At State Fair of Texas this year, buyers of 2 fried faves will be carded

DALLAS -- Fried-food fans looking to feast at this year's State Fair of Texas will need to bring an ID along with their appetites.

Among the eight finalists announced Wednesday for the Big Tex Choice Awards were fried beer and deep-fried frozen margaritas. For those items buyers will have to show ID proving that they are at least 21, according to Sue Gooding, a fair spokeswoman.

"When you bite into it, the beer really does pour out," Gooding said in describing the beer-filled pretzel pocket.

The fair, which proclaims itself the fried food capital of Texas for 24 days, runs Sept. 24 through Oct. 17.

Vendors compete for the awards, which are based on best taste and most creative new offerings. The finalists will be judged Sept. 6 by members of the media.

The deep-fried frozen margarita combines funnel cake batter with margarita ingredients, which is then fried, dusted with a lemon-lime mixture and lightly spritzed and served in a salt-rimmed plastic margarita glass.

The other finalists were a deep-fried s'mores Pop-Tart, fried club salad, fried chocolate, fried lemonade, fried "caviar" made of black-eyed peas, and a fried Frito pie.

The fried chocolate offering includes a white chocolate mini-candy bar and a cherry folded into a brownie that is dipped in chocolate cake batter. The club salad uses a spinach wrap surrounding layers of diced ham and chicken, lettuce, carrot strips, cheese and hickory-smoked bacon.

Concessionaires submitted 62 items for judging. Gooding said she did not have the calorie counts on the items.

"We have 277 acres so you can walk off whatever you're eaten during the day," she said.