State Fair of Texas 2016
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Fried Jell-O takes it at State Fair of Texas Big Tex Choice Awards 2016

Fried Jell-O takes it at State Fair Big Tex Choice Awards 2016

State Fair of Texas fried Jell-O
Fried Jell-O was a winner at the State Fair of Texas. Photo by Jason Hays

Weirdest won the prize at the 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards, the annual food contest held by the State Fair of Texas. Fried Jell-O won the award for Best Taste. And the award for Most Creative went to State Fair Cookie Fries.

The awards were presented at an open-to-the-public event on August 28 in the Tower Building at Fair Park.

Fried Jell-O was submitted by Ruth Hauntz, who's been a concessionaire at the State Fair for 28 years. It's a classic cherry-flavored Jell-O in a panko-crusted breading that is fried, dusted with powdered sugar, and served with whipped cream and a cherry.

State Fair Cookie Fries have the appearance of classic crinkle-cut French fries, but are actually cookies, in chocolate chip or sprinkles flavors, served with strawberry or milk chocolate sauce. They're made by Isaac Rousso, who's been a finalist in the Big Tex Choice Awards for the past seven years; he won last year's Most Creative award, for his Smoky Bacon Margarita.

They won over a field of semifinalists that included Caribbean Pineapple Korn-a-Copia, Bacon Burger Dog Slider on a Stick, Pulled Pork Funyun Dings, Chicken Pot Pie Pocket with Mac 'n' Cheese Dip, Injectable Great Balls of BBQ, and Southern Fried Chicken & Dumplins.

Judges this year included bull rider Don Gay, blogger Mai Lyn Ngo, radio personality Dan O’Malley, chef Kent Rathbun, and Dallas City Council member Tiffinni Young.

The sixth judge was Jon Gonzalez, an audience member whose name was picked from a random drawing at the event.

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