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Sweet Upset — Is the Cotton Candy Taco Really the Texas State Fair’s Best Carnival Food?

Big Tex Fried Food Champions Bring Questions — and Crazy Eating

BY // 08.30.18

Big Tex has spoken and the fried food champions have been named.

In case you missed our run down of the State Fair of Texas’ Big Tex Choice Awards semifinalists (I honestly couldn’t wait until the finalists were announced to start analyzing), I’ll give you a quick recap. Deep Fried Ranch has been invented; Twinkies have been Tex-ified; shellfish is a shockingly popular fair food; and Kool-Aid pickles are big this year.

Big Tex awards winners in three categories: Best Taste – Savory, Best Taste – Sweet, and Most Creative.

In a year that gave us Deep Fried Lobster Pops and Corn Dog Ale, Fernie’s Hoppin John Cake took the top honors in the savory category. A Hoppin John Cake is, apparently, a patty stuffed with black-eyed peas, rice, sausage, green onions and spices. Naturally, it’s deep fried.

The sweet category included gems like Bacon Brittle, Kool-Aid Pickle Sangria, Fruity Dessert Nachos and Deep Fried M&M’s. The crown jewel of the bunch was the arroz con leche, a dessert of fried sweet rice balls with ice cream, which won Best Taste – Sweet.

When it came to creativity, inventive items like State Fair Fun-L Cake Ice Cream and the Texas Twang-kie lost out to the Cotton Candy Taco.

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A cloud of white cotton candy is stuffed into a graham cracker waffle cone shell and topped with some unknown fixins’. Not trying to be a hater, but I’m guessing this won because of its novel appearance rather than its taste.

I love cotton candy, but why would you want to eat it inside of a shell? This Cotton Candy Taco poses some textural problems for me.

Then again, this is the State Fair of Texas; when it comes to eating, it’s best to throw caution to the wind and just go for it.

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