I doubt I'm alone in my annual State Fair of Texas tradition that involves an ice-cold lemonade and a corn dog straight from the fryer. Maybe you order yours with a beer in hand, and I've seen a few frozen drinks making their ways around the fairgrounds, but the corn dog is iconic and central to fair enjoyment.
And it could become even more of an icon now that the Fletcher family has realized that not everyone with a pocketful of tickets is a carnivore. This year, as first reported by Culture Map's Teresa Gubbins, vegetarian hot dogs will be dipped into sweet corn batter and fried up to a rich, golden brown, inviting vegetarians to get in on the fun.
A similar corn dog was a big selling point at the Veggie State Fair of Texas, which offers a wide variety of vegan fair food including a vegan corn dog. The Fletcher's version might have been vegan if not for the batter, which has eggs and milk, but still, many vegetarians will likely relish their newfound opportunity to get in on the corn dog action.
Since there's a chance that some of those enthusiasts will be experiencing a corn dog for the first time, here are a few corn dog enjoyment tips from the veterans.
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First, your veggie corn dog will only be available at the main Fletcher's location, close to Big Tex.
Second, make sure you have a beverage in hand before you order the dog. After one bite you'll realize there's more sodium in one of these things than a truckload of Doritos. Don't let your corn dog get cold while you hunt for something to wash all that salt down.
Lastly, mustard is the only appropriate condiment for a corn dog, no matter what's encased inside that batter. Visualize your squiggle pattern before approaching the pumps, take a deep breath and do your best to assure even coverage. You will be judged on the visual appeal of your mustard application, if only by neurotic corn dog fans like myself.
Don't take things too seriously, though. If you screw up you've just given yourself an excuse to order a second corn dog.