Wednesday, August 29, 2012 , Updated 4:55 p.m., August 29, 2012
UPDATED with photos: State Fair of Texas is serving fried cactus this year
Plus: Fried Jambalaya and something called Picnic on a Stick.
FAIR PARK Last year, we were floored by Fried Bubblegum, one of eight fried delicacies at the 2011 State Fair of Texas' annual "Big Tex" Choice Awards. This year, they're topping Fried Bubbblegum -- and even attempting to trounce Fried Salsa and Fried Butter from years' past -- with Chicken Fried Cactus Bites and Fried Jambalaya.
The eighth Annual Big Tex Choice Awards picks eight fried foods, two of which will be crowned "best taste" and "most creative." The contestants are:
- Chicken Fried Cactus Bites
- Deep-Fried Divine Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
- Deep Fried Jambalaya
- Deep Fried Mac-N-Cheese Slider
- Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll
- Fried Mexican Fire Crackers
- Fried Pork Wing
- Picnic on a Stick
Last year, Fried Bubblegum won "most creative" and Buffalo Chicken Flapjacks (a guilty pleasure) won "best taste." The 2012 winners of the Big Tex Choice Awards will be announced Monday, September 3 with a special event at The Dock, inside the Embarcadero at Nimitz & Keating in Fair Park.
The fried food awards are an annual tradition at the State Fair, one that has become a hallmark for the Lone Star State. Overshadowing many other events at the State Fair, the Big Tex Choice awards have "transformed state fair snacking into an activity that's both more sedentary and more social," we said in October 2011 in a piece that tracks the history of the State Fair's fried foods.
Here's an explanation of each fried food, as sent by the State Fair of Texas:
Chicken Fried Cactus Bites ($6 or 12 coupons): Hand-picked prickly pear cactus pads, thinly sliced, chicken battered, and deep-fried to perfection. Served with a combination of sweet & spicy secret jalapeno ranch and agave nectar dipping sauce.
Deep-Fried Divine Chocolate Tres Leches Cake ($5 or 10 coupons): A slice of chocolate tres leches cake soaked in buttermilk batter and fried to perfection. A light sprinkle of cinnamon, topped with whipped cream, fresh strawberry slices, and peaches are drizzled with a yummy syrup.
Deep Fried Jambalaya ($4 or 8 coupons): A State Fair spin is given to this Cajun classic. This "from scratch" jambalaya is created using shrimp, cajun sausage, and seasonings, then coated in lightly seasoned flour and fried to a golden perfection. This deep-fried Southern delectable will be served with a side of "made in house" spicy ranch sauce.
Deep Fried Mac-N-Cheese Slider ($7 or 14 coupons): This three-cheese mac is baked until golden brown, battered in bread crumbs, deep-fried until crisp on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside. Placed on a slider bun with a griddled beef patty, this southern-style invention almost calls for a rocking chair and a front porch.
Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll ($6 or 12 coupons): Deliciously fresh cinnamon roll dipped in a special sweet pancake batter, rolled in crispy fried bacon crumbles, deep fried- and sprinkled with powdered sugar. It’s a main course and a dessert all in one.
Fried Mexican Fire Crackers ($6 or 12 coupons): A yummy, spicy chicken, cheese- and jalapeno mix wrapped in fresh-made masa dough and deep fried to a crispy, crunchy, explosion of flavor. OLE, JOSE! Served with fiery TNT sauce.
Fried Pork Wing ($6 or 12 coupons): This juicy morsel is slow cooked for six hours then lightly deep fried, rolled and tossed in a smoked bacon chipotle glaze. Accompanied by old-school homemade potato chips lightly dusted in barbecue seasoning, it’s a sure crowd pleaser.
Picnic on a Stick ($6 or 12 coupons) - Pieces of delicious spicy fried chicken alternate tater tots and slices of dill pickle. Repeated three times on a stick then dipped in batter, rolled in bread crumbs, and fried until golden brown, this picnic wouldn’t be complete without its choice of BBQ sauce, ranch, or honey mustard. BYO ants.
We already knew that Fried Samoa Girl Scouts cookies would be one of the fried options at the 2012 fair, but it's not part of the Big Tex Choice Awards. It's a Samoa "wrapped in a wonton skin and fried, then drizzled with chocolate, caramel, and coconut." Yes.
Which fried are you dying to try?
- Ranking the new fried foods at the State Fair of Texas
- Fried food is king at State Fair of Texas, including -- Fried Sugar?
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- Photos: Fried jambalaya wins "best taste" at State Fair of Texas this year
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