Great Balls of Barbecue: Food at the Texas State Fair
Although the State Fair of Texas opening day is not until September 30, the countdown has begun with the release of the not-to-miss foods for the 2016 season. The fair has already released the final dishes in the 12th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards.
There were more than 55 entries to choose from this year, and only eight were selected to go up against the panel of judges who will determine ultimate fair food supremacy.
The State Fair of Texas takes place in Dallas every year at the acclaimed Fair Park and lasts longer than any other state fair in the United States. Last year was a record year with over 10 million tickets sold and this year is certain not to disappoint.
Prepare yourself, these are the top eight dishes you will absolutely or not at all want to seek out while at the fair this year.
Mariah Tyler is a digital photo editor at Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @mphbox.
State Fair Cookie Fries
Essentially a cookie disguised as a crinkle-cut french fry. The slender cookie comes in flavors like chocolate chip or sprinkles. These sweet treats are served with your choice of strawberry or milk chocolate sauce.
A classic cherry-flavored Jell-O in a panko-crusted breading, flash-fried, and then dusted with powdered sugar. Prepared with a tasty topping of whipped cream and a cherry garnish.
Injectable Great Balls of BBQ
Smoke-crusted BBQ beef brisket is hand shredded with bock BBQ sauce and molded to form balls. The ball of beef is then breaded with seasoned bread crumbs and deep fried to a crispy perfection. Served on top of a bed of coleslaw, each order comes with its own pipette of bock BBQ sauce to be injected into the brisket balls.
Caribbean Pineapple Korn-a-copia
Marinated grilled chicken and shrimp are served over a bed of yellow Caribbean fried rice and topped with a tropical salsa and pineapple rum glaze. Served in a pineapple half shell.
Deep Fried Bacon Burger Dog Slider on a Stick
A miniature, handmade seasoned ground beef patty is stuffed with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, and an all-beef hot dog on a Hawaiian roll. Placed on a skewer topped with a pickle, dipped in a tempura batter and deep fried then served on a bed of shoestring fries with, of course, ranch dipping sauce.
Deep Fried Pulled Pork “FUNYUN®” Dings
Like the traditional crunchy snack, but this is stuffed with pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, pineapple slices and bacon. It is then dipped in a flavorful batter and deep fried. Served with a multilayered sweet BBQ sauce.
Southern Fried Chicken and Dumplins
Juicy shredded chicken is mixed with bits of signature seasonings, dough and a touch of gravy. The mixture is then rolled into balls, coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried golden brown. Served with fried “biscuit bites” and a side of gravy.
Fernie’s Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pocket with Mac ‘n Cheese Dip
A savory cream sauce filled with shredded roasted chicken breast, diced white potatoes, sweet carrots, peas, corn and a special blend of herbs and spices is ladled into a flaky pastry dough and folded into a “hot pocket” style then deep fried. Served with a side of mac ‘n cheese-inspired dip - a unique sharp cheddar sauce.