The State Fair of Texas may be over, but that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of it.
Even though he’s said that he’s “quite done with food challenges,” Adam Richman can’t seem to separate himself from food. The host of the cult classic, Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel, was at the State Fair on Saturday, where he teamed up with Bounty Paper Towels and Napkins to discover the tastiest messes in Texas.
Five dishes and six judges (including Richman) engaged a throng of fans in the greasiest and most deep fried of taste tests.
Bounty paper towels were also on deck to soak up the Texas-sized messes.
Christi Erpillo of The Dock restaurant has been kind enough to give me two season passes to the State Fair of Texas. Usually, these passes are for employees, but she’s made a very special exception here. With these magical passes, you can get into the fair for free and every day until the Fair closes. Didn’t like Erpillo’s fried Samoas the first time? Go again. And again. And again.
To enter this giveaway, just state your favorite thing about the State Fair. (Please keep your comments clean.) I’ll enter all your names randomly into a drawing and pick a winner by 5 p.m. today. You can either come to our office to pick up the tickets or we can mail them to you. You pick.70 Comments »
You’re probably wondering why one-handed foods at the State Fair are worth the search. Easy. Allow me to explain.
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On a recent romp through the State Fair, I’ve discovered that it is possible to eat healthy foods there, contrary to popular belief. You just have to know where to find them between the stalls of endless fried-to-death junk.
Most people who avoid contracting fried fooditis go for the usual suspects: turkey legs, pickles, hot dogs and hamburgers. These are all safe options. They’re not exactly low on calories (except for pickles), but they work. At least they’re edible, right?
Lucky for all you healthy eaters out here, 2012 will be known as the year the State Fair of Texas actually has tasty non-fried options. This year, for instance, Good Karma Kitchen and SlushWorks teamed up to create an anti-fried food menu inside the Food & Fiber Pavilion that features a gluten-free cheddar cornbread cake on top of sweet baked beans.
The Food Court also has the highest concentration of healthy food options. Inside this building, there’s Greek salad, blackeyed pea soup, savory and sweet crepes, and rotisserie chicken for less than 20 coupons each.
Jump for the list of healthy options (with a printable pdf created by our favorite web designer Charlotte Tobin).14 Comments »
Carol hates the deep fried Girl Scout cookies at the State Fair. What about you? Tell what you love or loathe.
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Okay fried food fanatics, we are giving you a daily space to write your own reviews on the the great fried food you eat at the great State Fair of Texas. Include the booth numbers if you remember. This post will be up daily until it’s all over and the grease traps are clear.2 Comments »
Frito-Lay celebrated its 80th anniversary in a big way on Monday, October 1 at 9:45 a.m. How big, you ask? Big enough to try and set the record for the world’s largest Frito chili pie at the State Fair of Texas. The current Guinness World Record weighs in at a whopping 1,100 pounds, making this challenge a heavy feat, to say the least.
While many of us might imagine cooking the Frito pie in an over-sized container, the chefs at Frito Lay had a much more organized system. They used a curved, heated tray that cooked at a scorching 187 degrees. Hundreds of bags full of cheese, Frito chips, and chili were then filled to the brim of the tray and layered to perfection.
State Fair attendees gathered closer and closer as the smell of Frito pie wafted around Big Tex Circle. Before long, the crowd became enormous and frenzied with excitement.
Jump if you like Fritos1 Comment »
If my arteries could talk, they’d be screaming in half-pain/half-joy because tomorrow, my friends, is the FIRST DAY of the State Fair. When those beautiful Fair Park gates open in 19 hours, 20 minutes, and 45 seconds, we’ll finally be able to enter Fried Food Heaven and rest in buttered peace. But enough of this chitter chatter. We’re wasting time and breath whenever we’re not talking about fried food.
Deep fried jambalaya by Abel Gonzalez*
This winner of “Best Taste” at the 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards is a Cajun mix of rice, shrimp, sausage and seasonings that’s spicy even if you don’t dip the ball into the spicy ranch sauce.
Jump if you know what’s good for ya.16 Comments »
Never having been to a chili cook-off before, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked up to the parking lot at Fair Park on Sunday, September 23. One thing was predictable, though: the scorching Texas heat at an unforgiving 91 degrees. This was one of the few chili cooking competitions before the long awaited Terlingua International Chili Championship on November 3. The scores from the State Fair of Texas Chili Cook-Off could add to the points needed to qualify at Terlingua. As I walked through all the different cooking tents, I was constantly reminded of just how dedicated these competitors were as they spiced, stirred, and simmered their recipes to perfection.
