Photo credit: Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas
There’s never a shortage of delicious (and fried) foods at the State Fair of Texas!
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The State Fair of Texas is why they say everything is bigger in Texas. It’s one of the most popular State Fairs in the country, the largest fair in the nation, featuring a 212-foot Ferris Wheel and over 70 rides. With endless activities which include live shows, shopping, and more, there’s always something to do when you visit. As amazing as all of that is though, one of the biggest reasons to visit the State Fair of Texas is the food.
Every year, new foods compete to join the ranks of the legendary State Fair of Texas menu and become the finalist of the year. These are unforgettable dishes that often return the following year. But with so many awesome dishes already on display, not every plate circles back.
Here are five new Texas State Fair foods we never want to see leave the menu…
Photo courtesy State Fair of Texas/ food by Gracie and Milton Whitely
Deep Fried Fruit Loops
"“A classic cereal with a State Fair twist! Sweetened Froot Loops® are folded into whipped marshmallow, dipped in a creamy batter, fried to a golden brown, and then topped with a drizzle of glaze and powdered sugar. Breakfast cereal just got better!”"
It doesn’t get any sweeter than this! You’ll never look at Fruit Loops the same again. It’s crunchy and creamy, and also big enough to share with someone! The Deep Fried Fruit Loops has become State Fair goers’ sweet snack of choice! Now could we get some milk, please?
Fernie’s Fried Texas Sheet Cake
Photo courtesy State Fair of Texas/ food by Winter Family Concessions
"“Start with a Texas-sized slice of fudgy chocolate brownie cake generously coated in ground cocoa puffs, panko, and cinnamon sugar. The coated brownie is fried, giving it an ooey-gooey molten center with a crunchy outside. The delicious fresh-from-the-fryer brownie is then glazed with a rich, dark icing made with Dr. Pepper®. The chocolatey glaze soaks into the warm brownie while cascading down the sides. The cake is served with chopped Texas pecans, a dollop of whipped cream, and garnished with a fresh strawberry carved to mimic a Lady Bird Johnson rose.”"
If you start off your day with the Deep Fried Fruit Loops, you may want to wait a few hours before enjoying Fernie’s Fried Texas Sheet Cake! While not as sweet, it’s still packs a sugary punch. It’s best served in the evening to savor as you take a break from walking (or as a dessert to your meal).
Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger
Photo courtesy State Fair of Texas/ food by Tom Grace and Edna Sutton
"Begin with two funnel cakes that are fried to a golden crunch (aka “buns”). The first funnel bun is topped with a juicy, freshly-grilled burger patty, a heaping helping of crispy bacon, and gooey queso!! It is completed with another funnel bun and generously dusted with powdered sugar."
I know what you’re thinking — what were they thinking, right? Initially, I was a bit skeptical too. I didn’t know how to feel about a sweet funnel cake mixed with a grilled patty and bacon, let alone queso dip! But I kid you not, it’s delicious.
The funnel cake “buns” are deep fried, which make them extra crunchy against the batty and the bacon is very crispy. It may not have worked with a slice of cheese, perhaps that’s why creators Tom Grace and Edna Sutton decided to go with melted queso.
Gulf Coast Fish Bowl
Photo courtesy State Fair of Texas/ food by Clint Probst
"“A whimsical beverage featuring all the flavors of your favorite tropical coast, with a kick! Your drinkable aquarium begins with Nerds® candy gravel. Next, the drink is iced and filled with a specially-formulated blue alcoholic punch. Swedish Fish® swim through the ice while a pineapple slice serves as the lid! Each sip brings a stream of crunchy candy and tropical punch up the straw causing a flavor explosion that transports you beachside with every sip!”"
It may be fall, but that doesn’t mean the temperatures match the season, especially in Texas! So Gulf Coast Fish Bowl creator Clin Probst was clever to present a refreshing and fun drink. It may look like a children’s drink, but it’s actually packed with alcohol, because who says adults can’t have fun and colorful drinks?
The nerds are a nice touch as are the Swedish Fish! It’s served with a large straw so Nerds candy can make their way to your mouth with every sip. It’s my personal favorite from the new menu.
Photo courtesy State Fair of Texas/ food by Justin Martinez
The Tamale Donut
"“Take a traditional tamale and turn it into a not-so-traditional donut! Our “Classic Pork” Tamale Donut starts with slow-cooked pork carnitas, blended with authentic “made-from-scratch” masa. Each dish is hand-formed into the donut shape and fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The “Classic Pork” Tamale Donut is finished off with a drizzle of homemade creamy jalapeno salsa.”"
This one is a mouthful! You’ll definitely want to share with someone else. Part of the reason it fills you up fast is that tamales are typically very dry and accompanied with a salsa to help with that (and a drink). But if you don’t like jalapeno salsa, which is what is paired with the Tamale Donut, you’re out of luck (or again, get a drink). The reason we are including it anyway though is because the Tamale Donut is delicious! If you think you love tamales, wait until you try one of these!
Did you visit the State Fair of Texas this year? What was your favorite food?