This morning, the State Fair of Texas announced the finalists for the 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards, a list of eight deep-fried, sugar-coated, heart-stopping carb-monsters that were selected from 55 original entries submitted by 34 concession vendors.
The finalists were determined using four parameters: "uniqueness, creativity, presentation and, of course, taste," according to the State Fair of Texas. These new dishes should prove popular when the fair opens Sept. 30. Check out this slideshow of the finalist dishes or read about them here:
Caribbean Pineapple Korn-a-Copia by Stephen Alade
Grilled chicken and shrimp served over Caribbean fried rice, topped with a tropical salsa and pineapple rum glaze and served in a pineapple half shell.
Deep-Fried Bacon Burger Dog Slider on a Stick by Brent and Juan Reaves
"A miniature, handmade seasoned ground beef patty is stuffed with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon and an all-beef hot dog on a Hawaiian roll. It is then placed on a skewer topped with a pickle, dipped in a tempura batter and deep fried to perfection. Every Bacon Burger Dog is served on a bed of shoe string fries with ranch dipping sauce."
Deep-Fried Pulled Pork Funyun Dings by Chris Howard
"A Funyun, the traditional crunchy snack, is stuffed with pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, pineapple slices and bacon. It is then dipped in a flavorful batter and deep fried."
Fernie’s Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pocket with Mac 'n' Cheese Dip by Christi Erpillo
"A savory cream sauce chock-full of shredded roasted chicken breast, tender diced white potatoes, sweet carrots, peas, corn and a special blend of herbs and spices" is ladled into pastry dough and folded "Hot Pocket-style." It's served with a mac 'n' cheese-inspired dip.
Fried Jell-O by Ruth Hauntz
Cherry-flavored Jell-O is coated in panko bread crumbs, flash-fried, dusted with powdered sugar and topped with whipped cream and a cherry.
Injectable Great Balls of BBQ by Glen Kusak
"Smoke-crusted barbecue beef brisket is hand shredded with bock barbecue sauce and molded to form balls. The ball of beef is then breaded with seasoned bread crumbs and deep-fried to a crispy perfection. Served on top of a bed of coleslaw, each order comes with its own pipette of bock barbecue sauce to be injected into the brisket balls."
Southern Fried Chicken and Dumplins by Clint Probst
"Juicy shredded chicken is mixed with bits of signature seasonings, dough and a touch of gravy. This decadent mixture is then rolled into balls, coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried golden brown!" The balls ares served with fried “biscuit bites” and a side of gravy.
State Fair Cookie Fries by Isaac Rousso
A deep-fried cookie — in flavors like chocolate chip or sprinkles — shaped like a French fry and served with strawberry or milk chocolate sauce.
The 12th annual Big Tex Choice Awards will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28 in the Tower Building at Fair Park.