Tommy Tolls is the Cotton Candy guy. He’s going to be standing inside Cassie’s Frozen Yogurt booth at the Texas State Fair starting on September 28, supervising the cooks to make sure they make the fried cotton candy balls perfectly right. Cassie Uptmore, who started her froyo biz in Grapevine and had her own booth at the Fair for the first time last year, entered in the 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards competition, but she didn’t get a finalist nod. (Abel Gonzales and Butch Benavides ended up taking home the trophies with their deep fried jambalaya and bacon cinnamon roll, respectively.) Still, her fried cotton candy will definitely be making its debut at the State Fair, and I have a feeling it’ll be a big hit among kiddos all over the state.
Jump if you like fried stuff.
This morning at 9 a.m., the eight finalists in the 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards gathered at The Dock Restaurant in Fair Park for a little fried food showdown. Within an hour of tasting all the entries, the three judges (Rep. Eric Johnson, Andrea Rega, and Donovan Lewis) announced at the Eighth Annual Big Tex Choice Awards that Abel Gonzales, creator of the deep fried jambalaya, was taking home the trophy for “Best Taste.” Butch Benavides also won “Most Creative” for his sweet bacon cinnamon roll dipped in pancake batter and topped with fried bacon crumbles.
Gonzales, whose win today is his fifth at the Big Tex Choice Awards, says winning this year still “means a lot.”
“A friend of mine gave me the idea. His name is Matthew and he was just determined that I should bring this out here,” says Gonzales, who came up with a deep fried pineapple upside down cake last year. “I’m very excited to make my first real food and not a dessert.”
Jump for photos of the eight fried food finalists. Continue reading "Deep Fried Jambalaya Wins “Best Taste” in 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards Competition"5 Comments »
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Isaac Rousso, the frying genius behind Big Tex Choice Award finalists deep fried salsa (2011) and deep fried pop tarts (2010), hopes to win this year’s 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards with his gorgeous little food finalist: the deep fried pork wings. “I’ve been a bridesmaid two years, so I’m hoping to actually win this one,” he says. In Rousso’s test kitchen in the back of his Addison office, the Cuban-American man who owns the concessions stand, Taste of Cuba, fries me up some pork wings in two seconds flat, lathers them with a zesty BBQ sauce, and places them on a plate with freshly fried potato chips.
“Whatddya think?” he asks. “Is that money or what?”
Between mouthfuls of fried pork wing, I’m thinking, “HolymotherofStateFair, I can’t stop eating this,” “I’m about to bust out of my pants,” and “If I unbutton the top loop of my jeans, will Rousso notice?”
Jump if you like fried stuff.8 Comments »
I’m not one of these wide-eyed, narrow arteried, “bacon makes everything better” optimists. Admittedly, bacon does, in fact, make most things better (notably life), but things like bacon cereal, bacon vodka and chicken fried bacon are all best left, well, uninvented.
I grew up in a bacon loving house, among a bacon-loving people,* and while I usually enjoy bacon in the standard, plated form, I can’t help but think from time to time, “Oooh, bacon on that would be good.” As such, I can relate to the sometimes ill-advised inclination to overdo a good thing (or disguise a bad one**) by adding bacon to it — the line between bacon decency and bac-insanity is so vague, you may not know it when you’ve crossed it.
Continue reading "Look What I Made: Maple Bacon Glazed Donuts Recipe"
Oof. Do your best to look healthy and alive while you review the finalists for the 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards contest this year, which doesn’t include the deep fried samoas we’ve been anticipating for the last, oh, three to four months. (Bummer.) For the eight years since this contest has existed, we’ve seen things like fried coke, fried bubblegum, and fried praline perfection win awards for Best Taste and Most Creative. The winners for the 2012 Big T Choice Awards will be announced on Labor Day after the contest is over. Here are this year’s contenders:
The descriptions, according to the State Fair of Texas website:3 Comments »
Skinny little guy Takeru Kobayashi is a beast. The world champion eater recently signed on with Hofmann hot dogs as the new brand ambassador and business partner, and proved his loyalty to the brand by stuffing 110 of its dogs (bunless) down his throat in 10 minutes at the New York State Fair on Sunday afternoon. Kobi competed in a Hofmann shirt and head band, wearing what I can only guess are black-and-white plaid pajama pants that indicate where Japanese fashion is heading these days. The champ showed off his abs before he began setting a new hot dog record when, ten minutes later, Kobi’s flat washboard abs disappeared into a sexy pot belly. Yum.
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today.
The corn(y) dog holds a unique spot in the canon of local food traditions. Unlike its contemporaries — brisket tacos, Fritos, frozen margaritas, etc. — said battered and fried hot dog wasn’t born here in Dallas (not that I would admit that outside city limits). It was, however, perfected here*, and that’s just a straight up scientific fact. Go ahead, try arguing with science.
jump for more edible science5 Comments »