With opening day of the State Fair of Texas one week away, our thoughts turn, inevitably, to fried food. We know about the 2015 Big Tex Choice Awards, where carrot cake twist won for best-tasting entry, and the most creative prize went to a drink, the smoky bacon margarita.
Other entries included pretzel-crusted pollo queso, chicken-fried lobster tail, and fried beer-battered buffalo.
But the finalists for the Big Tex Awards are not the only new food items that will appear at the fair. According to a release, concessionaires spent the entire offseason concocting new foods to showcase. Check out some of this year's other new foods:
Coco-Rita. Fresh whole young coconut with a cut-off top. The juice is removed and replaced with a frozen strawberry margarita or pina colada margarita. It's "complemented" with a straw, umbrella, and spoon. The umbrella maybe, but is a straw really a complement? Located at CBP-1 stand.
Deep Fried Bacon Cheeseburger Basket. An "American" cheeseburger with "chunky" bacon, French fries, hand-battered onion rings, and "homemade" fry sauce, deep-fried in a flour tortilla, chimichanga style, served with several dipping sauces. Located at TB-25 stand.
Fried Tailgate Party. Fried treat loaded with tailgate foods — baby back ribs, pulled pork, chicken wings, grilled burger, cheese stuffed with jalapeno wrapped in bacon, grilled sausage — stuffed inside biscuit dough and deep fried. Served in your favorite teams' colored paper, stuck with toothpicks of their emblem. Located at MLK-1 and P-3 stands.
Fried East Texas Sausage and Pepper Jack Cheese on a Stick. Beer-battered sausage and cheddar cheese with a touch of jalapeños, fried on a stick. Yay for food on a stick. Located at FW-27 stand.
Fried Flan Cake. "Homemade" chocolate cake is baked over a creamy caramel flan before being battered and fried, then crowned with whipped cream and "a delightful caramel sauce that will make your mother proud." They don't know my mother. Located at G-45 stand.
Fried Kettle Corn. Described as "a classic fair food just begging to be deep fried." (Can you hear it saying, "Pwease pwease pwease fry me"?) "Homemade" kettle corn is formed into "old-fashioned" popcorn balls (the modern popcorn balls are so inferior), dipped in pancake batter, and fried. Each ball is topped with salted caramel sauce. Located at FW-19, G-6, and MLK-2 stands.
Laredo Dumpling. Ground beef seasoned with Mexican spices, wrapped in an Asian dumpling, and fried, then served with fresh pico de gallo, sour cream, salsa, or smooth creamy cheese sauce. Located at CBP-18 stand.
Limited Edition Oreos. Located at FW-9 and N-9 stands.
- Red velvet: dipped in a red batter, fried, and drizzled with cream cheese icing.
- Cookie dough: dipped in a chocolate batter, fried, and drizzled with chocolate syrup and chocolate chips.
- Cotton candy: dipped in pink and blue batter, fried, and sprinkled with pink and blue candy sugar served with a side of cotton candy.
Machete. Handmade extra-long corn tortilla fried and stuffed with melted cheese and your choice of meat (pork, spicy chicken, or ground beef). Located at G-32 stand.
Milk Chocolate Bacon on a Stick. A quarter-pound of bacon threaded on a wooden skewer, deep fried, finished on the grill, and dipped in cacao milk chocolate. Located at TB-22 stand.
Pulled Pork Mash. Pulled pork combined with layers of mashed potatoes and a dill or banana pickle slice. Located at TB-3 stand.
Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Chip. Deep-fried crisp doughnut chip coated with pumpkin spiced glaze, served with ice cream smothered with cinnamon candied maple bacon. Located at M-19 stand.
S'more Beer. Ice cold cup trimmed with chocolate and graham cracker crumbs and filled with imperial milk stout beer with vanilla and a thick rich milk chocolate head. It's topped with a large marshmallow. Located at FW-9 and N-9 stands.
Texas Fried Bacon Jalapeño Bites. "Fresh crisp" jalapeños combined with apple-smoked bacon, cream cheese, spicy sausage, and aged Parmesan. It's all coated in jalapeño bread crumbs and fried. Served with a jalapeño lime ranch sauce. Located at FW-5 and TB-12 stands.
Texas Bull Horn. Beef and pork sausage infused with jalapeño and cheddar cheese, stuffed in a "360-degree" hand-cut potato shell and deep fried on a stick. Hot dog and fries in one hearty bite. Located at TB-8 stand.
Tropical Shrimp Kabob. Onion, pineapple, and shrimp grilled with the "perfect blend" of island spices and tropical glaze. Located at FW-5 and TB-12 stands.