Texas State Fair Reveals Craziest New Foods — Including 'Deep Fried Halloween' and 'Pork Shots'

·3 min read
Deep Fried Halloween
Deep Fried Halloween

State Fair of Texas®

This year's Texas State Fair is featuring some especially jaw-dropping and delicious foods.

While fairgoers will always find classics like cotton candy or funnel cake at the annual event, The Dallas Morning News reports that this year's menu will feature culinary creations you won't find anywhere else — from fried corn kernels to Texas-shaped cake.

Among this year's new additions is Deep Fried Halloween — described as "a large pretzel covered in candy corn syrup, topped with sprinkles, marshmallow icing, candy corn and chocolates" — and Deep Fried I-35 — which features "fried kolache dough topped with smoked brisket and drizzled with peach juice combined with Dr Pepper."

Both items are finalists in the Big Tex Choice Awards, a competition that pits Texas cooks against one another to create the judges' favorite fried foods at the fair. All of the 10 finalists will be sold at this year's event, with five savory dishes and five sweet ones making the cut.

Deep Fried I-35
Deep Fried I-35

State Fair of Texas®

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"Fairgoers love the classics, like good ol' Fletcher's Original Corny Dogs, smoked turkey legs or iconic funnel cakes — but many live for trying the new foods every year," State Fair spokeswoman Karissa Condoianis told The Dallas Morning News.

Along with Deep Fried I-35, the savory finalists include Crispy Crazy Corn, "fried corn kernels topped with pork and pineapple slaw," and Deep Fried Seafood Gumbo Balls, "fried bites loaded with shrimp, crab and sausage, then rolled in saltine cracker and breadcrumb batter and topped chicken-fried okra spears."

Crispy Crazy Corn
Crispy Crazy Corn

State Fair of Texas®

They'll be joined by two more salty fried dishes: Lucky Duck Dumplin', "a pastry filled with cream cheese, duck bacon and roasted corn," and Pork shots, "Texas smoked sausage wrapped in bacon and filled with mac and cheese."

Brisket Brittle
Brisket Brittle

State Fair of Texas®

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The sweet finalists include The Armadillo, "a (big) cookie butter ice cream sandwich shaped like an armadillo;" Brisket Brittle, "a traditional dessert brittle, where peanuts are replaced with Texas brisket;" Fernie's Fried Toffee Coffee Crunch Cake, "a cake doughnut dipped in panko and vanilla cookie crumbs, then fried;" and Texas Pumpkin Poke Cake, "a Texas-shaped pumpkin cake with vanilla glaze and caramel."

Isaac Rousso, who created the sweet treat Deep Fried Halloween, has won the Big Tex Choice Awards three times, and is entering his eighth competition as a finalist.

Texas Pumpkin Poke Cake
Texas Pumpkin Poke Cake

State Fair of Texas®

"This is a 365-day job for us," said Rousso, who previously won with his smoky bacon margarita, deep-fried Cuban roll, and fried Pop-Tart.

He added, "We don't talk about dentists, sugar or calories at the State Fair."

The winners of the Big Tex Choice Awards will be revealed Aug. 29. While the fair previously hosted a taste test open to the public, they'll be choosing the winners in a media-only event due to the coronavirus pandemic. The annual awards first began in 2005. Since then, winners have included fried butter, fried bubblegum and and fried Jell-O.

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Along with the Big Tex Choice Awards finalists, this year's fair will feature more buzzy new food offerings. Attendees can try out a Cotton Candy Burrito, which comes in two flavors: Lavender Bean Cheesecake and Chocolate Caramel, both of which feature ice cream wrapped in cotton candy and topped with sprinkles.

The Armadillo
The Armadillo

State Fair of Texas®

The fair will also sell a PB&J Bacon Pickle Dog, "a large crispy, crunchy dill pickle" rolled "in a special batter" and deep fried, then served on a "hot-dog style sweet Hawaiian Bun drizzled with peanut butter and topped with bacon jam."

Other notable menu items include Deep Fried Energy Bites, Deep Fried Potato Salad, Champagne Jello Hot Shot and Deep Fried Chicken Cordon Bleu Stuffed Waffles.

Texas State Fair takes place Sept. 24 through Oct. 17 at Fair Park in Dallas.