Get a preview of the deep-fried orders that define the State Fair of Texas, cholesterol not included.
Tomorrow, Friday, September 28, the best time of the year in Texas kicks off, the State Fair of Texas. For several weeks, visitors to Fair Park, the event’s site, will be treated to Midway games, livestock shows, carnival rides, and folksy arts and crafts. In the middle of it all, is the annual football game between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma. All of these elements draw loads of people to ride the Texas Star Ferris Wheel, get behind the wheel out of their price range at the Texas Auto Show, and take loss after loss at the ring toss.
But there’s no denying the pull of the State Fair of Texas’ fried food. Fried food is why people go to the state fair. Each year for the last 14 years, 10 of these fried foods to be sold that year, are celebrated as the Big Tex Choice Awards finalists. Those aren’t the only inventive fried foods or fried foods-inspired offerings. You can see the collection of those crazy concession offerings, here, but to give you an idea of what to expect, the list includes Corn Dog Ale, with a mustard-rimmed glass and Kool-Aid Pickle-Dilly Sangria.
Before the fair opens tomorrow, we’re giving you a preview of the substantial offerings beginning with my favorite Big Tex Choice Awards finalists.
We hope you have your cholesterol-lowering statins ready.
Arroz Con Leche (Sweet Crispy Rice) (Best Taste – Sweet)
If arroz con leche was served coated in puffed rice ceral, deep fried, served with ice cream, and coated with powdered cinnamon and caramel, I would not have hated it growing up. It’s an incredible, delightful option deserving of the Big Tex Choice Award for Best Taste – Sweet. Get yourself some.
Corn bread crammed with grilled chicken-white bean chili sounds fantastic even if there are beans in the chili. And so, this item is fantastic, especially since it’s served with deep-fried corn bread fries and more chili.
Deep Fried Shepherd’s Pie
Concessionaire for the last 10 years and a finalist for five out of the last six years, Clint Probst’s deep-fried shepherd’s pie is precisely that: A mixture of mashed potatoes and cheese around the classic’s dishes stuffing of ground beef, vegetables, and gravy. It’s a comforting order, and a no-fail option for the State Fair of Texas.
Fernie’s Orange You Glad We Fried It
Essence of orange with a side of fried, Fernie’s Orange You Glad We Fried It is packed with citrus flavor perfect for the final scorchers of the season.
Cotton Candy Taco (Most Creative)
Deserving of the Most Creative award, this treat is something different. It’s something more. The Cotton Candy Taco begins with a marshmallow-glazed graham cracker waffle cone taco shell. It then gets a filling of chocolate, toasted marshmallow, and cotton candy before being topped off with chocolate cookie crumbles and chocolate-dipped bread sticks. What’s not to love?
State Fair Fun-L Cake Ice Cream
This is everything that’s joyful about state fair funnel cake as a frozen treat.
The Other Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists
Sweet Bakin’ Bacon
Deep Fried Skillet Potato Melt in a Boat
Texas Fried Hill Country
Fernie’s Hoppin John Cake with Jackpot Sauce (Best Taste – Savory)
For more information on the State Fair of Texas, visit the event’s website.
Photography: (All Images) State Fair of Texas/bigtex.com