Iâ€™m not sure I understand the competition to come up with the next best fried thing, and Iâ€™m not here to judge (Iâ€™m responsible for my extra poundage â€“ no one else), but every year, when the State Fair of Texas announces its list of fried food finalists, my ears perk up. I am excited to know whatâ€™s being tossed into the vat next.
They never disappoint, at least not in terms of generating a buzz. So in case you didnâ€™t get the memo, let me share the menu.
This year, youâ€™ll get IDâ€™d if you order items like Deep-Fried Frozen Margarita or Fried Beer. Like the Fried Coke or Fried Butter before them, that just seems to defy some scientific law, but Iâ€™ll admit Iâ€™m ready for the lines to open up for a frozen margarita. While waiting in line, Iâ€™ll ponder the difference between â€œfriedâ€ and â€œdeep-fried.â€
The Deep-Fried Frozen Margarita is born of the goodness of two things â€“ margarita ingredients and funnel cake batter. They are mixed together, fried, dusted with a lemon-lime mixture and served in a salt-rimmed glass. While probably not as refreshing as the real thing, it sounds pretty good to me.
The Fried Beer is a beer-filled pretzel pocket. Iâ€™m not a fan of beer, so someone else will have to vouch for this later. I hear the beer really does pour out when you take a bite.
Again, donâ€™t forget your ID. You will get carded for these â€“ even though, Iâ€™m pretty sure the alcohol disappears somewhere in the frying process.
As a bona fide lemon addict, Iâ€™ll need to order the Fried Lemonade, a baked lemon-flavored pastry that is then fried and glazed with a mix of lemonade, powdered sugar and lemon zest. Iâ€™ll probably seek out fresh lemonade to wash this down with, and be in citrus heaven.
For chocolate lovers, there is, of course, Fried Chocolate, a white chocolate candy bar and a cherry are stuffed inside a brownie, dipped in chocolate cake batter, deep fried and topped off with powdered sugar, a cherry sauce and chocolate whipped cream. I might have called it Fried Cherry Cordial, but alas, once again they did not call for my opinion. *insert audible gasp here* Just kidding. :) Well see, though, if that shows up on the menu next year. Remember, you heard it here first! Ha! Oh boy, do I have all kinds of GREAT ideas for next year!
There also is the Deep-Fried Sâ€™mores Pop Tart, which is pretty self-explanatory. A sâ€™mores flavored Pop Tart is battered, fried and then topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Iâ€™d like to put this to the test with my friend Kate who lights up her fire pit at home as often as she can to feed her sâ€™mores cravings.
For something more savory, traditional and Texan, theyâ€™re promising Texas Fried Frito Pie. Not sure how, but they are apparently able to hold together the chili, cheese and Fritos long enough to fry it. Itâ€™s a mystery to me, but the item made it as a finalist, so it can be done. Amazing what a little human will and ingenuity can achieve. Speaking of: Look for Texas Fried Caviar â€“â€“ fried and seasoned black-eyed peas. Whodathunkit? Someone thought of it.
And finally, for you health nuts â€¦ oh, wait â€¦ nevermind. This salad is fried, too. Fernieâ€™s Fried Club Salad is a spinach wrap stuffed with the goodness of diced ham, chicken, shredded lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cheese and bacon. Sounds good, but wait, Iâ€™m not finished. Itâ€™s fried, topped with deep-fried sour dough croutons on a stick and then served on a bed of lettuce. Well, at least you can still say you had the â€œsalad,â€ if anyone asks.
So there you have it. Donâ€™t try them all in one sitting, or itâ€™ll be â€œgroanâ€ appÃ©tit instead of bon appÃ©tit. Pace yourself. Youâ€™ll have 20-something days to get it all in. The State Fair of Texas runs from Sept. 24-Oct. 17.