It’s that money-making time of year for cardiologists, once again. It’s time to justify ingesting 3,000 calories in five seconds. It’s time for: “Yeah, I can have one more bite. It’s fine. I’ll just run 45 miles after this. Or drink eight beers. It’s fiiiine.” That’s right– The 13th annual Big Tex® Choice Awards are here, and they’re your Point A to Point B map from State Fair entrance to severe intestinal distress.
Before we get to the list of finalists, let me say that the game has changed this year. FINALLY! For years, we’ve been asking the State Fair to award trophies in both Sweet and Savory categories. And this year, they’ll be doing just that. (Plus awarding a Most Creative trophy, which is still pretty silly in a world of fried Fruit Loops versus Fried Chicken Soup. But, I digress.) It’s going to make this fried head-to-head competition even more fun to watch. Can’t wait to see who wins the Big Tex bobble heads this year. High fives, People In Charge of This Competition.
All right. Now, let’s drool over the finalists. You’ve been waiting all year to predict which fried item will be your favorite in comments sections all over the globe. So, here we go. Of the 47 entries submitted for competition, these 10 entries reign supreme according to a panel of mystery judges:
The Tamale Donut by Justin Martinez
Two of my favorite words come together to destroy each other or create the happiest marriage in the universe. Is it a good idea, or a bad idea? Yes. Justin Martinez slow cooks pork carnitas, adds masa and forms doughnuts out of them, then fries them. So, essentially, we’re talking doughnut-shaped tamales. I’m on board.
Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup on a Stick by Sherry & Chris Howard
They fried chicken noodle soup. And put it on a stick. It’s as if they sat around and wondered, “What’s the most comforting food in the world, and how can we ruin its healing power? And they’re giving you crackers on the side. Let’s hope they’re Premium.
Surfin’ Turfin’ Tator Boat by Melissa & David Harrison
Them: Hey, let’s throw some lobster on a baked potato.
Me: But, did you fry it?
Me: Oh. Ok. …Ok.
Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger by Tom Grace & Edna Sutton
Take two funnel cakes, add burger, add bacon, add queso, dust with powdered sugar. Every bite you take gets you closer to The Upside Down. This is approximately six bad ideas dusted with powdered sugar. Sign. Me. Up.
Texas Fajita Fries by Nick Bert
Take beef fajita strips, fry them, add Sricacha and fried onions and jalapenos and pico de gallo and “sour cream guacamole hot sauce.” Is this what fajitas look like when a unicorn throws them up? I’m in. Let’s do this.
Pinot Noir Popcorn by The Parish Family
I like wine. I like popcorn. But I also appreciate separation of Church and State here. They took Kettle Corn and dusted it with burgundy wine powder. Couldn’t we just eat the popcorn and snort lines of this powder you made, instead?
“The wine-flavored popcorn is paired with savory cheddar cheese flavors to give you the perfect balance of sweet and savory.” I mean, cheese and wine go together like Ernie and Bert—but I don’t feel like Fried Ernie with a dusting of and Bert on it is what I want, either.
I’m sure your aunt is all about this, though. Sign her up.
Gulf Coast Fish Bowl by Clint Probst
What does the State Fair need? A FISH BOWL DRINK Y’ALL. WITH NERDS® IN IT. And I really appreciate how vague the description is: “The drink is iced and filled with a specially-formulated blue alcoholic punch.” (How much you wanna bet it’s Everclear and Windex? I bet it’s Everclear and Windex.) “Each sip brings a stream of crunchy candy and tropical punch up the straw causing a flavor explosion…” Wowzers. #flavorexplosion
Deep Fried Froot Loops® by Gracie & Milton Whitley
This one is easy money. This just sounds terribly perfect to hand to your kid’s mouth three minutes into your State Fair adventure when they’re already yapping about how tired they are of walking around the fair. They’re essentially Rice Krispies Treats with Froot Loops®. And then they fry them. YAAAAAAAS FRIED FAIR TIME. This is how we do it.
Fat Smooth by Tami Nevins-Mayes
They take Belgium cream puffs, skewer them, dip them in beignet batter, fry them, dust them in powdered sugar and drizzle them with chocolate and caramel sauce. They say they’re “the perfect combination to create bring-you-to-your-knees goodness.” My word. Feels like they maybe buried the lede there.
Fernie’s Fried Texas Sheet Cake by Winter Family Concessions
Take chocolate brownie cake, Cocoa Puffs, panko and cinnamon sugar. FRY IT. Glaze it with Dr Pepper icing. Top it with pecans, whipped cream and strawberry. Go home with a trophy right now.
Want to taste this heart attack before anyone else? Mark your calendar for the 13th Annual Big Tex® Choice Awards on Sunday, August 27 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available online at BigTex.com for $100.