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Batter Up: 32 Culinary Creations Named Semi-Finalists In State Fair Of Texas Food Contest

The Big Tex Choice Awards categories are Best Taste - Sweet, Best Taste - Savory and Most Creative.
Kevin Brown
State Fair of Texas
The Big Tex Choice Awards categories are Best Taste - Sweet, Best Taste - Savory and Most Creative.

The deep-fried tradition of creating unique fair food treats is back with 32 sweet and savory concoctions named to the Big Tex Choice Awards food competition.

Fair food is back and as tempting as ever. The annual Big Tex Choice Awards has named 32 semi-finalists for the food competition at the State Fair of Texas.

As usual, the dishes are divided into sweet and savory selections. Memorable names are also part of the game. Among the savory entries: Deep Fried I-35, Texas BBQ Brisket Banh Mi, Crawfish Étouffée Stuffed Turkey Leg and Texas Easter Eggs. Sweet treat entries include Deep Fried Halloween, Brisket Brittle, Fried Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding) and Deep Fried Peach Cobbler Soul Rolls.

The culinary creations are competing for three winning titles — Best Taste - Savory, Best Taste - Sweet and Most Creative. Over the next few weeks, the next round of judging will rate each dish on four criteria: Uniqueness, presentation, creativity and taste. But as always, the crucial part of this food contest is how enticing the creation is to fairgoers.

Find a complete list of semi-finalists here. The top 10 entries will be announced in August. They will go on to compete in the final round at this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards ceremony.

A fried chicken wing with tiny sunglasses sits atop a red glazed doughnut.
State Fair Of Texas
Big Red Chicken Bread by Brent and Juan Reaves was named Best Taste - Sweet in 2019.

Last year, for the first time since World War II, the fair was canceled. It's only been shuttered seven times in its 134 years.

The fair plans to open as usual in September. The theme is, appropriately, "Howdy, Folks!"

“None of us could have predicted all that the COVID-19 pandemic would bring with it," said Mitchell Glieber, State Fair of Texas president, in a press release. "But we feel so grateful to carry on the State Fair’s 135-year history and welcome everyone back with a warm, ‘Howdy, Folks!,’ this year."

The State Fair of Texas takes place Sept. 23 through Oct. 17 in Dallas' Fair Park.

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