The State Fair of Texas is Dr. Frankenstein laboratory of our deep fried and sugar-coated dreams. Last year brought us deep fried Jello balls and smoked bacon margaritas. It was glorious. It was decadent. And you likely needed a cardiogram and a gym membership as soon as the feasting ended.
This year’s iteration of the Big Tex Choice Awards has taken the game up another notch, with a menu of heart-stopping and glucose-spiking deep fried franken-foods. There are some intriguing concoctions this year, along with some head-scratchers. So let’s jump right in and take a look at the ten finalists in the 12th annual Big Tex Choice Awards at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas.
Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup On A Stick
Right out of the gate we have an innovation in soup. Deep fried chicken noodle soup on a stick (obviously) sounds like a perfect meeting of nostalgic food memory and fair food innovation. Chicken noodle soup doesn’t feel or sound too heavy. The balls are the solid ingredients that you’d find in your average soup. Plus, there’s a handy little tub of chicken soup broth on the side for dipping and plenty of sodium crackers to complete the experience.
Deep Fried Froot Loops
Oh, here’s that nostalgia button hit hard. Who doesn’t have fond memories of walking up on Saturday morning, clicking on some cartoons, and filling a bowl to the brim with processed sugar. Hey, fruit is right there in the name. That means it’s healthy!
In this case, the milk is replaced with marshmallow fluff before everything is battered and deep fried. A smooth powdered sugar glaze adds an extra layer of sugar just in case your blood sugar was dipping to dangerously low levels and you want to get it right back up.
Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger
We’ve seen burgers smashed between glazed doughnuts and crispy ramen noodles. So why not a funnel cake too? It’s time the humble deep fried and powdered sugar funnel cake had its day to shine in burger paradise. Add is some crispy bacon and smoother the whole damn thing in queso (with more queso on the side for dipping) and… this should come with a pillow on the side for your nap afterward.
Pinot Noir Popcorn
This almost feels like the State Fair is trolling us. It’s not deep fried. It’s not coated in three or more layers of sugar. There’s no stick! This is kettle corn dusted with Pinot Noir wine flavoring pairing with kettle corn dusted with cheese flavoring. Evidently a nice wine and cheese pairing is where it’s at when you’re at the State Fair of Texas. And if we’re being honest, this is probably one of the more intriguing finalist due to its simplicity.
Texas Fajita Fries
And…we’re back. These “fries” are actually battered and deep fried strips of steak wrapped in some flat bread served over equally battered and deep fried strips of jalapeños and onions. So, um, battered fajitas. Where are the fries, Texas? We demand potatoes! At least there’s a nice drizzle of sour cream guacamole.
Gulf Coast Fish Bowl
Do you love sugary cocktails? Do you love candy from the 1980s? Then this cocktail is going to hit your sweet spot. This is a blue punch take on a Hurricane. The gravel at the bottom of the bowl is actually Nerds candy and Swedish Fish are floating around to complete the whole “aquarium” look. Oh hey, look at that — here’s a link to handy and portable glucose monitor.
The Tamale Donut
Okay, this one kind of has our mouths watering. This is a doughnut that’s made from carnitas and masa like any delicious tamale. Then that tamale is formed into a ring and deep fried and drizzled with a creamy chipotle sauce. Basically, they’re taking something that’s already great and just serving it in a new, fried way. So, sure, we can get behind that.
Fried Texas Sheet Cake
On the surface, this sounds pretty basic. It’s deep fried sheet cake after all. Not exactly innovative. So let’s break it down. Here we have a classic Texas style chocolate sheet cake that’s coated in a mix of panko, cinnamon sugar, and — wait for it — pulverized Cocoa Puffs. Then that’s deep fried. Once it comes out of the oil, the cake is doused with a Dr. Pepper icing before pecans, whipped cream, and strawberries are added as a final flourish of garnish. Again, that glucose monitor is available right here.
Surfin’ Turkin’ Tator Boat
This is a steak, cheese, butter, and lobster filled baked potato with an extra lobster claw and a big pot of garlic butter for dipping. It’s a meal in a potato with extra butter and cheese. It may be best to find a hammock after this one.
That name! So much mystery in two words. Well, let’s break down some of that mysteriousness. A Fat Smooth is a Belgian creme puff that’s been dipped in beignet batter and then deep fried to crispy perfection. It’s then dusted with a little powdered sugar and finished with drizzles of caramel and chocolate sauce. Which sounds both fat and smooth. And tasty!