State Fair of Texas foods are about so much more than the Big Tex Choice Awards finalists. That’s just eight concoctions. Big Tex might like them the most, but he is a big guy, and he wants more choice than that.
So here are some other new foods on offer at the fair, which begins Friday. We have not sampled these yet, but we are intrigued by things like tortilla-shaped bacon weaves, edible soda cups and mini-muffins doing pecan-pie impersonations.
Bacon cream corn: Imagine the two foods in the name. Then add Parmesan cheese.
Barnyard burger: It’s not the whole barnyard, but with a beef patty, fried chicken, pepper bacon and cheese, it’s pretty close.
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Blackened shrimp baked potato: Pretty much what it sounds like: shrimp inside a baked potato. Add cheese, parsley and butter.
Chocolate tease wine cooler: We’re not sure that combining two of our favorite things, chocolate and wine, is a great idea, but when we hear it’s served as a slush drink, we’re intrigued.
Crunchy fried oinkers: Fried pulled-pork sliders, with pickles and sweet chile pepper barbecue sauce added before frying. Served with broccoli slaw, so it’s relatively healthful.
Dallas’ fried bacon-tilla: Think taco — but with a shell made from bacon woven into a tortilla shape. With bacon inside. And other things, but did we mention the bacon?
Deep fried bacon wrapped tot dog: More bacon, this time wrapped around a deep-fried hot dog and topped with fried tater tots, chili, cheese and jalapeño ranch. We think it would’ve been cool to see bacon woven into a hot-dog shape.
Deep fried cannoli bites: State Fair vet Isaac Rousso serves a version of these at his State Fair Treats store in Plano. When we brought some of these and some fried Twinkies into the office, the Twinkies went faster. We were reminded less of cannoli than fried custard-filled doughnut holes.
Deep fried clam chowda: Because what says “Texas” more than fried clam chowder bites, pronounced with a New England accent? Served on a bed of, yes, fried clams.
Deep fried smoked salmon & bacon croquettes: Bacon again, stuffed inside croquettes along with salmon and fried. Served with Cajun fries. We are now imagining bacon woven into the shape of a salmon.
Dr Pepper chocolate chip ice cream: Now this says “Texas.” No explanation necessary.
Fried cajun crisp: Shrimp-flavored chips (that sort of resemble “Scoop”-style Fritos), sprinkled with Cajun seasoning. Take that, Lay’s “Global Flavor” chips!
Loaded bacon mashed potato egg roll: Fusion cuisine run amok, and we haven’t even mentioned the cheddar, sour cream or jalapeños.
Lollipop fried bacon wrapped smoked quail breast on a stick: Quail breast with a sliver of unseeded jalapeño wrapped in bacon, deep-fried, served on a skewer with a cherry tomato on the end. Three skewers come to an order, so it might actually take you longer to eat it than to say its name.
Mama’s garlic fries: This isn’t something our Mama made, but it does sound like something we’d like.
Pecan pie poppers: The “poppers” are brown-sugar mini-muffins, tricked out to taste like pecan pies. Which sounds like a good idea to us.
Piña-a lot-tas: If you like piña coladas, you might like these deep-fried, rum-soaked, coconut-coated pineapple slices. If you don’t like piña coladas, we’re sorry we put that song in your head. If you’re unfamiliar with the song, count your blessings.
State Fair edible cola: The name is a little deceptive: These aren’t colas but organic sodas in cotton-candy and candy-apple flavors. And it’s not the soda that’s edible, but the cup it comes in. But “State Fair edible cup organic soda” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Deep fried nachos: This is more complicated than it sounds, so we’ll just use the part of the description we like most: “rolled into a ball and deep-fried to a beautiful golden orange color ...”
Dual lamb chop pop with twice baked potato fries: This sounds fancy for fair food: Australian rack of lamb, cooked sous vide, served with twice-baked potato fries and green mint jelly.
Fried prime rib quesadill“O”: Yes, a prime-rib quesadilla, but it’s also branded with an armadillo-shaped Texas Branding Iron and served with mesquite-smoked tomato sauce and Carolina reaper pepper. We’re not sure where the “O” comes from — is it because these are more masculine than most quesadillas?
Turkey leg tacos: We are skeptical of any concoction that shreds a turkey leg, taking the fun out of carrying the things around and eating them like cave people. But that’s what you get here, rather than a deep-fried, tortilla-wrapped full turkey leg. Hey, an idea for next year ...