It was difficult for me to pick only five items to try during my first visit to the State Fair of Texas. I hope to go back for more, but in the meantime, here’s my take on the first five.
1. The El Bananarito
I wasn’t sure if my feelings for this item became somewhat skewed because I caught a glimpse of what the preparation entailed. Basically, these bananas-in-a-hot-shell were sitting in this metallic fryer when I got to the stand. I automatically took some points off for that unappetizing setup.
When the banana was finally all dressed up, it wasn’t bad. I didn’t think it was anything close to grand, but it was decent. The fried shell was sort of soggy, and I would have liked it a little crispier. But I did enjoy that it didn’t taste only like fried. The banana still kept its flavor, and the cinnamon sprinkles added a dash of mystery. Overall, I gave it a 2.95. (Yes, I am getting technical like that). In case you wanted to know, the cost of El Bananarito is 10 tickets.
2. Fried Bubble Gum:
This is not your typical, run-of-the-mill chunk of Bazooka. Because it’s actually made out of marshmallows. Marshmallows that taste a little like a particular kind of rose syrup that is commonly used in India. I wasn’t in love with the flavor because it didn’t taste exactly like bubble gum–which is what I was expecting– but this little concoction did have something special to it that I appreciated–charm. The consistency was really nice, too. I gave this a 3.9. Cost: 9 tickets.
3. Deep Fried Salsa
This had the best flavor overall. It’s like a salsa casserole. There are hints of tortilla, jalapeno, garlic, and chips. And the best part– it’s slathered in queso. I could see this being a success story as an appetizer in a restaurant. I gave this a 4.5. Cost: 10 tickets.
4. Fried Autumn Pumpkin Pie
I think I was the most disappointed in this item because I was looking forward to it so much, and it wasn’t what I thought it would be. That’s not to say that it was terrible by any means. I just didn’t care for the consistency, which was classified somewhere between gooey and a stale-like crunchy. Also, it’s supposed to be a pumpkin pie (that’s what it says in the stands when you get there). But I could hardly taste the pumpkin flavor because the pie was overwhelmed by the two gingersnap cookies that are in it. However, I happen to love spices that are reminiscent of the autumn season, so I did appreciate that. I gave this a 3.0. Cost: 10 tickets.
5. Fried Pineapple Upside Down Cake
This was my least favorite of them all. I will tell you why. You see, I don’t like it when fruit tastes bland. Well, when the pineapple in this concoction is deep fried, I think it loses its flavor. The flavor ends up in the breading. That’s great for the breading, but that leaves for dull, lifeless fruit that tastes like grease when you hit mid bite. Not enjoyable. I gave this a 2.5. Cost: 6 tickets