by Kat Barclay
The State Fair of Texas is the one event that prompts most Fort Worthians to collectively trek to Dallas, for the rides, the shopping, and the food. But mostly the food.
Over the last year, vendors have been hard at work brainstorming new and often outlandish culinary concoctions to compete for a coveted Big Tex Choice Award. Now that winners have been chosen and fair season has arrived, it’s our turn to be the judges and indulge in the (mostly) deep fried goodness that the State Fair has to offer.
This year especially, chefs are upping the odd. Here are the 11 weirdest new foods to try at the State Fair — just be sure to pack the Tums.
A scoop of root beer-flavored ice cream, rolled in crushed graham cracker then deep fried and topped with a root beer butterscotch sauce, make up this mythical creature-inspired dish. It’s garnished with a root beer-flavored Pop Tart and comes with a side of cereal puffs that have been infused with liquid nitrogen — that is, the “dragon’s breath.”
Winner of the Big Tex Choice Award for both Best Savory Taste and Most Creative, this beef burger patty is sandwiched between two funnel cakes that serve as a bun and is loaded with a heaping of bacon and queso. Of course the top funnel cake is lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Not unhealthy at all.
The Surfin Turfin Tator Boat is a combination of all the things you’d find on the plate of a Surf and Turf dish at a fancy steakhouse. It’s a baked potato stuffed with melted garlic butter, lobster marinated in lemon herb butter, seasoned steak, cheddar and romano cheeses, and then topped with a cut lobster claw. There is also a side of lemon butter for dipping — because you just can’t have enough butter, obviously.
For those who grew up loving Froot Loops for breakfast, this one is for you. These Froot Loops have been folded into whipped marshmallow, dipped into a batter and deep fried, then coated with glaze and powdered sugar.
Soup and cold weather make a great pair. However, since fall in Texas isn’t exactly cold, deep fried soup sounds a little more appealing. This dish consists of spiced chicken noodle soup, rolled into a ball, deep fried and put on a stick. The balls have small a indentation for a spoonful of broth that is served on the side, along with crackers.
The Winner of the Big Tex Choice Award for “Best Taste - Sweet,” happens to be a drink this year. The Gulf Coast Fish Bowl is an actual fish bowl with blue alcoholic punch as the water, Nerds candy as gravel and Swedish Fish as the fish. A slice of pineapple on top acts as the “lid.”
Still on the adult beverage vein, the Pinot Noir Popcorn features Santa Monica Kettle Corn with a dusting of Pinot Noir burgundy wine powder, combined with cheddar cheese flavors that give the snack a savory element.
Dessert, or maybe just a snack — the Fat Smooth is a skewer of three Belguim cream puffs dipped in New Orleans’ famous Cafe Du Monde beignet mix, deep fried and coated in powdered sugar, along with chocolate and caramel drizzle.
This is not exactly a doughnut; it just takes the same shape. The Tamale Donut is slow-cooked pork carnitas blended with “made-from-scratch” masa, formed into a ring, then fried until it’s crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. Lastly, it’s drizzled with a creamy jalapeño salsa.
The way to a Texan’s heart is through Tex-Mex. The Texas Fajita Fries put a twist on classic fajitas with deep-fried beef strips seasoned with a sriracha spice mix and stuffed inside a bread cone with fried onions and jalapeños on the side. Pico de gallo and sour cream guacamole hot sauce are served on the side. If you aren’t feeling the bread cone, the fajita fries can be ordered by themselves.
These aren’t your grandma’s deviled eggs. The Cajun Fried Deviled Eggs are semi-spicy, stuffed with shrimp and Mexican avocado and dusted with paprika on top.
Looking for more? Here is a more extensive list of the new foods for 2017:
Fried Texas Sheet Cake
Southern Fried Chicken Monte Cristo
Ramen Grasshopper Cookie
Fried Sloppy Joe Flautas with "Not Cho" Fries
Fried Redneck Wedding Cake Balls
Fried Texas Dirt
Beer Battered Beef Jerky
Chicken Fried Spam Fries
Tipsy Topsy Catfish on Stick
Deep Fried Reuben
Fried Mango Loco
Fried Cheesecake Stuffed Apple Sundae
Caramel Sea Salt Beer