State Fair of Texas Concessionaires is officially off to the races with a new lineup of incredible, edible innovations for the public to taste at the Fair this fall. The 18th Annual Big Tex® Choice Awards offers another year of exciting bites for all appetites. The 2022 lineup is bursting with flavor – whether you love savory or sweet, you’re in for a treat this year. After deliberation in the first round of judging, the results are complete. They named 36 semi-finalists to move forward. Comprised of 19 savories and 17 sweet entries, these semi-finalist contenders are one step closer to the main event, where they will compete for one of three winning titles: “Best Taste – Savory,” “Best Taste – Sweet,” and “Most Creative.”
2022 BIG TEX CHOICE AWARDS SEMI-FINALISTS
|Bayou Bowl||Cha-Cha Chata|
|Cajun Lobster Bisque Croquettes||Crunchberry® Shortcake|
|Chicharron Explosion Nachos||Deep-Fried Buc-ee’s®|
|Crispy Dilly Dog||Deep-Fried Honey|
|Deep-Fried BLT||Deep-Fried Praline Cheesecake Eggroll|
|Deep-Fried Brisket Cheese Sticks||Deep-Fried Rocky Road with Blue Bell Ice Cream®|
|Deep-Fried Lasagna Roll||Deep-Fried Southern Dessert Dumplings|
|Deep-Fried Texas Country Cookout||Deep-Fried Strawberry Shortcake Crunch Roll|
|Dim Sum Loco Burritos||Doh-Muff|
|Fried Charcuterie Board||Fat Elvis|
|Fried Soul Food Eggroll||Fried Texas Fruit Salad|
|Holy Biscuit||La Bluebonnet|
|Shaking Beef Salad||Peanut Butter Paradise|
|Southern Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie Waffles Sliders||Raspberry Chipotle Sopapilla Cheesecake|
|Texas Hot Bull Ride||Smoked Bacon Wrapped Cookie Dough Balls|
|Texas Ranch Hog Wings||The Ultimate Brookie Monster|
|Texas Slide||Triple Lemon Bliss|
|Turkey Leg Taquito|
A loaded bayou explosion! We take our three-cheese macaroni and top it with shrimp and lump crab after being cooked to perfection in garlic scampi butter. Then, we drizzle this culinary creation with a mouthwatering Cajun cream sauce, accompanied by a piece of succulent andouille sausage and a side of perfectly toasted French bread to sop up all the Cajun goodness. Let’s geaux to the bayou!
LOBSTER BISQUE CROQUETTES
‘Croquette’ is French for a fancy, filled tater tot! Our Cajun Lobster Bisque Croquettes are lightly seasoned potato balls filled with rich lobster meat and creamy brie cheese. They are then fried golden brown. We are serving three excellent croquettes with a side of our Cajun lobster bisque for dipping, a rich and creamy lobster soup-based dipping sauce that perfectly complements the croquettes. The whole order turns the heat up when we top it off with our Cajun seasoning because this is Texas! Get an order of three, mon Cheri!
Fresh pork rinds are fried to a golden crispy crunch and then seasoned with just the correct number of Cajun-style seasonings to ensure a mouthwatering kick. Next, we spread smoked beef fajita meat all over the crispy nachos and covered them with delicious freshly made queso. To make this an explosion of flavor, we top these chicharron nachos with a whole serving of savory chopped beef barbeque.
We take a juicy dill pickle, core it, and fill it with an all-beef hotdog. Next, we dip the creation in freshly made corndog batter. Next, we roll it in perfectly seasoned breadcrumbs and then fry it to a golden crisp. Once out of the fryer, we complete this masterpiece with a drizzle of zesty chipotle mayo – you could say it’s a big DILL!
