Bigger and Brighter and Fried-er

Bigger and Brighter and Fried-er
Dan Zettwoch

It's here! Fried Christmas!!! That delicious waft of funnel cake + corny dog + world's biggest Frito pie + horse-ish ladyman stank you'll get when you walk through the turnstiles at the fair is gonna hit you like a Lisa Frank double food rainbow. And you will love it.

The State Fair of Texas is all the things. It's weird. It's fun. It's expensive. It's got shitty parking. It's got a Midway and tamale balls! It has kids screaming their smiling faces off on rides that move at a breakneck speed of 2 entire miles per hour. And they're even going to have a glow-in-the-dark Chinese lantern light show festival thing?! Plus fried red velvet cupcakes?! Hell. Yes. Texas, you are ridiculously glorious.

There is no shortage of fried food options at the Great State Fair of Texas. So, we've created a fried food map that'll help guide you from fried chocolate-covered strawberry waffle balls to fried picnic on a stick. If you try every food on the list, congratulations, and we're sorry.


State Fair of Texas

Let's start with the fried food items that were finalists in this year's Big Tex Choice Awards. The line for these foods will be longer, so have a friend stand in line while you go seek out the fried Kit Kats:

Big tex choice awards

BEST TASTE WINNER: Deep-Fried Jambalaya

This one's from Abel Gonzales (aka Fried Butter and Fried Coke and Fried Cookie Batter Guy), so it's definitely one to try. Dude has a history of knowing what the heck he's doing at a fryer. His fried jambalaya is shrimp and Cajun sausage coated in lightly seasoned flour and FRIED. FRY IT!! Served with a side of spicy ranch sauce.

MOST CREATIVE WINNER: Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll

A cinnamon roll dipped in a special sweet pancake batter, roll that in crispy FRIED BACON BACON BACON FRIED BACON AHMAHGAD FRIED BACON crumbles, then throw that in a fryer and FRY IT and then sprinkle it with powdered sugar. One bite is delicious, but it's also enough. Share this one.

BTCA Finalists

Chicken-Fried Cactus Bites

When we tried this at the awards, it was pretty Slimer from Ghostbusters slimy. Served with a combination of sweet and spicy secret jalapeño ranch (it tells the sweetest secrets, you guys) and agave nectar dipping sauce.

Deep-Fried Divine Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

A slice of chocolate tres leches cake soaked in buttermilk batter, and FUH. RIED, YOU GUYS. A light sprinkle of cinnamon, topped with whipped cream, fresh strawberry slices and peaches are drizzled with a yummy syrup. Blam. It's super sweet.

Deep-Fried Mac-N-Cheese Slider

Steve Velasquez's three-cheese mac is baked until golden brown, battered in bread crumbs, THEN HE FRIES IT. Then he puts that on a slider bun with a griddled beef patty.

Fried Mexican Fire Crackers

Nick Bert, winner of Best Taste in 2010 for his fried Frito pie, brings you "a yummy, spicy chicken, cheese and jalapeño mix wrapped in fresh-made masa dough and deep fried to a crispy, crunchy, explosion of flavor." FRY IT!!! It looks like a little taquito on a stick. And it tastes like one, too.

Fried Pork Wing

Isaac Rousso brought you fried Pop Tarts in the past and fried salsa last year. This year, it looks like he's going the savory route again. Here's the description: "This juicy morsel is slow cooked for six hours then lightly deep fried, rolled and tossed in a smoked bacon chipotle glaze. Accompanied by old-school homemade potato chips lightly dusted in barbecue seasoning, it's a sure crowd pleaser."

Picnic on a Stick

Alan Weiss is last year's winner in the Big Tex Choice Awards for Best Taste, with his fried chicken flapjacks. Apparently, breakfast-on-a-stick wasn't enough, so now he's bringing you a whole picnic on a stick. Press release says, "Pieces of delicious spicy fried chicken alternate tater tots and slices of dill pickle. Repeated three times on a stick then dipped in batter, rolled in bread crumbs, and fried until golden brown." It's cafeteria lunch on a stick. And we're into it.

New Territory

We also received an additional list of new fried items that didn't make it into the finals of the BTCA but will still be featured at the fair this year. We haven't tried them yet, so report back with your thoughts. That Fried Cotton Candy will only go super delicious or super nasty. Can't wait to roll those dice.

Deep-Fried Baked Potato

Crispy fried french fries wrapped in foil, split open and filled with butter, cheese, sour cream, chives and bacon bits. Add beef and barbecue sauce if you want. Whoa.

Deep-Fried Chicken and Waffle

Chicken breast dipped in waffle batter and fried. Dusted with sugar. On a stick. If there is a God, this does not suck.

Deep-Fried Red Velvet Cupcake

WHAAAAAAAAT? Red velvet cupcake filled with cream cheese. Fried. More frosting. THEN THEY TOP IT WITH A FRIED CHICKEN WING. Brainsplode.

El Dogito on a Stick

Spicy sausage with cheese and jalapeños, wrapped in a tortilla and fried. I mean, if you're into that sort of awesome.

Fried Cotton Candy

Pink cotton candy lightly battered with funnel cake mix. Quick-fried, dusted with powdered sugar. THEY FRIED COTTON CANDY! YES PLEASE CRAP!

Fried Cow Patty

OK. If they really fried poop, we're done. It's over. Whew. THEY DIDN'T FRY POOP! It's chocolate cake batter, fried, with chocolate pudding and chocolate whipped cream. So it will intentionally look like poop, but it will taste like not poop. So, there's that.

Fried Sugar

Sugar cubes are dipped in pancake batter and fried, topped with caramel sauce.

Fried Sugar Cubes

Not a typo. This is listed from two different locations at the fair. So, you'll have fried sugar options. This one comes double-dipped in chocolate or vanilla batter. Or both. Then top with chocolate, caramel or fruit sauces.

West Texas Apple Fried Pie

Yep. What it sounds like.

Potato Twist

Potatoes + onion + bacon bits + bell pepper + Cajun breading + deep-fried.

Chocolate Candy-Coated Bacon

Fried bacon dipped in chocolate and rolled in candy sprinkles and put directly in my mouth now thank you.

Fried Kitty-Kat

It's a Kit-Kat dipped in batter and fried. And it sounds like we're gonna have to eat that, too.

Merry Fried-mas, y'all.

Picnic on a Stick, pre-fryer.
Mike Mezeul II

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