Every year I wonder how the State Fair of Texas can top itself in the food category, and every year I’m never disappointed.
A whopping 41 new foods were added to this year’s roster, which includes the Big Tex Choice Awards finalists. My visits to the fairgrounds are usually dictated by food, and this year’s visits (plural is necessary, unless you’re extremely ambitious) will be no different.
In classic State Fair of Texas fashion, the list is big, bold, and greasy. I won’t deprive you of all that is divine, so here is the full list of new foods, and the Big Tex Choice Awards finalists list is here. These are the 10 I have my eye on.
We’re starting off strong with a giant spicy pickle. The pickle takes me back to when I was five years old. First, it’s stuffed with gushers—iconic. Then it’s wrapped in a fruit roll-up, coated in Chamoy, and sprinkled with Tajín.
Cajun Lobster Bisque Croquettes
The French potato balls are stuffed with lobster meat, brie, deep-fried, and dusted with Cajun seasoning. Each order comes in a pack of three and is served with a Cajun lobster bisque for delicious dunking.
Crispy Dilly Dog
Yes, it’s another pickle. But have you had a pickle stuffed with a hot dog? And have you had the thing deep-fried? Probably not.
Deep-Fried Southern Dessert Dumplings
A dumpling with a southern charm. This one is a wonton wrapper stuffed with sweet potato and pecan pie bits with dark chocolate. It’s served deep-fried (like always) and with rum-raspberry chipotle dipping sauce.
Deep Fried Texas Country Cookout
This is a deep-fried pulled pork and goat cheese patty topped with coleslaw and potato salad. The finisher? A sweet jalapeño barbecue sauce drizzled on top. It’s crunchy and hearty, kind of like Texas.
Dim Sum Loco Burritos
If you’ve ever wanted to try a Tex-Mex dish with an Asian twist, this might be the dish to try. The burritos—made of shredded pork, potatoes, onion, bell peppers and cheese— are wrapped in egg roll wrappers, deep-fried, and dusted with umami seasoning. On the side are battered Shishito peppers and a salty broth for dipping. Dim sum dishes are Chinese, and I’m not really seeing that reflected in this dish, but I won’t let that hold me back.
It’s a cross between a doughnut and a muffin, hence the “doh-muff.” Dough is stuffed with Bavarian cream and fried in a banana nut muffin batter, and then it’s topped in a pecan butter glaze and fresh fruit.
This might be the epitome of State Fair food. Sandwiched between two warm biscuit halves are PB&J, toasted marshmallow fluff, a thick cut of bacon, and a fried plantain. It’s a mountain of sweet and savory goodness.
Fried Charcuterie Board
This dish won the Big Tex Choice Award winner in the best taste – savory category. It’s mozzarella, salami, and apples tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Italian herbs. They’re fried in a wonton wrapper and topped with goat cheese and hot honey.
Pork Belly Burnt Ends Pizza
This “Texapolitan” crispy pizza dough is made of flour imported from Italy. Then it’s topped with red sauce, mozzarella, jalapenos, cotija cheese, Pit Commander Barbecue Sweet Heat BBQ sauce, and pork belly burnt ends. I’m actually drooling. Get this: it only takes 90 seconds for this to cook inside a 1,000-degree brick oven. Nice. (You’ll find this at Texapolitan Pizza on Lone Star Boulevard by the Hall of State.)
The State Fair of Texas starts Sept. 30 and lasts through Oct. 23.