There's no telling what his secret really was, but I ate some fried okra at Mama's Place on 42 Highway in Stockbridge, Georgia that was so light that they had to put a lid on the skillet to keep it from rising right up to the vent hood. To eat it, you had to take the service plate off the top, then quickly reach in and grab some on your fork before they all escaped.
Okay, so I exaggerate a whet. But only a whet. It really was dangnear lighter-than-air.
"My only two secrats are Crisco oil and timing," he remarked to me. He had as good a hand with chicken livers, too. "He's plumb got THE TOUCH," Mama informed me. She was right.
Unfortunately, he died of a brain aneurism at age 42 (not related to heart: related to a car addident years before). Mama couldn't handle it, and although she and his widow tried to keep going, it broke Mama's heart. She died a year later, and the place is gone... it's now a travel trailer dealersbip.
This is living proof that some of the best eateries hang by a fairly slender thread. Enjoy 'em while they're here, folks.
Nostalgically, Ort. Carlton in Fried-Okra-Shy Athens, Georgia.
P. S. My story is true... sad, but true.