Texas State Fair Announces Fried Food Finalists for 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards

Fried grilled cheese at TX State Fair (photo by Carol Shih)

Oof. Do your best to look healthy and alive while you review the finalists for the 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards contest this year, which doesn’t include the deep fried samoas we’ve been anticipating for the last, oh, three to four months. (Bummer.) For the eight years since this contest has existed, we’ve seen things like fried coke, fried bubblegum, and fried praline perfection win awards for Best Taste and Most Creative. The winners for the 2012 Big T Choice Awards will be announced on Labor Day after the contest is over. Here are this year’s contenders:

  • 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
  • Picnic on a Stick
  • Fried Pork Wing (made by the same dude, Isaac Rousso, who invented fried salsa and fried s’mores pop tart)

The descriptions, according to the State Fair of Texas website:

Chicken Fried Cactus Bites – Fairgoers will stick with these 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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.