With the start of the State Fair of Texas just a few short weeks away, the deep-fried finalists for this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards have officially been announced.
This year, the over-the-top fair offerings were whittled down from nearly 50 original contenders to ten finalists. Dishes will be judged in three categories — best taste for both sweet and savory dishes, and a “most creative” winner. The finalists range from the decadent (Deep Fried Froot Loops) to the bizarre (Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup on a Stick).
Check out the full list of contenders below:
Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup on a Stick
Somehow, Sherry & Chris Howard have packed all the flavor of a bowl of chicken noodle soup into a bite-sized ball. Each soup skewer will come with its own “savory broth sauce” and a side of crackers.
Gulf Coast Fish Bowl
Inspired by the classic Hurricane, this drink is described as a “drinkable aquarium.” Nerds candy serve as the gravel, and a boozy blue punch is the real star of the show. A slice of pineapple serves as the “lid” to this bowl, and Swedish fish help complete the illusion.
Imagine a hybrid of cream puffs and beignets and you’ve got the Fat Smooth. Created by Tami Nevins-Mayes, each Fat Smooth stick will feature three mini Belgian cream puffs dipped in beignet batter before being deep-fried and drizzled with chocolate-caramel sauce.
Fernie’s Fried Texas Sheet Cake
A take on Texas’ favorite chocolate cake, this dessert begins as a slice of chocolate brownie cake that is then crusted in ground Cocoa Puffs, panko, and cinnamon sugar. The brownie is fried, then doused in Dr. Pepper icing, chopped pecans, and a carved strawberry that’s intended to “mimic a Lady Bird Johnson rose.”
Deep Fried Froot Loops
To create a nostalgic sugar bomb, Gracie & Milton Whitley will mix sweetened Froot Loops into whipped marshmallow fluff, dip it in batter, and deep-fry to perfection. A drizzle of glaze and powdered sugar gilds the lily.
Pinot Noir Popcorn
Sweet and salty kettle corn comes dusted with a powder made from Pinot Noir burgundy wine. That boozy flavor is paired with cheese, because obviously.
Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger (pictured above)
Classic fair-style funnel cakes serve as the buns for this over-the-top burger, doused in queso and piled high with bacon, followed by a dusting of powdered sugar.
Surfin’ Turfin’ Tator Boat
Steak and lobster marry inside this cheese-topped baked potato that’s stuffed with plenty of melted butter. No telling how many tickets this one is going to cost, because it’s garnished with an empress-cut lobster claw.
Texas Fajita Fries
Instead of potatoes, marinated strips of beef serve as the “fries” in this Texas-inspired concoction. The strips are served inside a cone made of bread, and served on top of “Texas toothpicks,” or a mix of fried jalapenos and onions and with a scoop of sour cream guacamole hot sauce.
Two of the world’s most perfect foods are fused here, but the Tamale Doughnut is totally savory. The doughnut is made with slow-cooked carnitas and masa made from scratch, then formed into a ring and deep-fried until crispy on the outside.
Dying to try these ridiculous creations? The Fair will serve up a first taste of each dish at the 13th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards, held on August 27 at 2 p.m. at Fair Park. Tickets are $100.