Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, Henry Ford invented the automobile, and Jonathan Marcus invented deep-fried water. And while Marcus’s creation won’t go down in the annals of American exceptionalism, it does encapsulate a moment in our culture where food has transcended its main function—which is to nourish—and crossed over into the realm of entertainment.
Marcus’s deep-fried water won’t be appearing at restaurants, food festivals, or pop-ups near you anytime soon. As he notes in his creation’s accompanying how-to video, it’s the “blandest fried thing” he’s ever tasted. Instead, deep-fried water is just the latest Instagram-ready food item built specifically for an age in which getting likes is just as important as getting nutrients.
To achieve this feat, Marcus started with calcium alginate, which trapped the water inside a gelatinous membrane. He then dredged it in flour, egg, and Panko breadcrumbs, similar to what any chef would do when deep-frying anything from poached eggs to Oreos. Marcus then dropped the spherical wonder into a fryer filled with 375°F peanut oil.
Marcus goes on to warn that despite the obvious whimsy involved, the experiment itself is potentially dangerous. "If water leaks out while the sphere is frying in hot oil, it may explode, sending scalding oil everywhere,” he captioned the video.
Now that it’s been proven that water can indeed be deep-fried, what’s next? Air? Fire? Hopefully we won’t ever have to find out.
Deep-fry your own goodies with this Hamilton Beach Professional-Style 12-Cup Stainless Steel Deep Fryer, and let us know if you would be willing to try deep-fried water.