The Texas State Fair is the largest state fair in the United States.  Of course, it is. Every year the food selections go viral all over the world. No one else could envision the variations on cuisine that Texans bring to life each year at the fair.

This year's fair runs September 30th through October 23rd. Already there is a buzz brewing about this year's diverse food semi-finalists that were announced in July. The next round of competition will pair down the current 36 semi-finalists. The results will be announced on August 10th.

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Photo: State Fair of Texas via YouTube
Photo: State Fair of Texas via YouTube
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So just what are the foods vying for the big awards this year?  Here is your list.

Savory
Bayou Bowl
Cajun Lobster Bisque Croquettes
Chicharron Explosion Nachos
Crispy Dilly Dog
Deep Fried BLT
Deep Fried Brisket Cheese Sticks
Deep Fried Lasagna Roll
Deep Fried Texas Country Cookout
Dim Sum Loco Burritos
Fried Charcuterie Boards
Fried Soul Food Eggroll
Holy Biscuit
Shaking Beef Salad
Southern Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie
Waffles Sliders
Texas Hot Bull Ride
Texas Ranch Hog Wings
Texas Slide
Texas Twosome
Turkey Leg Taquito

Sweet
Cha-Cha Chata
Crunchberry Shortcake
Deep Fried Buc-ee’s
Deep Fried Honey
Deep Fried Praline Cheesecake Eggroll
Deep Fried Rocky Road with Blue Bell Ice Cream
Deep Fried Southern Dessert Dumplings
Deep Fried Strawberry Shortcake Crunch Roll
Doh-Muff
Fat Elvis
Fried Texas Fruit Salad
La Bluebonnet
Peanut Butter Paradise
Raspberry Chipotle Sopapilla Cheesecake
Smoked Bacon Wrapped Cookie Dough Balls
The Ultimate Brookie Monster
Triple Lemon Bliss

Where do I start?  There are some things on this list that really tantalize me.

The Deep Fried Buc-ee’s stands out.  Everyone is talking about this. It is described by the Dallas Morning News as ", a sweet treat made with Beaver Nuggets". That official press release for the Fair says of the Buc ee's  fan favorite: "This delicious sweet and crunchy snack is woven into a batter then deep-fried to perfection, dusted with powdered sugar, and drizzled with silky caramel topping and Beaver Nugget sprinkles. Deep Fried Buc-ee’s® – power to the Beaver!"

The Fat Elvis: This a flavorful explosion based on a favorite of The King himself, Elvis Presley.  He's been gone for nearly 50 years, but his memory looms large with this dish. It starts with a fresh and warm biscuit spread with peanut butter, and jelly.  Then, they layer marshmallow fluff and fire toast it to give it a golden brown campfire sheen. Then, it is topped with juicy bacon. It is finished with fresh out of the fryer caramelized plantain bananas.

Deep Fried Honey: This sounds like a one-way ticket to diabetes. There is definitely a "buzz". It starts with Deep Fried Texas Honey that is then wrapped and deep fried.  The result is then a perfect caramelized honey treat.  The creation is then topped with powdered sugar, and a proprietary cinnamon sugar concoction which is top secret in nature.  The best food is often the simplest and most natural. This is it.

Photo: State Fair of Texas via YouTube
Photo: State Fair of Texas via YouTube
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Texas Ranch Hog Wings: Now, you will believe that pigs fly. Off the bone pork is seasoned with a blend of spicy ranch salt.  Then, it is drizzled with a secret homemade sauce and garnished with fresh green chives.  This definitely puts a whole new spin on "hog heaven" You won't have to hog call for these twice.

Some of the semi-finalists are drinks.

One that stands out to me is the Frozen Ranch Water. This cocktail for adults 21 and up consists of silver tequila, Topo Chico® and fresh lime. The best thing about this cocktail is that it only has a quarter of the calories of other drinks like Margaritas. The frozen drink will hit the spot on the lingering hot days of the Fair. The unique recipe is made with a wine based tequila and zesty toppers will be offered.  They include passion fruit, paloma, raspberry and watermelon .

So now we wait for the finalists to be announced on August 10th.  I would love to taste all the semi-finalists, but I fear what it would do to my waistline.

 

 

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