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Corn Dog Beer and Deep Fried Elotes Are Among This Year’s State Fair Food Semi-Finalists

The State Fair of Texas returns on September 28

Brian Luscher State Fair Robert Strickland/Eater

The annual fried food bonanza that is the State Fair of Texas returns in September, and this year’s greasy delights are as over-the-top as ever.

The State Fair of Texas announced its new line-up of semi-finalists for the Big Tex Choice Awards, the annual competition to dream up Texas’ most ridiculous deep-fried food. This year, the semi-finalists are staying true to the competition that inspired State Fair classics like fried butter with new dishes, including deep-fried ranch dressing, funnel cake ice cream, and Southern fried chicken nachos.

Scope out these highlights from the full list of semi-finalists below, along with some speculation on what each dish will look like:

  • Corn Dog Ale — In keeping with the funnel cake ale that was popular a few years ago, this beer is inspired by the State Fair of Texas’ most famous dish: the Fletcher’s Corny Dog.
  • Fried Kool-Aid Pickles — Also a State Fair staple, dill pickles that have been soaked in Kool-Aid get the deep-fryer treatment.
  • Cotton Candy Taco — No details yet on what this taco will hold, but expect a shell made of freshly-pulled cotton candy.
  • Hoppin’ John Cake with Jackpot Sauce — No word yet on what “jackpot sauce” is, but expect a fried corn cake studded with black eyed peas.
  • Deep Fried M&Ms — Will each tiny M&M be deep-fried individually? Who knows!
  • Orange You Glad We Fried It? — Literally no idea.
  • Sweet Crispy Rice — A sugary, greasy riff on classic arroz con leche.

These dishes are just a few of the more than two dozen Big Tex Choice Awards semi-finalists. They’ll be whittled down to a list of finalists for the coveted award on Saturday, August 26 at Fair Park. The general public will be able to try all this ridiculousness starting on September 28, when the State Fair of Texas kicks off.

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