State Fair of Texas announces 2017 food finalists

DALLAS – Fried food is a staple at any fair, and the State Fair of Texas is no exception.

Officials on Wednesday announced the finalists of the 2017 Big Tex Choice Award entries, including everything from fried Froot Loops to pinot noir popcorn.

The finalists were whittled down from 47 original entries and were judged on elements of uniqueness, creativity, presentation and taste.

The winners for the “Best Taste – Sweet,” “Best Taste – Savory,” and “Most Creative” will be announced Aug. 27.

10 fair food finalists for 2017

The descriptions that follow were provided by the State Fair of Texas.

Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup on a Stick by Sherry & Chris Howard - Homestyle, perfectly spiced chicken noodle soup is deep fried and served on a stick. Each bite-sized ball will have an indention for a spoonful of savory broth sauce to complete the harmony of the best chicken noodle soup you’ve ever had, and certainly the first on a stick! Each dish is served with a side of crackers.

Deep Fried Froot Loops by Gracie & Milton Whitley - 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!

PHOTOS: 2017 fair food finalists

Fat Smooth by Tami Nevins-Mayes - Three delicious Belgium mini cream puffs on a skewer are dipped in a Café Du Monde beignet batter. They are then fried until golden brown, dusted in powdered sugar and drizzled with a chocolate and caramel sauce. It's the perfect combination to create bring-you-to-your-knees goodness.

Fernie’s Fried Texas Sheet Cake 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.

Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger by Tom Grace & 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.

Gulf Coast Fish Bowl 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!

Pinot Noir Popcorn by The Parish Family - It's a blend of Santa Monica Kettle Corn generously dusted with a Pinot Noir burgundy wine powder. The wine-flavored popcorn is paired with savory cheddar cheese flavors to give you the perfect balance of sweet and savory. A perfect pair for a poppin’ snack!

Surfin’ Turfin’ Tator Boat by Melissa & David Harrison - Succulent lobster meat is marinated in lemon herb butter and partnered with seasoned steak that is grilled to perfection. Both are topped with cheddar and romano cheeses after being stuffed into a piping-hot baked potato with roasted garlic butter melted inside. It is topped off with a single empress-cut lobster claw and a side of lemon butter for dipping.

Texas Fajita Fries by Nick Bert - Tenderly breaded deep-fried beef fajita strips are seasoned with a sriracha spice mix and served in a bread cone. Presented on a bed of Texas toothpicks (fried onions and jalapeños) with a side of pico de gallo and a cool, yet spicy, sour cream guacamole hot sauce. Texas fajita fries can be enjoyed as a sandwich or individually like French fries.

The Tamale Donut by Justin Martinez - Take a traditional tamale and turn it into a not-so-traditional doughnut! 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 doughnut 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.

For more information about the fair, visit bigtex.com.

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