The State Fair of Texas in Dallas will be here before we know it -- it kicks of September 26 -- and that means Corny dogs, funnel cakes, and of course, the weirdest and wackiest fried foods. Sure, you can stick to the traditional fried Oreo cookies or over-the-top fried cheesecakes, butter and bubblegum -- remember that one? But, you should also sample the 2014 Big Tex Choice Awards finalists.
Last year, the most creative fried creation was the Fried Thanksgiving Dinner and the best tasting item was the Fried Cuban Roll.
If you thought those combinations were out-of-the-box, then take a look at this year's finalists. Top Chef contestant Tiffany Derry, Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket personality Donovan Lewis, Dallas lifestyle blogger Cynthia Smoot, and Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn will decide the winners for Most Creative and Best Tasting on Monday, September 1.
Based on the descriptions of each entry, who do you think will walk away victorious? And will you try any of these fried concoctions?
Chicken Fried Loaded Baked Potato This fried treat takes the inside portion of a baked potato, combines it with butter, bacon and cheddar cheese, then coats everything with a spicy flour mixture. It creates "a perfect combination of fried crispy crust and delicious, creamy loaded baked potato." Each bite is to be dunked in ranch dipping sauce.
Deep Fried "Breakfast for Dinner" Maybe this team is aiming for the same idea as last year's most creative winner, Thanksgiving Dinner. A 10-inch flour tortilla is stuffed with just about every favorite breakfast item (eight to be exact): Scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, bacon, potatoes, ham, onion, cheddar cheese and cinnamon roll bits -- because why not? All of this is deep fried and served with three dipping sauces -- creamy country gravy, salsa and pico-queso.
Deep Fried Texas Bluebonnet No, this is not a deep fried flower, although that would definitely be a front runner for most creative. This entry features a blueberry muffin, scone-style batter stuffed with cream cheese, blueberries and white chocolate morsels. After being baked, it is deep fried and covered with whipped cream, chopped white chocolate, powdered sugar, blueberries and a blueberry glaze.
Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil Take all of the items you eat at a shrimp boil and imagine them rolled into a ball, covered in Fish Fry and fried in oil. The shrimp boil ball features baby Gulf shrimp, diced red potatoes, onion, lemon and seasonings as the coating around a cocktail shrimp. Apparently the tail of the shrimp sticks out from the ball for you to use as a handle when dunking it in the remoulade sauce.
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Fried Sriracha Balls Someone had to do it. With Sriracha being so popular this year, there's no surprise that an entry features the spicy sauce. This creation combines shredded chicken with corn, green chilies, tomatoes and Sriracha sauce formed into a ball and covered in tortilla chips. You can add extra Sriracha sauce to go with each bite if you would like a bit more heat.
Fried Sweet Texas What do you think of when someone asks you what desserts represent Texas? You probably imagine pies, cobblers and Blue Bell ice cream, right? This fried dessert features pie dough filled with pecan pie, peach cobbler and buttermilk pie. After it is deep fried, it is served with a scoop of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.
Original State Fair Brew -- Funnel Cake Ale This beer tastes just like a funnel cake. According to the entry's description, "This refreshing English style summer ale has been brewed to be ready and crisp, with just the right amount of toastiness and sweetness, finishing with delicate notes of natural vanilla; all great flavors you find in a perfectly executed funnel cake." The rim of each cup can be coated in powdered sugar for added sweetness. You must be 21 years or older to try this drink.
Twisted Texas Tacos The tastes of Texas have been stuffed into flour tortillas with this fried item. Hickory-smoked Texas beef brisket is double-dipped in a buttermilk batter with barbecue spice, then it is deep fried. The chicken-fried meat is then stuffed inside a warm flour tortilla, layered with Mexican cheese, crispy fried okra, tri-color slaw, and poblano peppers with sweet pepper corn. It's served with creamy country gravy and spicy Texas chili.