Crunch into the simple pleasure of the Deep Fried B.L.T.! Crispy bacon is folded into a 12″ tortilla and a heaping pile of shredded cheddar cheese to bind all the corners. Next, the rectangle-shaped tortilla gets dunked into the deep fryer long enough to get a golden-brown crunch and a melted bliss of cheddar and bacon. We then use that deep-fried goodness as our sandwich bread by cutting it in half and layering cool crisp lettuce, two juicy red tomato slices, and mayonnaise. Finally, we pair it with fresh-cut garlic parmesan chips for a notorious B.L.T.!
BRISKET CHEESE STICKS
We collaborated with our Italian cousins in Sicily to create this Texan-Italian fusion dish that’s the perfect “eat and walk” State Fair food – the Deep-Fried Brisket Cheese Sticks. First, we take classic mozzarella and dress it with slow-smoked chopped brisket. Then, we dip it in an egg wash, dredge it with the family’s secret seasoned breading and drop it in the fryer. To finish, we dust them with grated parmesan and serve them with our savory smoked marinara dipping sauce.
We cover our ribbon pasta with the perfect mixture of ricotta, parmesan, provolone, and fresh mozzarella cheeses, then topped with our unique homemade meat sauce. Next, we add more cheese and delicately hand roll the pasta creating delicious layers of flavor. Next, the lasagna roll is dipped in a cheddar, herb batter, and fried golden brown, making a crispy yet flaky crust. We then garnish the roll with a touch of marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil, creating a mouthwatering burst of flavor. Served with a side of Deep-Fried Zucchini Fries, this dish gives you a taste of Italy with a Texas twist!
TEXAS COUNTRY COOKOUT
This hearty dish includes an array of flavors celebrated throughout the great state of Texas! We start with a healthy serving of well-seasoned pulled pork, then mix a generous amount of herbed goat cheese and special homemade sauce. Our tasty Texas-sized patty is then coated in breadcrumbs to give it the right amount of crunch in every bite. To finish, we place a dollop of coleslaw and potato salad on this deep-fried masterpiece, drizzled with sweet homemade jalapeño B.B.Q. Sauce, giving you that delicious Texas tang!
DIM SUM LOCO
The east meets southwest with Dim Sum Loco Burritos! Dim Sum means “touch of the heart,” and this culinary masterpiece is a touch of the heart – deep in the heart of Texas. Traditional Tex-Mex flavors of smoked shredded pork, lightly fried diced potatoes, onions, bell peppers, and mildly spicy, super melty pepper jack cheese are rolled burrito-style in egg roll wrappers and deep-fried to a crunchy golden brown. The flavors are complex and loaded with umami with lingering flavors of cumin and chipotle. We serve these burritos with charred beer-battered sweet, smokey Shishito peppers and a thin, salty, meaty broth garnished with cilantro and diced green onions as a dip for both. Each dish comes with a fortunate cookie, is decorated with a Texas flag, and served in a food tray lined with fiesta tissue to celebrate all the cultures coming together in this spectacular dish. Trust me; you won’t need the fortune cookie to tell you this is the best thing you’ll eat at the Fair!
Meats, cheeses, fruits – oh my! Chopped-up fresh mozzarella, salami, and crisp green apples tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Italian herbs. Then we wrap the ingredients in a wonton wrapper and fry it to a golden crisp, topped with creamy goat cheese and a drizzle of hot honey. Everyone’s favorite appetizer rolled into one perfect bite!
A twist on a southern staple guaranteed to become a State Fair favorite! We fill an eggroll with tender, barbecue-flavored marinated chicken combined with grandma’s old-school flavored collard greens and mac ‘n cheese. The eggroll is then deep-fried to golden perfection and topped with a fusion sauce bringing together Southern and Asian flavors that perfectly complement the dish.
This mouthwatering southern explosion starts with a perfectly cooked golden-brown biscuit. Then, we stack our slow-smoked shredded brisket and ladle fire-roasted street corn queso on top of the biscuit. Then, we add thick-cut bacon drizzled with Texas honey with a little kick. The masterpiece is complete when we top this incredible biscuit with crispy pickle French fries. Your taste buds will go crazy with the savory-sweet crunchy combination of flavors in one bite.
An iconic dish taken to a new level – Big Tex’s level, that is. Shaking beef is a French-inspired Vietnamese dish. We take beef and cut it into small cubes – the size of playing dice – before sautéing. We then mix in cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, pepper, and soy sauce, into the skillet.
FRIED CHICKEN AND SWEET POTATO PIE, WAFFLES SLIDERS
If you enjoy chicken and waffles or have been dying to try the classic combination, indulge in our new Southern Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie Waffles Slider. This curated twist on a traditional recipe incorporates a crispy fried chicken filet sandwiched between sweet, thick, and fluffy Belgian waffles stuffed with our heirloom sweet potato pie recipe, which has been handed down three generations. The waffles’ extra deep pockets absorb the warm buttery maple sweet syrups after topping them with crispy, savory bacon.
Hot chicken ain’t got nothing on Texas Hot Bull Ride! First, we took shrimp and battered it up with a unique Texas seasoning. Then, we toss it in our hot and smoky with a smidgen of special sweet sauce. Finally, we served a side of zesty ranch dressing to cool its heels. Texas Hot Bull Ride is sure to take your tastebuds for a wild ride. Hold on tight, partner!
TEXAS RANCH HOG
After one bite of Texas Ranch Hog Wings, you’ll start to believe that pigs CAN fly! First, we take fall-off-the-bone pork and season it with our secret blend of spicy ranch salt. Then, we drizzle the creation with our special homemade sauce and garnish it with fresh green chives. Talk about being in hog heaven!
You’ve waffled before, so time to evade again. First, we create slider buns out of waffles. Then, we fill the slider with chicken and steak and add sauteed bell peppers, onions, provolone cheese, and a secret sauce. And then we finish it off, providing the sliders with syrup.
Two Texas favorites collide into a taste explosion. Texas grilled cheese meets Mexico’s Pepper Belly, also known as FRITO pie, for a match made only in Texas. We grill the Texas toast and add a thick layer of American cheese, stacked high with Fritos, chili, and jalapeños to add a Texas kick. Only in Texas can two-state favorites come together to give you a savory treat that requires no need to dip the chip and has enough cheese to make Wisconsin jealous.
A turkey leg – with a twist! We shred a turkey leg and blend the mixture with cheese, bacon, and jalapeños. Then, we wrap the mix around a tortilla and deep fry it. We then serve the creation with a side of chips, queso, and B.B.Q. Hot sauce and Texas Hot Sauce. Talk about twisting a traditional Fair favorite!
Sidestep all the others ’cause it’s finally here – we have the milkshake that will make you Cha-Cha Chata all night long! Inspired by the cha-cha dance, our recipe starts with a triple-step of two kinds of milk and vanilla ice cream blended to perfection with our family’s top-secret (but famously delicious) horchata recipe. Next, we poured 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, we dust our Cha-Cha Chata 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!
Our Crunchberry® Shortcake is a sweet sensation that will make the Cap’n proud! Large fresh strawberries are dipped in our thick, rich shortcake batter and fried until golden brown. Each strawberry is its little shortcake! These soft, sweet strawberry pillows are served with a generous portion of whipped cream for dipping and crowned with a drizzle of strawberry syrup and – you guessed it, topped with Cap’n Crunch Crunchberries®! The result is a soft, sweet, creamy bite with a punch and some crunch!
Buc-ee’s® holds a special place in the heart of every traveling Texan, so we’re taking our personal favorite and their number-one selling snack, Beaver Nuggets®, to the next level, deep-fried. We’ve woven this delicious sweet and crunchy snack into a batter, then deep-fried to perfection, dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with silky caramel topping and Beaver Nugget sprinkles. Deep-Fried Buc-ee’s® – the power to the Beaver!
Have you heard the buzz? There is a new fried food in town. Nature’s perfect sweet treat, as only Texas, can imagine – Deep Fried Texas Honey. We wrapped the raw and all-natural Texas honey and deep-fried it, producing an ideal caramelized honey treat. We then top the creation with powdered sugar, our cinnamon-sugar concoction, and raw Texas honey from Texas’ Rescue Bee Ranch for a dessert that’s as sweet as can bee!
