Monday, December 5, 2022 Dec 5, 2022
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State Fair of Texas

Deep Fried Dynasty: We Ate 100,000 Turkey Legs in 24 Days

Feels like we might be taking this Paleo thing a bit too far.
By Alice Laussade |
Alice Laussade

Deep Fried Dynasty airs every Tuesday at 9 p.m. on A&E. Come back here every week for Alice Laussade’s recaps.

Tami Stiffler from the Stiffler’s Sweet Spot booth has the cutest bit of powdered sugar on her nose as she talks about selling Fried S’mores to the crowds they expect for the last day of the fair. Record sales are guaranteed for your booth if you play your cards right.

And while that’s exciting, the final day of the State Fair of Texas also poses a specific inventory challenge: Any other day of the fair, if your sales projections are off, you can just roll extras over to the next day, or you can increase your numbers so that you don’t run out as quickly the following weekend. But on the last day of the fair, every single leftover turkey leg is $12 left on the table.

To close out the season successfully at a concessionaire’s booth, everything must go. And “everything” is a whole heck of a lot: Smokey John’s needed to offload 1,600 turkey legs; Fernie’s funnel cakes wanted 2,000 funnel cakes to walk out the door; Vandalay Industries needed to sell 4,000 fried butter balls.

By the end of the episode, every vendor sold every last one of their items—and then some.

Chef Cassy even received a visit from Mayor Eric Johnson, which led her to say with fangirl levels of excitement, “I’m so happy that he came over, and he loved them (her fried greens), and he’s gonna put me on his social media!” 

She gets so excited about Eric Johnson’s social media, I figured he must be food blogging like crazy, posting powder-coated nailfies of every calorie he’s ever eaten. But, nope. He’s just a regular Instagram Dad on there, posting as many photos of himself wearing a suit as possible. But, who cares—Chef Cassy finally got a win! To top that off, at the end of the episode, she speaks with Brett Enright from Juicy’s, and he offers her a booth at the Los Angeles State Fair. Deep-fried dreams really do come true.

During their entire fair run, the Juicy’s booth sold 100,000 turkey legs, and ended with a whopping $3.1 million in total sales. While it’s not surprising that people came from near and far to clear out all the deep-fried dreamfoods of the fair, the fact that 100,000 anythings left the fair inside the bodies of people you know is something you should really spend some time thinking about.

Or not. Maybe don’t think about it.

Minivans. Let’s talk about minivans, instead. About halfway through the morning of the last day of the fair, Abel Gonzales realizes that his booth is about to run out of fried butter, which is a huge problem for a booth that has giant “FRIED BUTTER” signs all over it.

Abel knows he needs to solve this problem ASAP. His task: Find as many packages of Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits (the second most important ingredient for making fried butter) as possible, as quickly as possible. He races to his car, gets his keys out, pushes the unlock button that makes his car go “bloopbloop”– and that’s when we learn something outstanding:

Fried Jesus drives a minivan.

Now, you might think to yourself, “No way is he making this happen. There is no way this minivan is going to get it done.”

And you’d be so wrong. 

The minivan is the most Get Sh** Done car that ever was. It was literally built for this grocery run. When the engineers were determining what kind of payload this minivan would have, the specs said, “can hold up to two shopping carts full of Pillsbury biscuits plus one Abel Gonzales.”

Obviously, the problem is solved. He sells every single fried butter ball, and the world chalks up another win for the car that Soccer Moms built.

All in all, it was a great State Fair of Texas: Concessionaires made millions of dollars selling corny dogs, we learned about fried pancakes and Big Tex didn’t catch on fire. Can’t wait until this year’s fair, when I’ll absolutely be ordering deep fried chicken and funnel cakes on a Thursday just to hear Christi Erpillo say, “Thirsty Thursdees” in person.

The 2022 State Fair of Texas runs September 30th-October 23rd . We’ll see you there for 24 consecutive days of deep-fried food, midway games and Big Tex selfies.


Alice Laussade

Alice Laussade

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