The Texas State Fair, which runs September 26 through October 19, 2008, has named the winners of its Big Tex Choice Awards in food – and both are fried (see results in detail, below).
In addition to the Chicken Fried Bacon and Fried Banana Split, this Fair offers Fried Marshmallows, Fried Twinkies and Fried Coke, which was introduced to the world at the State Fair of Texas in 2006. Last year’s new entries to the fryer fare were Fried Guacamole and Fried Latte, all joining the popular Fletcher’s Corny Dogs . . . also fried. To top it off, the 2008 State Fair will feature the 6th Annual World Corny Dog Eating Championship.
Fairgoers have a chance to prove their own culinary mettle in Creative Arts cooking contests, including the Texas Pecan Cook-Off contest. A family’s favorite recipe can win a ribbon – and even some cash – in the dozens of Creative Arts’ food contests. And, when fair-goers need a break, the State Fair’s Wine Garden is the spot to kick back and experience the latest fruits of the vine or to take one of the Wine 101 educational classes.
Here is a summary of the awards and food food to set your taste buds watering:
Winner of Best Tasting
Chicken Fried Bacon – Thick and peppery Farm Pac® bacon is seasoned, double-dipped in a special batter and breading and, then, deep-fried. Served with a creamy side of ranch or honey mustard sauce.
Winner of Most Creative
Fried Banana Split – A mixture of banana and honey peanut butter is rolled in balls, battered and deep-fried and topped with assorted, delicious fixings, including powdered sugar, caramel and chocolate syrups, chopped peanuts, whipped cream and banana split flavored ice cream bites then fittingly crowned with the traditional cherry.
Fernie’s All-American Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich – An American classic with a State Fair twist. Two slices of white bread filled with a blend of American and cheddar cheeses, dipped in an egg and milk batter and lightly coated with panko bread crumbs for extra crispness. Served with a side of shoestring potato sticks, a pickle spear and tomato soup dipping sauce.
Texas Fried Jelly Belly Beans – Jelly Belly beans are rolled in funnel cake batter and fried to a crunch. People can share the treat with friends and try to guess the flavors of the Jelly Belly beans before biting down.
Deep Fried S’mores – Marshmallow cream and chocolate chips are sandwiched between two graham crackers, dipped in a feather-light batter and fried to a golden brown. The campfire-inspired treats are dusted in powdered sugar.
Fire & Ice – A pineapple ring is battered and deep-fried, then topped with banana-flavored whipped cream that’s been frozen in liquid nitrogen. The smoking concoction is ladled with strawberries and syrup.
Fried Chocolate Truffles – A silky-smooth, handmade, dark chocolate truffle is rolled in cocoa powder before being battered and deep-fried. The melting chocolate goodness is dusted in cinnamon, sugar and cocoa powder.
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Waffle Balls – Plump fresh strawberries covered in a thick chocolate shell are dipped in a sweet, waffle batter and deep-fried. Dusted with powdered sugar and served on a stick.
The winning concessionaire gets a trophy and bragging rights, and fairgoers get a new treat to try when the Fair opens. Past winning entries have included Fried Coke, Fried Praline Perfection and fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwiches.