State Fair of Texas

The Top 10 Fried-Food Finalists at The State Fair

Chicharron Explosion Nachos
Chicharron Explosion Nachos The State Fair of Texas
It’s that time. The State Fair of Texas has announced its 2022 Big Tex Choice Awards top 10 finalists. Last month we did a little betting on which bites would make it and we’re sorry to say we only guessed one correctly. (How could deep-fried brisket cheese sticks not win? We want a recount.)

But we're more than happy to tell you about the lineup of savory and sweet creations awaiting Texans at the fair this year. Prepare yourself, and try not to read on an empty stomach.

On Aug. 28, three of these creations will be crowned winners for best taste, sweet and savory, and most creative. When the fair opens on Sept. 30, you'll be able to get a map that will have the location for all of these creations.

Savory Finalists

Chicharron Explosion Nachos
Vendor: Glen and Sherri Kusak
Here deep fried Cajun-seasoned pork rinds are topped with slow-smoked beef fajita meat, and drizzled with fresh queso. All of that is topped with chopped beef. Have no shame digging in with both hands to tackle this kickin’ pile of protein.


Deep Fried BLT
Vendor: Tom Grace
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Deep Fried BLT
The State Fair of Texas
For this dish, creator Tom Grace piles shredded cheddar cheese over bacon and folds that in a 12-inch tortilla then dunks it in the deep fryer until the cheese melts into liquid gold. That's cut in half and used as the bookends for two crisp leaves of lettuce, tomato slices and a slather of mayo. The whole thing comes paired with fresh-cut garlic Parmesan chips.


Deep Fried Lasagna Roll
Vendor: Parish Family
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Deep fried lasagna
The State Fair of Texas
The Parrish family delivers the dish to blaspheme everything this writer’s Italian ancestors call holy. But it’s pure Texas all the way. Here ribbon pasta is blended with ricotta, Parmesan, provolone, fresh mozzarella and a coat of homemade meat sauce. More cheese is added then it's hand rolled and dipped in a cheddar and herb batter designed to fry up a flaky crust. The roll comes garnished with another drizzle of marinara sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil and is served with zucchini fries.


Fried Charcuterie Board
Vendor: Tami Nevins-Mayes & Josey Mayes
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Fried charcuterie board
The State Fair of Texas
Here we have a winning prediction from July’s picks from the semi-finalists. Folded inside a wonton wrapper are fresh mozzarella, salami and green apples tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Italian herbs then dropped in the fryer to melt it all together. This gift of a dish comes topped with goat cheese and drizzled with honey.


Holy Biscuit
Vendor: Isaac Rousso
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Holy Biscuit
The State Fair of Texas
For some down-home comfort food with a street twist, this golden-brown biscuit is piled with slow-smoked shredded brisket and fire-roasted street corn queso. Texas honey with a kick is drizzled on slices of thick-cut bacon for a sweet and salty addition. Crispy pickle French fries top the sandwich for the crowning crunch.

Sweet Finalists

Cha-Cha Chata
Vendor: Garza Family
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Cha-Cha Chata
The State Fair of Texas
Here not one but two kinds of milk and vanilla ice cream are blended with the Garza family's secret horchata recipe and poured into a glass rimmed with caramel and cinnamon. It's finished off with an airy cloud of whipped topping, a dusting of crushed candy and cinnamon galletas de grageas with deep-fried arroz con leche, all of which is sipped with churro straw. By far, the best plastic straw replacement we’ve seen yet. This is totally how we save the environment.


Deep Fried Rocky Road with Blue Bell Ice Cream
Vendor: Cody and Lauren Hays
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Deep Fried Rocky Road
The State Fair of Texas
These deep-fried rocky road balls are made from Rocky Road Kettle Fresh Fudge, which is dipped and fried in batter and then drizzled with chocolate syrup. Then they top it with powdered sugar, mini marshmallows and chopped cinnamon glazed nuts. For a bonus you can dip each bite in your single-serving cup of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream on the side.


La Bluebonnet
Vendor: Milton and Grace Whitley
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La Bluebonnet
The State Fair of Texas
Looking for a treat as lovely as Texas’ iconic bluebonnet flowers? Here’s your answer: fresh squeezed citrus juices are shaken up with blueberries in a sugary base and poured over ice for a cool and refreshing drink. The drink comes with an optional topping of a lemon-mint-berry twist.


Peanut Butter Paradise
Vendor: Chris Easter & Nicole Sternes
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Peanut Butter Paradise
The State Fair of Texas
Peanut butter nuts rejoice. Here a deep-fried honey bun is layered with creamy peanut butter, Reese’s Pieces, Butterfinger crumbles and peanut butter cups. Have we said peanut butter enough? This treat is finished off with caramel and powdered sugar.

Ultimate Brookie Monster
Vendor: Juan and Brent Reaves
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Brookie Monster
The State Fair of Texas
Call it a monster or call it a godsend. This is what cookie addicts and chocolate lovers have been waiting for. Triple chocolate brownie batter swaddles layers of chocolate chip cookies, Oreos and marshmallows. It's baked, then deep fried, and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. All of that is then crowned with cheesecake crumbles and strawberry sauce for the most decadent dessert ever.
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