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From Pork Rind Nachos To Fried Chicken And Waffle Cone, Meet The New State Fair Foods

State Fair of Texas
The Fried Chicken and Waffle Cone is among the new foods that will be served up at this year's State Fair of Texas.

The State Fair of Texas has released a complete list of all of the new foods that will be served this year. They include pork rind nachos, fried sweet tea, fried chicken and waffle cone, and something called "Amazeballz."

We already know what the top new foods are at this year’s State Fair – Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil and Funnel Cake Ale. Those were honored at the Big Tex Choice Awards earlier this month.

Food's a big deal for the fair -- it's a big moneymaker -- and fair officials know the new foods create a lot of buzz. So even the foods that didn't compete in the Big Tex Choice competition get people talking -- and get people hungry, too.

The fair starts Sept. 26.

Drum roll, please …

Credit State Fair of Texas
Deep Fried Pork Rind Nachos

Deep Fried Pork Rind Nachos – Pork rinds are homemade and cooked on site, covered with cheese, chili, pico de gallo and jalapenos. “You’ll never look at nachos the same way again.”

Polynesian Pop – Pieces of chicken, pineapple, red bell pepper and onion alternated three times on a stick, dipped in a zesty batter mix and deep fried.  Then it’s basted with a citrus Polynesian sauce.

Biscuit Fries with Chocolate Gravy – Strips of buttermilk biscuit dough are fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and served with a bowl of warm milk-chocolate gravy.

Credit State Fair of Texas
Hot Soul Cake

Hot Soul Cake –A deep fried chicken bite that has been sprinkled with TT’s Fairy Dust (a savory seasoning) and stuffed into a cream cheese and vanilla infused cupcake. The cupcake is dipped in a waffle batter and deep fried. The cupcake is sprinkled with powdered sugar and drizzled with a cream cheese glaze. “A Southern Soul delicacy that’s sure to melt in your mouth and soothe your soul.”

Deep Fried Stuffed Gordita – A gordita is stuffed with beef fajita and frijoles a la charra, then deep fried and topped with a crispy, lime cabbage slaw, queso fresco, and drizzled with an avocado sauce.

Credit State Fair of Texas
Deep Fried Smoked Brisket

  Deep Fried Smoked Brisket – Smoked brisket is sliced, dipped in a buttermilk egg wash, then dipped in seasoned flour, and coated with a seasoned Panko breading and fried. Served with a fried smokehouse onion ring, BBQ sauce, and pickle slices. 

Deep Fried Sweet Tea – Home-brewed sweet tea is blended into a custard filling.  The custard is given a graham cracker crust, deep fried, and topped off with sweet tea syrup. 

Cowboy Burrito - Skillet potatoes (red potatoes, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, Texas Skillet seasoning), shaved sirloin steak, and cheese are rolled in a 10-inch tortilla and grilled.

Apricot Chamoy Empanada – Smooth, tangy, sweetened apricots are paired with lime and ground chili peppers in a Chamoy sauce. This Latin America-inspired sweet and salty filling is wrapped in a buttery pastry, deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar.

Credit State Fair of Texas
Fried Chocolate Maple Bacon Amazeballz

Fried Chocolate Maple Bacon Amazeballz – Chocolate cake is mixed with chocolate frosting, maple syrup and bacon pieces. It’s rolled into balls and deep fried. The hot cake balls are dusted with powdered sugar, drizzled with chocolate and maple syrups, and topped with more bacon crumbles.

Deep Fried Milk and Cookies on a Stick – Whole milk, half-and-half and heavy cream are blended with sugar, cookies and slow-cooked to make a creamy custard that is chilled. The finished product is sliced, dipped in an egg wash and rolled in Japanese bread crumbs. It is then fried and served hot with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and chocolate or strawberry sauce.

Other New Foods

  • Fresh Kettle Corn
  • Fried Chicken and Waffle Cone
  • Island Bourbon and Jamaican Jerk Chicken Skewers
  • Strawberry Daiquiri

The Big Tex Choice Award Finalists

Eight new fair foods were named finalists for the Big Tex Choice Awards, which honors the top new fair foods. Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil and Funnel Cake Ale won top honors earlier this month at the fair’s 10th annual Big Tex Choice Awards.

Here’s a listing of the eight finalists – for pictures, click here.

Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil

Credit State Fair of Texas
Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil

What is it? A shrimp boil rolled into a ball, dusted with fish fry, and fried. Baby gulf shrimp, diced red potatoes, onion, lemon, and seasoning are formed around a cocktail shrimp, dusted and fried with the tail sticking out for a handle. Served with a remoulade sauce.

Original State Fair Brew – Funnel Cake Ale

Credit State Fair of Texas
Funnel Cake Ale

What is it? Beer with the essence of that State Fair classic – funnel cake. “Brewed to be ready and crisp, with just the right amount of toastiness and sweetness, finishing with delicate notes of natural vanilla.” You can add powdered sugar to the rim of your glass. Must be 21 or older (obviously).

Chicken Fried Loaded Baked Potato

What is it? A baked potato loaded with butter, bacon, and cheddar cheese, are coated and battered with a spices and flour. Served with ranch dipping sauce.

Deep Fried Texas Bluebonnet

Credit State Fair of Texas
Deep Fried Bluebonnet -- No, they're not frying the state flower. It's a fried blueberry muffin.

What is it? A blueberry muffin with scone-style batter that’s stuffed with cream cheese, blueberries and white chocolate. It is baked and deep fried. Topped off with whipped cream, chopped white chocolate, powdered sugar, blueberries, and a blueberry glaze.

Fried Sriracha Balls

What is it? Shredded chicken, corn, green chilies, tomatoes, and Sriracha hot sauce are formed into balls and coated with tortilla chips. It’s flash-fried. If you like your food extra hot, extra Sriracha is available.

Fried Sweet Texas

What is it? Pie dough is filled with pecan pie, peach cobbler and buttermilk pie. It’s deep-fried, and then served with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.

Twisted Texas Tacos

What is it? Texas beef brisket is dipped in a barbecue-spiced buttermilk batter and fried. Served in a tortilla and layered with a Mexican cheese blend, fried okra, tri-color slaw and accented with poblano and sweet pepper corn. Served with country gravy and chili.

Deep Fried "Breakfast for Dinner"

What is it? A 10-inch flour tortilla is stuffed with eight breakfast items – scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, bacon, potatoes, ham, onion, cheddar cheese and cinnamon roll bits. It’s deep-fried and served with gravy, salsa and a pico-queso dip.

For pictures of all of this year’s foods, click here.

Through the years

Explore past years of Big Tex Choice Awards -- fried butter, fried peaches, fried beer, oh my! -- here.

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.