City of Ate this week set out to sample all the new fair foods that didn't make the Big Tex competition finals. Here, part two of our deep-fried review. Check out part one here, and see more food in our opening week slideshow.
1. Chicken BLT It's a grilled chicken sandwich with bacon on it. That's it. Is it ironic? Or the edible reply to an aggravated customer at last year's fair who demanded a chicken sandwich? No matter: The limp white-bread sandwich is a perfect match for more timid fairs-goers, the kind of chickens who think the merry-go-round is a thrill.
2. Kool-Aid pickles Virtually unknown beyond the Mississippi Delta before Southern food scholar John T. Edge wrote a cover story for The New York Times' dining section, pickles marinated in tropical punch Kool-Aid are equal parts sweet and sour. Unlike fried beer, the floppy pickles are providing a taste thrill that fair goers actually enjoy: "Two ladies came back with Ziploc bags and got three each," a counter woman said.
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3. Fresh dipped turtles Turtles may be slow, but their namesake cheesecake's been quick to get around the fair: More than four vendors this year are offering the supremely rich chocolate-covered cake on a stick. Surely a must-do for cheesecake lovers, the snack tastes like a fattened-up ice cream bar.
4. Texas rattler wrap Proving it is possible to go horribly wrong with beef, cheese and bacon, this portable serving of meat features a wrinkly cheesed-up interior that bears an unwelcome resemblance to the last, forlorn flavored sausage on a convenience store grill. The vertical burger's enveloped by a burnt tortilla and wrapped in a burnt strip of bacon.
5. Deep-fried Gummi Worms Just as billions of subterranean worms wait for a rainstorm to reveal themselves, the worms encased in these innocuous-looking cocoons of fry are slow to surface. It takes a few minutes for the cinnamon-dusted orbs to start seeping green and yellow syrup, the first clue the churros-like concoction has an intensely sugary center.