1. Most of the best selling (and hence, best tasting) winners and competitors from previous years' fried food contests are still there! I highly recommend the Deep Fried Butter (2009 Best Taste winner), Fried Grilled Cheese, and Deep Fried Jambalaya (2012 Best Taste winner), if you can find them again this year.
2. Every year there is a long list of brand new fried foods that didn't make someone's cut to be in the Final 8 for awards judging, but that doesn't mean these foods aren't also delicious. Some of them sound amazing to me! I never see other publications mention these fried foods, I couldn't find the list on BigTex.com, and their PR rep didn't have a digital copy to email me, so this might be the only website where you'll find this list. I received it as an old-fashioned printout in my media packet at the Big Tex Choice Awards judging, so I have it photographed below for your food planning pleasure. Click to read the pages at full size. I've already starred the ones I want to try!
And, drumroll... I need someone to go to the fair with me and taste test as many of these fried foods as possible! I have a free admission ticket for you (thanks to the State Fair of Texas), but I would like to split the food and food costs with someone. This is a serious foodie challenge! Last year my mom was in town, and we managed to share nine fried foods in one visit. We arrived strategically starving and spent almost the whole time hunting for our food (booths). I'd like to go on the evening of Thursday, October 3 or Friday, October 4. If you're available and up for this delicious quest, comment below or in one of my social media profiles and let me know you qualify. I'll start looking for a winner on Saturday morning.
The Secret 15 New Fried Foods at 2013 State Fair of Texas
Dallas Foodie's Ranking of 2013 Big Tex Choice Awards Fried Food Finalists
In order of what I think were the best tasting foods when I tried most of them on judging day in early September.
|All 8 of the Big Tex Choice Awards Fried Food Finalists for 2013 State Fair of Texas|
1. Deep Fried Cuban Roll
Winner of "BEST TASTE", and I agree, as many of the other people in the room did, too! This is the must-try item of the year. It's most similar tasting to a Philly cheesesteak eggroll appetizer that I've seen on some menus in Dallas, except this is a filling of slow cooked pork shoulder, chopped ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and secret sauce is spread onto a slice of Swiss cheese, rolled up in pastry dough, and deep fried. Served with "majo sauce" for dipping.
2. Fried Thanksgiving Dinner
Winner of "MOST CREATIVE", and I agree! Also, the second best tasting. Homemade stuffing and diced roasted turkey are rolled into a ball. Next it’s dipped in southern cream corn and rolled in seasoned corn meal, then fried to a crispy golden brown. Served with old fashion giblet brown gravy. Dip it in the zesty orange cranberry sauce for a complete thanksgiving dinner.
3. Awesome Deep Fried Nutella
Cream cheese and Nutella are whipped and spread over flaky Phyllo dough sheets, rolled up, and deep fried. Served with a drizzle of honey and shaved almonds. I did not eat this due to it's nut content, but the people who like nuts seemed to like this as their 1st-3rd favorite item.
4. Southern Style Chicken-Fried Meatloaf
Homemade meatloaf slices are coated in an authentic Texas chicken-fried breading and deep fried golden brown. Served with garlic mashed potatoes, Texas cream gravy, and a ketchup/brown sugar glaze for dipping.
5. Spinach Dip Bites
Creamy spinach artichoke dip bites are coated with crispy tortilla chops and flash-fried until golden brown. Served with salsa. If you like spinach artichoke dip, you'll love these; otherwise, pass on it.
6. Fernie’s Deep Fried King Ranch Casserole
This stick-to-your-ribs, Texas-shaped creation is melted cheese and other salty, spicy, goodness dipped in a southwestern egg wash and coated in panko bread crumbs. Served with a side of red, white, and blue tortilla chips and your choice of our homemade “salsafied” sour cream or cheesy queso. Each one proudly flying the flag of the Lone Star State and deep fried in the Heart of Texas.
7. Texas Fried Fireballs
Pimento cheese, pickles, cayenne, and bacon, are rolled into a ball, dipped in buttermilk, covered in jalapeño-infused batter, then deep fried. Served with chipotle ranch. If you like food that is actually spicy, you'll love this a lot more than I did.
8. Golden Fried Millionaire Pie
Sweetened, fluffy cream cheese filling is loaded with golden pineapple and Texas pecans then wrapped in a flaky pie crust and fried to a golden brown. Topped with whipped cream, toasted coconut, and candied pecans. I didn't eat this one due to its nut content, but I didn't hear anyone else talking about it.