These Fried Foods Won the State Fair of Texas' 2014 Big Tex Choice Awards

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Catherine Downes
The 10th Big Tex Choice Awards were held inside the Tower Building at the State Fair of Texas this year. Unlike in previous years, there was a huge crowd; usually it's just the finalists, the judges, their families, and media, but the State Fair sold tickets to the public to this year's event. For a measly $100 (a portion of which was donated to the State Fair of Texas Youth Scholarship Fund), you could stand in line to taste every single one of the eight foods in the Big Tex Choice Awards finals. When you do the financial math, it's actually a deal. (Don't do the caloric math.)

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Here Are the Finalists for the State Fair of Texas' Big Choice Awards for Fried-Food Weirdness

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Stephen Masker
It's fried... something
Remember when I ate that fried Cuban thing that was more of an egg roll and less of a sandwich? Remember when Hanna Raskin hurked after biting into a ravioli of deep-fried beer? Remember when Alice Laussade pointed out that this whole oil-logged Big Tex Choice Awards were getting a little repetitive, and maybe even a little sad?

You didn't expect anything to change, did you?

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The State Fair's Tex-Mex Contest Is a Spicy, Saucy Cult

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Ah yes, Monday mornings. Typically fueled by coffee and rage, maybe a sore ankle from having to take a furious sports walk, they are never a welcome or enjoyable experience. Except for this week, when all the ugliness of a regular Monday morning was replaced by all the beautiful smells and fresh-fried air of the State Fair.

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This is the Only Map You Need for the 2013 State Fair of Texas

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Words by Alice Laussade/Pictures by Dan Zettwoch
Click here to see the full-sized version.

Fried Spam Empanadas, Pig Toes on a Stick and Other New Fried Food at the State Fair

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Sara Kerens
Fried Club Salad is old news. I dare you to try the Fried Spam Empanada, Stupid.
The Big Tex Choice Awards just gave Best Taste to Isaac Ruosso's Fried Cuban Roll and Most Creative to Justin Martinez's Deep Fried Thanksgiving. But that's not the end of the list of new fried items at the fair this year.

Behold: the list of more new fried dare food that awaits you at the 2013 State Fair of Texas.

Deep Fried Chocolate Chip Burrito
Chocolate chip cookie dough in a flour tortilla, FRY IT.

The Beast Burrito
Freebirds, but THEY FRY THAT SHIT, YO. Fourteen-inch tortilla, burger meat, beans, rice, onions, tomatoes, cheese, jalapeƱos + fried.

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The State Fair's 2013 Big Tex Choice Awards Were Sad, So Let's Please Change Them

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Photos by Catherine Downes
I love the State Fair of Texas. I also love fried things. Which means I have a deep, undying love for the Big Tex Choice Awards. And for the last few years, I've been so excited to go to the competition to get a chance to try all the new fried ridiculousness.

This year was different.

None of the new items sounded that interesting to me. Which is batshit crazy, right? I mean, the words "Deep Fried Thanksgiving" should trigger some serious interest. That is not a normal food. But when we've already deep fried Coke and queso and Pop Tarts and Snickers and butter, why would it be shocking to deep fry what tasted like extra salty Stove Top Stuffing?

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Here Are the Eight Fried-Food Finalists for the Texas State Fair's Big Tex Choice Awards

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I'm sorry.
You've done so well keeping that swimsuit physique sharp and toned for the entire summer, but it's all about to come crashing down like a mountain of thinly shaved potatoes fried to something resembling perfection. The State Fair of Texas is back.

And you're all going to die.

Remember, these are the people who took normally refreshing things like Coke and beer and managed to turn them into a warm, gooey-crusted mess. Frito pie, which might often be considered caloric enough with its cheese and chili, was somehow encapsulated in golden brown and delicious deadly. Even bacon wasn't safe. The most perfect food thing on the planet was subjected to abuse and ended up chicken-fried.

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Big Tex is Gone. There's a Hole in Our Hearts.

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Big Tex goes up in flames. (via Twitter/NBCDFW)
On this day, we lost a fried hero. This morning, Big Tex caught on fire at the State Fair of Texas. Twitter lit up with jokes about as quickly as Tex did. I guess we all grieve differently.

See also:
Big Tex Burned Down Today at the State Fair

Alice Laussade's exclusive interview with Big Tex

We'd like to take a moment to say thanks to Big Tex for his 60 years of service. Before you continue reading, please play Boyz II Men's It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday.

("How do Iiiiiiiiiiiiii (snap) say goodbyyyyyyye....")

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Dispatch from the Bacon and Eggs Competition at the State Fair of Texas

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Pear and bacon pancakes.

The fried food at the State Fair of Texas gets a ton of attention. And, that's great-- because everyone knows that from fried peaches to fried chocolate-covered-strawberry waffle balls, our fair's fried food is badass. It's rititulous.

See also:
Where to Find the Big Tex Choice Award Food Finalists at the State Fair of Texas

But, today, inside the Creative Arts building, shit got real. I could feel it in the air as soon as I opened the door to the place: Grammas were preparing for battle. Nana, Me Maw, Gram Gram-- they were all there, menacingly holding their casserole dishes and ready to strike down any judge who would have the balls to deem their food, "Meh."

This is the Bacon and Eggs competition at the State Fair of Texas, folks. This, right here, is a grandmotherfucking tradition.


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Isaac Rousso, Pork Wings Creator, Picks His Favorite Food at the State Fair Of Texas

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Isaac Rousso's Cubano is one of the best in Dallas. Get it while you can at the State Fair.
Last year I milled around the State Fair looking for food that wasn't fried. This year I found some of the people responsible for my favorite foods (as well as some other interesting characters) and asked them about the fair through their eyes. First up is Isaac Rousso, who's well known for his participation in the fried food game but should be known for making one of the best Cuban sandwiches in Dallas.

See also:
EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Big Tex


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