The State Fair of Texas has lots of new attractions this year.
The Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger was the big winner in 2017.
The Gulf Coast Fish Bowl took home Best Taste - Sweet in 2017.
The legendary competition has introduced the world to some truly brazen culinary inventions, like last year’s finalist, deep fried chicken noodle soup on a stick. (Why, and, more importantly, how?) Now, with the 2018 State Fair of Texas opening day just 59 days away, this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards semifinalists have been revealed.
It’s safe to say that none of the 31 competing dishes are remotely close to foods that you can purchase outside of Fair Park.
In the savory category, someone finally deep-fried ranch dressing! I’m honestly surprised that deep fried butter came first, but I guess Deep Fried Ranch does present some complications. Can you dip things in the deep-fried ranch, or do you dip the deep-fried ranch in regular ranch? Only time will tell.
The savory category has not one, but two shellfish options – Deep Fried Lobster Pops and King Crispy Coconut Crab Sliders. Personally, I don’t think the State Fair of Texas is the time or the place for seafood, but I reserve no judgements for those who want to blow all their tickets on a lobster pop. You do you.
There are a few classic-yet-clever fair food inventions, like Corn Dog Ale, Fried Kool-Aid Pickles, and Fried Cup of Corn “Elotes.”
Then, there are the dishes that we can only guess about. Texas Fried Hill Country? Texas Twang-kie? One mysterious dessert begs the question, “Orange You Glad We Fried It?!”
In the sweet category, the dishes all sound as offensively flavorful as you’d expect. There will be Cotton Candy Tacos, Bacon Brittle, Fruity Dessert Nachos, Deep Fried M&M’s and much more. You can wash down your Fried Kool-Aid Pickles with Kool-Aid Pickle-Dilly Sangria or an Orange Julia’s Beermosa.
The Top 10 finalists of the Big Tex Choice competition will be announced in mid-August – but even if your favorite semifinalist doesn’t make the cut, it can still make it to concession stands at the fair.
Texas Fried Hill Country, I’m looking at you.