The State Fair of Texas Names Seven Finalists for Fried Foods Champ

Nothing celebrates the Stae Fair of Texas better than the bizarre assortment of fried foods lining the midway. The Fair even calls itself the Fried Food Capital of Texas. This year, the seven finalists for the 2011 State Fair’s Big Tex Choice Awards include some real oddities. The winner will be announced on Labor Day at 9 am. (No way am I eating Hans’ balls, even if they are made of sauerkraut.) But the pineapple cake and autumn pie are sounding pretty good right now. (Last year’s champ was fried beer.)

Here’s what made the cut this year:

Hans’ kraut ball:
“A conglomeration of taste: browned pork sausage, onion, garlic, a zing of sauerkraut, mustard, and tasty seasonings all rolled into a mouth-watering ball of delight. Covered with seasoned bread crumbs, deep fried, and served with your choice Spicy Mustard, Rasberry Chipotle, or Ranch.”
Buffalo chicken in a flapjack:
“A buffalo chicken strip is coated in flapjack batter, rolled in jalapeno bread crumbs, deep fried to a golden brown, skewed, and served with a side of syrup. Crowd pleasing appetizer or a meal in itself!”

Deep-fried pineapple upside down cake:
“Fresh and sweet pineapple rings are delicately dipped in cake batter, fried, and coated with a caramel, sugar, and cinnamon glaze. What tropical treat is complete without a cherry on top?”

Deep-fried Texas salsa:
“This spicy medley of jalapenos, roasted garlic, onion, tomato, and pepper is rolled together, dipped in masa, and covered in crunchy tortilla chips. Into the fryer and served with warm, deliciously creamy queso.”

El Bananarito:
“In case you are wondering, it’s a deep fried banana rolled in a flour tortilla, topped with whipped cream, powdered sugar, a dusting of cinnamon, and a touch of vanilla extract. Top it off with your choice of smooth, hot caramel or decadent chocolate syrup.”

Fried autumn pie:
“Fairgoers will fall for this hard to resist puff pastry infused with a scrumptious combination of pumpkin, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and fall spices. Deep fried and rolled in ginger, cinnamon, and sugar. ”

Fried bubblegum:
“You’ll swear it’s bubblegum! A light as a feather bubble gum flavored marshmallow is dipped in batter and lightly fried to perfection. Decorated with a swirl of icing. A final sprinkling of powdered sugar completes this treat! It will blow you away!”

Walking taco:
“Stroll down the Midway with this concoction of seasoned hamburger meat, lettuce, onion, fresh tomato, grated cheese, sour cream, and tasty salsa. Inventively served up in a Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos bag!”


Here’s the background:

Since the invention of the Fletcher’s Corny Dog, fairgoers have often ranked food as one of the top reasons for attending the annual State Fair of Texas. In 2005, Fair organizers – determined to take the association with food to a new level – organized the first annual Big Tex Choice Awards contest.
The contest is considered a friendly food fight among Fair concessionaires. Entries must be new to the Fair, unique and taste-tempting. In mid-summer, an invitation is sent to all contracted State Fair vendors with details about the contest. Interested concessionaires submit menus to a committee for review and consideration. Often the committee will request samples for taste testing before choosing the finalists for the contest. On Labor Day, judges are brought in for the final round of competition.  The winner for most creative in this year’s contest went to Fried Beer™ while Texas Fried FRITOS® Pie won the trophy for best taste.
2005 Most Creative         Viva Las Vegas Fried Ice Cream
2005 Best Taste             Fried PB, Jelly and Banana Sandwich
2006 Most Creative         Fried Coke
2006 Best Taste             Fried Praline Perfection
2007 Most Creative         Deep Fried Latte
2007 Best Taste             Texas Fried Cookie Dough
2008 Most Creative         Fried Banana Split
2008 Best Taste             Chicken Fried Bacon
2009 Most Creative         Deep Fried Butter
2009 Best Taste             Fernie’s Deep Fried Peaches & Cream
2010 Most Creative         Fried Beer™
2010 Best Taste                 Texas    Fried    FRITOS®    Pie