The gooey Coke-battered nuggets topped with cola syrup won the "most creative" title at the Texas state fair in Dallas last month. Since then, the deep-fried phenomenon has spread to North Carolina and Arizona.
"We've been getting calls from everywhere since we introduced it," Elizabeth Martin, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina fair, told the Dallas Morning News. "Everyone wants to know where they can get it."
Fried treats are as big of a draw at state fairs as the rides and prize-winning farm animals. Twinkies, cookies and even pickles are stuck with a stick, dipped in batter and then seared in the deep fryer.
Fried Coke's inventor, concessionaire Abel Gonzales Jr., is a creative fryer whose experiments have proven popular. Last year he sold 20,000 fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwiches, the Morning News reported. Fried Coke looks to be an even bigger hit: he sold 16,000 cups of the sticky balls in the first two weeks of the fair, which runs through Oct. 22.
Gonzales has also had more success with changing his recipe than Coca Cola did. He reworked the recipe to make the dough less cakey and more spongy so it would soak up more of the cola syrup.
"They were good before, but they are even better now," Gonzales said.