret process for getting the hot dog inside the jacket of perfectly golden and deep-fried sweet corn goo.
These days, a person can get a corn dog almost anywhere. Grocery stores, school cafeterias, street carts. Hell, fancy-pantsy restaurants even serve versions of them all gussied up with lobster and cilantro and mango chutney. But none of these are the same as the original article--the magical corn dog on a stick, prepared in accordance with the secret carny recipe of old.
This is bacon and french fries on a stick. I don't just want to eat this, I want to take it out, buy it a nice dinner, maybe take it to a movie, then bring it home and then make sweet, sweet love to it all night long.
Ice cream on a stick is an often overlooked branch of the food-on-a-stick family tree. But it is an important one. Why? Because walking down the street eating a nice, frosty treat from the Good Humor man on a hot day is a totally reasonable thing to do. But walking down the street carrying a five-gallon tub of butterscotch ripple and one of those oversized wooden cooking spoons is (apparently) not. At least according to my wife.
Pocky. It's chocolate on a stick. With an edible stick. Damn, those Japanese are clever...
Plus, the strawberry ones have pictures of Hello Kitty on them!
Fried cheese = good
Fried cheese ON A STICK = awesome
Remember what I said I wanted to do to that bacon on a stick? Yeah, well this is where I want to take it for breakfast the next morning.
Those things in the middle there? Those are roasted snakes.
I've eaten snake before. A couple times. I didn't hate it, but neither did I really love it and I certainly haven't gone looking for it since.
But this is different. This is street food and sticks were made for street food the way the 289 V8 was made for Mustangs--both are improved immeasurably by having one stuck in the other. So while I might not go out of my way to eat snake again, if I were to run across snake on a stick being sold on some street corner, I would be sorely tempted simply because it's the stick that makes it look so tasty.
And that roasted pork (on a stick) doesn't look too bad either.
You would think that fried chicken wouldn't necessarily have to come on a stick. I mean, it kinda already comes with its own stick, right? That's what the bone is for.
But then look at this picture and tell me that you don't want some of that fried chicken right now. Tell me you wouldn't see this doofus taking a picture of his fried chicken on a stick at the local street festival, wait until he was distracted by fiddling with his aperture or ISO or something like that, then just run up and grab the chicken right out of his hand.
I know I would. But then, I'm kind of a jerk.
Candy apples? Best stick food ever.
Why? No guilt. Because it's fruit, right? Sweet, red, candy-glazed fruit. Therefore it can't possibly be bad for you. Even if you just eat the candy coating and throw the apple away, some of the apple-y goodness will have stuck to the sugar glaze and serve to counteract the negative effects of the pound-and-a-half of sugar and food dye you just ate.
Trust me. I'm an expert.