One of the main things I miss about living in south Louisiana is the food. Let me rephrase. The “fried” food. Thankfully, once a year, I get a trip down memory lane via the midway at the State Fair of Texas. It is my firm belief that when I arrive in Heaven, the food will be comprised of all the nominees and winners of the Big Tex Choice Awards. That being said, the 2019 Big Tex Choice Award nominees have been announced, and as God is my witness…I will sample each and every one!

Creating a food item for the State Fair of Texas is no easy feat. It must be affordable for fairgoers…it has to be easy to handle while walking around…and it has to be something a cardiologist would despise. Luckily for us, the nominees in the “Savory’ category (well, except one) deliver on all three.

I’ll start with the item that I see as being a food choice for the party poopers. You know, the people who insist on staying on their diet on the 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and at the State Fair of Texas. It is the only finalist that isn’t fried.

Photo by State Fair of Texas

 

It is called the Calypso Island Shrimp Bowl. The State Fair of Texas page describes it as “Tasty and colorful tropical cabbage stir fry with fresh carrots, kale, scallions, ginger, and sweet red bell peppers, served on a yellow tropical rice topped with herbaceous grilled Caribbean (marinated) shrimp and a sweet and spicy tropical glaze.” Uhmmmm……no. If it ain’t fried…I ain’t interested.

 

Photo by State fair of Texas

 

Next up is Fernie’s Fried Burnt End Burrito. Ok. Now we are moving in the right direction. According to the Fair page, Fernie’s burrito is “The pinnacle of barbecue combined with everyone’s favorite spicy appetizer! A large flour tortilla is filled with a jalapeno popper spread of cream cheese, savory bacon, Mexican blend cheese, mildly spicy diced jalapenos, pepper jack and smoky nuggets of barbecue burnt ends. Quick fried to a golden brown crispy and served with a sweet tangy, spicy barbecue sauce.” Some may dig it.

Photo by State Fair of Texas

Now we are moving into my territory with Ruth’s Stuffed Fried Taco Cone. It combines the greatness of tacos with the greatness of fried food. The State Fair of Texas page describes it as “Tender, savory, marinated, slow-cooked barbacoa served in an ice cream cone-shaped tortilla shell with black beans and cilantro lime rice. It is topped with pico de gallo, queso fresco, and homemade salsa verde.” I’m digging what I see!

Photo by State fair of Texas

LAWD! We have a hit on Tasha’s taste buds! My lovely “Southern Fried Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Ball”…where have you been all my life? Yes, I’ll have to down half a bottle of Dairy Digestive pills for my lactose intolerance, but it will be worth it! The fair describes it as “A golden fried ball, filled with fettuccine alfredo, Southern fried chicken bites, and fresh mozzarella cheese. The ball is garnished with house made alfredo sauce, grated parmesan cheese, Italian parsley, fresh basil, and cracked black pepper. Served with a side of flash fried lemon pepper asparagus spears, and a toasted garlic parmesan baguette. A beautiful fusion where rustic Italian flavors are treated to our Southern hospitality. “Just insert the angelic chorus singing here…”Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh”.

Photo by State Fair of Texas

No! It can’t be! Another southern favorite fried to oblivion? Yes, please! This gift from God is called “Texas Cream Corn Casserole Fritters”. I-LOVE-every-single-word-in-this-title. You gotta love the attitude, too. NO BAKING! ALL FRYING!!!!  “Grandma’s traditional Cream Corn Casserole with a Texas twist! Cream corn, kernel corn, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and cornbread mix are combined into a batter, chopped bacon and freshly diced jalapenos. Instead of baking, the Corn Casserole is fried into crispy, lightly browned fluffy pillows of frittery goodness! Four to an order are arranged around a Cream Corn Queso Blanco for dipping and sharing!” Sharing? THERE WILL BE NO SHARING, SISTER!!!!!

There are also 5 finalists in the “Sweet” category and like the savory, one of them tries to get by without having anything fried in their concoction. Blasphemy, I tell you! Feel free to check out the sweets on the State Fair of Texas Page. I don’t think I have it in me.

Wow. To be a judge in this contest. I’d sell my firstborn. Only I don’t have any kids. DANGIT!

I went through the pics on my Facebook page from the fair in year's past.  Ozzy is still messing with Texas...and we still feel strongly about our cannon!

Photo by Tasha Stevens
Photo by Tasha Stevens