Every year the State Fair of Texas announces the contenders for their Big Tex Choice Awards and today was that illustrious day. There are eight fried foods being represented on the offerings.
Fifty four entries were submitted for the contest in 2012 and on Labor Day judges will be brought in for the final round of competition between eight finalists and the winners will be announced in this column so they can be discussed further.
Granted a visit to the Fair is an annual event for most everyone in the North Texas area – though some visit repeatedly over the three week run – and people feel they are entitled to a bit of gastronomic indulgence.
“There really is no long term bad effect from a sugary greasy gorge as the human body is equipped to handle it; however, the main immediate issue is gastrointestinal discomfort and acid reflux,” says personal trainer Adam Hammett of Serious Results. “Also, if one has had, or is prone to gall bladder issues, that gorge just may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and shuts down the gall bladder!”
For those that are not prone to gall bladder issues, Hammet goes on to provide some tips for before and after a visit to the Fair:
- Take a multiple digestive enzyme that has lipase, lactase, protease, amylase, ox bile, to help the stomach and intestines handle the flood of greasy food.
- These enzymes will help break down foods and may reduce the risk of gastric distress.
- Drink plenty of water to help flush salts through the body.
Gird the loins because the list below are the eight contenders for the 2012 State Fair represent everything from appetizers to desserts including:
Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll
Butch Benavides is offering up two selections including this cinnamon roll and the Chicken Fried Cactus Bites (listed below). Benavides takes a cinnamon roll and then dips it into his special blend of pancake batter then rolls that in heaping mound of crisp, fried bacon, fries the concoction and then dusts with powdered sugar.
Chicken Fried Cactus Bites
Benavides also brings the prickly pear cactus which he slices thin, batters and then fries. It is served with a sweet and spicy jalapeno ranch with agave nectar dipping sauce.
Deep Fried Mac-N-Cheese Slider
Steve Velasquez has his special blend of three cheeses that he bakes and then batters lavishly in bread crumbs. Into the fryer it goes but he doesn’t just stop there as he then places it ont a slider bun with a grilled beef patty.
Fried Pork Wing
In the past, Isaac Rousso has tempted the public with everything from Fried Salsa to Fried Pop Tarts. This year his offering will be the Fried Pork Ring which is described as slow-cooked for 6-hours, lightly fried, and then rolled in a smoked bacon chipotle glaze. As if that isn’t enough, it will be served with homemade potato chips that are lightly dusted in bar-b-q seasoning.
Deep Fried Jambalaya
Everyone knows that the man that brought us Fried Butter, Fried Cookie Batter and Fried Coke wold be making this list. This year, Abel Gonzales has fried jambalaya which features shrimp and Cajun sausage which is bathed in a lightly seasoned flour, fried and then served with a side of homemade spicy ranch sauce.
Picnic on a Stick
Alan Weiss is one of the main food concessionaires at Fair Park and enjoys entering this competition as well. In 2011 he won the Big Tex Choice Awards for Best Taste with fried chicken flapjacks. This year he is offering Picnic on a Stick which features spicy fried chicken alternating with slices of dill pickle and tater tots. This is all then battered, rolled in bread crumbs and fried. Sauces include BBQ, Ranch or Honey Mustard.
Fried Mexican Fire Crackers
Nick Bert is also a past Best Taste winner as in 2010 he brought is Fried Frito Pie to the judges. This year it is Fried Mexican Fire Crackers which is spicy chicken, cheese and jalapeno wrapped in a fresh masa dough and fried until crispy.
Deep-Fried Divine Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
Denise Garza offered up the Fried Brownie last year and she continues the dessert theme this year. She takes a slice of chocolate Tres Leches cake, soaks it in a buttermilk batter, andthen fries it. Topped with a light sprinkle of cinnamon, whipped cream, fresh strawberry slices and peaches are then drizzled with syrup.
Past winners have been:
2005 Most Creative Viva Las Vegas Fried Ice Cream
2005 Best Taste Fried PB, Jelly and Banana Sandwich
2006 Most Creative Fried Coke
2006 Best Taste Fried Praline Perfection
2007 Most Creative Deep Fried Latte
2007 Best Taste Texas Fried Cookie Dough
2008 Most Creative Fried Banana Split
2008 Best Taste Chicken Fried Bacon
2009 Most Creative Deep Fried Butter
2009 Best Taste Fernie’s Deep Fried Peaches & Cream
2010 Most Creative Fried Beer™
2010 Best Taste Texas Fried FRITOS® Pie
2011 Most Creative Fried Bubblegum
2011 Best Taste Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack
The Fair will run from September 28 through October 21 and millions of attendees look forward to the new food offerings with delight.
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