Five Fried Foods at The State Fair of Texas

D Magazine intern Arti Sharma made her first trip to the State Fair of Texas. She ate five fried food items and lived to write about them. She rates them on a one (poor) to five (fabulous) scale.

It was difficult for me to pick only five items to try during my first visit to the State Fair of Texas. I hope to go back for more, but in the meantime, here’s my take on the first five.

Jump, please.

1. The El Bananarito

I wasn’t sure if my feelings for this item became somewhat skewed because I caught a glimpse of what the preparation entailed.  Basically, these bananas-in-a-hot-shell were sitting in this metallic fryer when I got to the stand.  I automatically took some points off for that unappetizing setup.

When the banana was finally all dressed up, it wasn’t bad.  I didn’t think it was anything close to grand, but it was decent.  The fried shell was sort of soggy, and I would have liked it a little crispier.  But I did enjoy that it didn’t taste only like fried.  The banana still kept its flavor, and the cinnamon sprinkles added a dash of mystery.  Overall, I gave it a 2.95. (Yes, I am getting technical like that).  In case you wanted to know, the cost of El Bananarito is 10 tickets.

2.  Fried Bubble Gum:

This is not your typical, run-of-the-mill chunk of Bazooka.  Because it’s actually made out of marshmallows.  Marshmallows that taste a little like a particular kind of rose syrup that is commonly used in India.  I wasn’t in love with the flavor because it didn’t taste exactly like bubble gum–which is what I was expecting— but this little concoction did have something special to it that I appreciated–charm.  The consistency was really nice, too.  I gave this a 3.9. Cost: 9 tickets.

3. Deep Fried Salsa

This had the best flavor overall.  It’s like a salsa casserole.  There are hints of tortilla, jalapeno, garlic, and chips.  And the best part– it’s slathered in queso.  I could see this being a success story as an appetizer in a restaurant.  I gave this a 4.5. Cost: 10 tickets.

4.  Fried Autumn Pumpkin Pie

I think I was the most disappointed in this item because I was looking forward to it so much, and it wasn’t what I thought it would be.  That’s not to say that it was terrible by any means.  I just didn’t care for the consistency, which was classified somewhere between gooey and a stale-like crunchy.  Also, it’s supposed to be a pumpkin pie (that’s what it says in the stands when you get there).  But I could hardly taste the pumpkin flavor because the pie was overwhelmed by the two gingersnap cookies that are in it. However, I happen to love spices that are reminiscent of the autumn season, so I did appreciate that.  I gave this a 3.0. Cost: 10 tickets.

5.   Fried Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This was my least favorite of them all.  I will tell you why.  You see, I don’t like it when fruit tastes bland.  Well, when the pineapple in this concoction is deep fried, I think it loses its flavor.  The flavor ends up in the breading.  That’s great for the breading, but that leaves for dull, lifeless fruit that tastes like grease when you hit mid bite.  Not enjoyable.  I gave this a 2.5.  Cost: 6 tickets


  • I’m surprised to hear the fried salsa was good. It looks so weird.

  • lol. i like that it is in the expensive cheap eats category.

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  • Jessica

    Interesting to see all these different fried foods! The fried salsa looks amazing!

  • Martin

    How tastes differ. I hated the salsa, thought it has a weird, overpowering taste. I liked the pineapple. Didn’t think it was bland at all, but rather good. Not too sweet.
    I liked the Krautballs best (perfect taste) and the buffalo chicken second best.

  • Fried is a “F” word

    Entrance to State Fair: Most likely comped by D. Five fried things to write about: 45 tickets. Being known as the intern who plugged up the toilet: Priceless.

  • Your Mom

    Thank you for the informative article! Now I know a few of the items to avoid at the fair (the nasty-looking fried bubble gum) & a few of the items that I’m gonna tear up (the fried salsa). Just FYI, “Fried is an F Word” I don’t think “toilet clogging” would be as much of an issue as heartburn… go back to medical school, pal!

  • anticipating the fair

    Lol @ Your Mom. I was thinking the same thing.

  • redchicken

    I definitely agree with you on the fried salsa. It would be perfect as an appetizer or even in a taco/food truck as a side. I’m also with Martin on the buffalo flapjack…the syrup tops it off nicely. Highly recommended. Sadly I didn’t get to try the Krautballs…If I had it would have been “priceless.”

    Btw, nice top pic. It makes me reminisce of how much fan can be had at the fair.

  • Jim

    Just got back from the fair. Broke down and tried the Fried Oreos. This dessert is an abomination against all that we hold dear and sacred, and should be avoided at all costs.

    Not only is the fried shell bland and tasteless, the oreo cookie inside it was congealed into a sickeningly soft goo that only serves the purpose of reminding you what a great American invention an untainted Oreo cookie is. Can’t wait till they develop Oreo Triple Stuff, but in the meantime, don’t go to the fair for your Oreo fix. Yecchhh.

  • gaga oh lala

    sooooooo this article is so awesome!!! i’m always wondering what the fair is offering and what the food REALLY tastes like!

    the fried is a “f” word – that played out phrase stolen from mastercard didn’t even make sense. what a HATER!!!