By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
It's State Fair time. Time to make out with Big Tex, take a ride on the Texas Star and maybe even do a little balloon-darting on the Midway. But more important, it's time to get your fried-food game face on. This year there are some brand-new contenders vying for some one-on-one time with you—so they can give you a heart attack. I tried them all with a team of food experts there for "finish this nasty shit" back-up and to eliminate any personal bias (I'm talking to you, pork chips) and then tried a couple other things, just for shits and giggles (but mostly shits). Hopefully this will help you narrow down your options so when your fair day comes you don't spend so much money on food that you have to get epic with some dude's carnie balls.
Fried truffle: Don't miss. They fry a chocolate truffle. And cover it in cinnamon sugar. And then they hand it to you and you get to eat the hot chocolate mess. So good.
Fried pecan pie: Skip it. Mine was soggy and too hard to cut with the plastic fork. The pecan filling was good but took too much work to get to it. Fail.
Sweet jalapeño corn dog shrimp: Getcha one. Shrimp dipped in spicy corn dog batter and fried, then dipped in some unholy sweet stuff. Then dipped in face.
Fried pork chips: Effing nasty. I hated this. I found it rubbery and gross and did not want to dip it in ketchup. At this point, one of my compadres stepped in and said, "You're a girl. This is guy food." His specific words on the chips, "They're like all the best parts of eating a chicken strip without all that chicken." (Guys swoon.)
Twisted yam on a stick: Share it. The group really liked these cinnamon-sugared sweet potato chips on a stick but would recommend them as a side item to some other on-a-stick item.
Green Goblin: Skip it. Cherry peppers stuffed with spicy shredded chicken and guac, battered and deep-fried. Topped with queso. The peppers were perfectly hot, but the queso was so overpowering that I couldn't taste anything else. Overall, I give it two goblin thumbs down. If goblins have thumbs.
Fried peaches and cream: Skip it. Fried peaches with a side of cream. Good in theory (got the Best Tasting Award), unless the peaches aren't ripe. Which they weren't. Eew.
Fried peanut butter cup macaroon: Try it if you've got extra tickets. It's everything you think it might be.
Chocolate-covered strawberry waffle ball: I had this last year, and I've been craving it ever since. Take two chocolate-covered strawberries and put 'em on a stick. Then fry them in Belgian waffle batter. Then dust with powdered sugar. They're pricy, but oh my Jesus, they're the best thing at the fair. So buy some because if they don't bring them back next year, I will find you. And I will cry all over your face.
Fried butter: Have to admit, I was not excited to try this oh-so-nationally-popular fried contest winner. It just sounds disgusting and wrong on so many levels. Its name says, "You're pathetic." (Ya know, just like the name Kirk Cameron.) So, I asked the lady behind the counter which flavor (cherry, grape jam, original or garlic) was tastiest, and when she said, "Garlic or cherry," I had to go full-on nasty. "Gimme the garlic, then." I took a bite. My heart skipped a beat. (Heart attack or love? Too close to call.) Holy crap, y'all. It tastes like the most delicious melty, buttery garlic breadstick you've ever had. I couldn't believe it. Second-best thing I had all day (waffle balls own).
I leave you with The Legend of the 6-Ticket Beer: I heard it used to be in the pavilion outside the west entrance to the Cotton Bowl. If you find this mythical beer-icorn, you win. Unless it turns out that it's Natty Light. Then we all lose.