When the State Fair of Texas returned in full swing this year, we knew we had to revive our State Fair food bracket, pitting the classics versus newcomers. Each week, voters whittled down the contenders. And, now, we’ve got our 2021 winner: Fernie’s Fried Toffee Coffee Crunch Cake.
It was a hotly contested battle against perhaps the most beloved State Fair staple, Fletcher’s Corny Dog. Alas, the public has spoken and it’s a sweet treat that reigns supreme this year.
The Armadillo, we’ve very seriously reported, took the winning spot for Best Sweet at this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards. But Alice Laussade, our State Fair food correspondent, declares that, in her extremely professional opinion, Fernie’s [Fried] Toffee Coffee Crunch Cake should have won. No shade to the butter cookie ice cream sandwich shaped like an armadillo, but “Oh God, it’s so good… It’s not too sweet, a bit of unexpected crunch on the outside. I’d have it with coffee every morning if a coffee shop served it. And it’s brought to us by the same family who brought funnel cakes to the fair in the first place.”
Christi Erpillo knows fair fare. She grew up doing this. See, Erpillo of Winter Family Concessions (official LinkedIn title: Chief Frying Officer) helps run one of the most decorated food stands in State Fair history. Her concession stand, which has been a fair institution for over 50 years, is credited with bringing the eternally classic funnel cake to the fair in the ’80s for crying out loud.
Erpillo has been doing this for a good while, and still she was excited for another win among many. “We thought it was that good, but the fact that somebody beat Fletcher’s in anything, we’re so thrilled about it. I’m thrilled to death,” Erpillo told SideDish as she was walking between concession stands Friday afternoon.Read More