8 fried food finalists vie for Big Tex crown

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by DIANA HEIDGERD

Associated Press

Posted on August 25, 2010 at 2:26 PM

DALLAS (AP) -- Fried food fans looking to feast at this year's State Fair of Texas will have to bring an ID along with their appetite.

Eight finalists for the Big Tex Choice Awards, including alcohol-laced fried goodies, were announced Wednesday. Vendors at the fair that proclaims itself the fried food capital of Texas for 24 days and runs Sept. 24 through Oct. 17 are seeking honors for best taste and most creative new offerings.

Fried beer and deep-fried frozen margarita offerings will require purchasers to show identification proving they are at least 21, since both items have alcohol in the ingredients, according to Sue Gooding, a fair spokeswoman.

"When you bite into it the beer really does pour out," said Gooding, in describing the beer-filled pretzel pocket.

The deep fried frozen margarita combines funnel cake batter with margarita ingredients, which is then fried, dusted with a lemon-lime mixture and lightly spritzed and served in a salt-rimmed plastic margarita-shaped glass.

The other six finalists, also being judged Sept. 6 by members of the media, include a deep fried s'mores Pop-Tart, fried club salad, fried chocolate, fried lemonade, fried caviar that features black-eyed peas, and a fried Frito pie, with chili and corn chips.

The fried chocolate offering includes a white chocolate mini-candy bar and a cherry folded into a brownie that is dipped in chocolate cake batter. The club salad uses a spinach wrap surrounding layers of diced ham and chicken, lettuce, carrot strips, cheese and hickory-smoked bacon.

The eight finalists are among 62 menu items submitted from concessionaires.

"We just want everyone to come out, try different items and maybe in the offseason try this in your own kitchen," said Gooding, who did not have a calorie count on the fried food items.

"Come out here, enjoy the fair. We have 277 acres so you can walk off whatever you're eaten during the day," said Gooding.

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