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It has finally arrived, the moment y’all have been waiting. The highly-anticipated verdict that signifies the ultimate accomplishment in Fair food has come. The 18th Annual Big Tex® Choice Awards was a battle for the ages. After tasting all ten foods and carefully evaluating each item, the all-star panel of judges tallied their scores and cast their final votes.
Drum roll, please! The winners are:
“BEST TASTE – SAVORY” GOES TO THE FRIED CHARCUTERIE BOARD BY TAMI NEVINS-MAYES & JOSEY MAYES
“BEST TASTE – SWEET” GOES TO THE PEANUT BUTTER PARADISE – CHRIS EASTER AND NICOLE STERNES
CHA-CHA CHATA BY THE GARZA FAMILY TAKES HOME “MOST CREATIVE. “
BEST TASTE – SAVORY
FRIED CHARCUTERIE BOARD, Tami Nevins-Mayes & Josey Mayes
Meats, cheeses, fruits, oh my! Chopped-up fresh mozzarella, salami, and crisp green apples tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Italian herbs. Then the ingredients are wrapped in a wonton wrapper and fried to a golden crisp, topped with creamy goat cheese and a drizzle of hot honey. Everyone’s favorite appetizer rolled into one perfect bite!
BEST TASTE – SWEET
PEANUT BUTTER PARADISE, Chris Easter & Nicole Sternes
Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter. Peanut Butter Paradise starts with deep-frying a honey bun. Then, caramel is injected into the honey bun and topped with creamy peanut butter. They then layer the treat with fan-favorite peanut butter treats, Reese’s Pieces, Crushed Butterfinger crumbles, topped off with peanut butter cups, drizzled caramel, and a cloud of powdered sugar. Just another day in paradise!
CHA-CHA CHATA, The Garza Family
Sidestep all the others ’cause it’s finally here; a milkshake causing you to Cha-Cha Chata all night long! Inspired by the cha-cha dance, the recipe starts with a triple-step of two kinds of milk and vanilla ice cream blended to perfection with the Garza family’s top-secret but famously delicious horchata recipe. They then pour the creamy drink into a cup rimmed with caramel and cinnamon goodness and topped with a Texas-sized dollop of whipped topping. Finally, to bring even more flavor to your tastebuds, the Cha-Cha Chata is dusted with crushed candy, a sprinkle of cinnamon galletas de gragega, and deep-fried Arroz con Leche bites. So take hold of the churro straw and take a sip. We promise it will cha-cha change your life!
Each year, facing the Big Tex Choice Award judges is the challenging yet highly coveted job of selecting the winning Fair foods. This year was no exception, and the lineup proved remarkably competitive. Despite not taking home one of the three titles today, the other 2022 finalists include Chicharron Explosion Nachos by Glen and Sherri Kusak.
- Deep Fried BLT by Tom Grace
- Deep Fried Lasagna Roll by The Parish Family
- Holy Biscuit by Isaac Rousso
- Deep Fried Rocky Road with Blue Bell Ice Cream® by Cody and Lauren Hays
- La Bluebonnet by Milton and Gracie Whitley
- The Ultimate Brookie Monster by Juan and Brent Reaves.
This year’s panel of celebrity judges were
- Co-Founder Karbach Brewing Company, Brad Batson
- Hiawatha Williams – Founder, Williams Chicken
- Lance Barrow – Emmy Award-Winning CBS Sports Producer
- Maricsa Trejo – Pastry Chef and Founder, La Casita Bakeshop
- Rob “Big Rob” Maiden – Captain, Mavs ManiAACs
- Bruce Sifford – Chairman of the State Fair of Texas.
Each of the ten finalists will be available all 24 days of the 2022 State Fair of Texas, plus a full slate of other new foods being offered at the Fair this year. Fair fanatics can pick up a Visitor’s Guide, which includes a food map that lays out the vendor locations for each finalist or check out the food finder map on BigTex.com/Map, making it easy to map out your route and hit all the hot spots along the way. Visitor’s Guides will be available at State Fair hospitality centers and online at BigTex.com. So be sure to come out and try all our new foods at our largest fundraiser of the year – the 2022 State Fair of Texas, opening September 30 at Fair Park.