All Hail the Fried! The State Fair's Big Tex Choice Award Finalists Announced

We look forward to coming within a hair's width of a coronary every September, thanks to the State Fair of Texas' fried-food bonanza. This year is no different. The State Fair has announced the 2010 finalists for the annual Big Tex Choice Awards, with promising entries, ones that could top last year's ball of heaven, Abel Gonzales' fried butter. This year Gonzales is offering fried chocolate. (Fried butter is indeed a hard act to follow.) Among our favorites (all finalists listed below) are the fried club salad and the fried beer.

Thought up by Mark Zable, whose Sweet Jalapeno Corn Dog Shrimp was one of the 2009 Big Tex Choice Award finalists, the fried beer comes in pretzel-like, ravioli-shaped dough. One bite and you've got a miniature kegger shot. Sampling it, though, requires being 21 years of age or older. Zable even has a patent pending on his mad-scientist creation and is making it available for wholesale and retail.

The fried salad, created by Christi Erpillo, is diced ham and chicken, shredded iceberg, julienne carrot strips, cherry tomatoes, shredded sharp cheddar and hickory smoked bacon stuffed in a 12" spinach wrap. It's then presented on shredded romaine lettuce with croutons. Fair-goers will have a choice of three salad dressings: Ranch, Thousand Island, or Caesar. Erpillo won the 2009 best tasting award for her fried peaches & cream.

The winners for best taste and most creative will be announced on Labor Day, with all the finalists' concoctions available for public consumption when the fair opens, September 24. Make the jump for the full list.

Deep Fried S'mores Pop Tart®

Deep Fried Frozen Margarita

Fernie's Fried Club Salad

Fried Beer™

Fried Chocolate

Fried Lemonade

Texas Fried Caviar

Texas Fried Frito® Pie

How fortunate are we to live in the Fried Food Capital of the World!

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