The massive gathering known as the State Fair of Texas opened in Dallas this past weekend; it runs through October 22. More than two million people are expected to attend this year, and if you’ll be one of them, you’ll find a whole lot of foods there that you almost certainly won’t ever see anywhere else—and most of them are deep-fried.
Vendors have the opportunity to enter their new food offerings into a contest to choose the tastiest and most creative foods at the fair. We’ve rounded up a dozen of our favorite finalists and semifinalists. Yee-haw!
Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup on a Stick
Created by Sherry & Chris Howard
The flavors of chicken noodle soup, fried and served on a stick. They’re accompanied by a broth sauce for dipping, plus a side of crackers.
Deep Fried Froot Loops
Created by Gracie & Milton Whitley
The classic cereal is surrounded by whipped marshmallow, battered and fried, and topped with powdered sugar. Pretty sweet!
Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger
Created by Tom Grace & Edna Sutton
The winner of the awards for both Most Creative and Best Taste: Savory, this burger features buns made of funnel cakes, with a beef patty, bacon, and creamy queso.
Gulf Coast Fish Bowl
Created by Clint Probst
This quaffable aquarium is filled with Nerds candy and Swedish Fish swimming in a Blue Curacao-based boozy drink, and capped with a pineapple slice. It was crowned winner of the Best Taste: Sweet category.
Surfin’ Turfin’ Tator Boat
Created by Melissa & David Harrison
A baked potato is stuffed with lobster and grilled steak, and topped with cheddar and romano cheeses. A single lobster claw tops off this treat.
Pinot Noir Popcorn
Created by The Parish Family
Kettle Corn is dusted with a pinot noir wine-flavored powder, and mixed with cheddar cheese-flavored popcorn for a savory flavor pairing.
Fernie’s Fried Texas Sheet Cake
Created by Winter Family Concessions
Not your average brownie, this chocolate cake is covered in ground Cocoa Puffs, panko, and cinnamon sugar, and then fried and glazed with a Dr. Pepper-based icing and served with pecans, whipped cream, and a rose-shaped strawberry.
The Tamale Donut
Created by Justin Martinez
Slow-cooked pork carnitas blended with masa and hand-shaped into a donut form, fried until crispy on the outside, and finished with jalapeño salsa.
Created by Tami Nevins-Mayes
Three mini cream puffs, coated in a Café Du Monde beignet batter and fried, then drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauces.
Texas Fajita Fries
Created by Nick Bert
Breaded and deep-fried beef fajita strips are seasoned with a Sriracha spice mix and served in a bread cone, on a bed of fried onions and jalapeños, with sides of guacamole-sour cream hot sauce and pico de gallo.
Created by Barrera’s
We don’t actually have further details on this one, so let’s all use our imaginations as to what exactly this is. Oreo-infused stout? Beer actually brewed with Oreos? We’re so confused…and intrigued.
Beer-Battered Beef Jerky
Created by Crazy Otto’s
The name pretty much says it all. Beef jerky, beer-battered and fried.