Texas State Fair Crowns Fried Food Winner

Ralphie Aversa

There are lots of things to look forward to this time of year: the start of football, new fashions, and pumpkin-flavored everything to name a few. If you're an aficionado of deep-fried foods, you'll certainly have a chance to whet your appetite during fair season. From Oreos to Twinkies to meatballs, it seems no type of food is too taboo to submerge in oil.

Isaac Rousso knows this. The cook has been serving up Cuban sandwiches at the Texas state fair for the past six years. On Monday, he took home the Best Taste nod at the fair's Big Tex Choice Awards for his deep-fried Cuban roll. The ingredients are what you would expect for the type of sandwich: ham, roasted pork, pickles, Swiss cheese, and special sauce. The roll is served with mojo sauce made of olive oil, garlic, and citrus flavoring. Roll it up and fry it, and you have an award-winning fair dish fit for a Texas-sized appetite. He had some pretty steep competition including deep-fried Nutella, chicken-fried meatloaf, and deep-fried King Ranch casserole.  

Rousso is not only familiar with the fair, but also the art of deep-frying. We have no problems referring to it as art when referencing a chef who also deep-fries S'more Pop-Tarts, salsa, and pork wings (like the chicken variety, but substitute pork). The latter dish landed him in the finals of this same competition last year.

The Big Tex Choice Awards are handed out ahead of the state fair, which begins on Sept. 27 in Dallas.