PRALINE CHEESECAKE EGGROLL
A dessert-like none you’ve had before, this Deep Fried Praline Cheesecake Egg Roll is sure to be a sweet escape! First, we wrap this rich, creamy, praline cheesecake filling in an eggroll wrapper, then deep-fried to golden perfection. Next, we take the egg roll, drizzle it in our delicious homemade praline sauce, and top it with candied praline pecan crumbles to please even the sweetest tooth!
ROCKY ROAD WITH BLUE BELL ICE CREAM®
The wait is over – Deep Fried Rocky Road is here! We coat the Rocky Road Kettle Fresh Fudge with fluffy, lightly sweetened batter, deep-fried to perfection, stacked high, and drizzled with chocolate syrup and sweetened condensed milk. Next, we sprinkle atop Mini marshmallows and chopped cinnamon glazed nuts with powdered sugar. Finally, we add a single-serve Blue Bell Ice Cream® Homemade Vanilla ice cream cup to the dish.
SOUTHERN DESSERT DUMPLINGS
These delightfully indulgent dumplings are a mashup of two southern favorites, sweet potato, and pecan pie, with a twist that might make even grandma jealous! Actual pieces of sweet potato and pecan pie, including the crust! – combined with morsels of dark chocolate are folded into a wonton wrap, deep-fried, and dusted with powdered sugar. Then, like any good dumpling, we serve them with a special sauce, our homemade rum-raspberry chipotle dipping sauce.
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE CRUNCH ROLL
Dip our crazy delicious Deep Fried Strawberry Shortcake Crunch Roll into our homemade pink waffle batter infused with strawberry purée and fried to perfection. We drizzle the top with cream cheese icing and cover it with our addictive strawberry crunch – consisting of vanilla Oreo cookies, strawberry JELLO mix, and melted butter. Then we carefully dust the crunch roll with confection sugar and garnish it with a fresh strawberry for the sweetest taste of Texas.
We take a yeast doughnut stuffed with Bavarian cream and coat it in banana nut muffin batter. Then, we drop the doughnut into the fryer. Once it’s deep-fried to that perfect golden crisp, we top the creation with pecan butter glaze, fresh bananas, and strawberries. Of course, it’s up to you to decide if it’s a doughnut or a muffin, but one thing’s for sure – it’s a sweet treat you’re sure to love.
This mouthwatering explosion starts with a blend of creamy peanut butter and strawberry jelly whisked together. To create, we take a warm out-of-the-oven biscuit and spread a thick coat of peanut butter and jelly onto the biscuit. Next, we layer delicious marshmallow fluff and fire toast it for a second to give it a golden-brown campfire taste. As thick-cut juicy bacon comes off the grill, it finds its home on top of the marshmallow fluff. At the same time, the fried plantain bananas are coming out of the fryer caramelized and ready to complete this delicious, decadent food experience. You’ve never tasted a biscuit-like this!
A delicious twist on a classic family-gathering dish. We combine chopped cinnamon apples, tart cherries, and luscious peaches with strawberry cream cheese. We then add a touch of candied jalapeños (the unofficial fruit of Texas) to hint at sweetened zing. All this yummy goodness is balled and rolled in a crunchy batter to excite your tastebuds, then deep-fried to a beautiful golden finish. Lastly, we dust the spheres with finely ground cocoa caramel and a powdered sugar mix, then topped off with a drizzle of in-house almond icing for a heavenly Texas taste experience.
Iconic Texas bluebonnets inspire this decadent drink, which has served as a natural photo backdrop for many memorable life moments. Freshly squeezed citrus juices and blueberries are folded into a sugary base and shaken well to achieve the perfect balance of sweet and tart. Then, we pour it over refreshing ice and top with an optional lemon-mint-berry twist.
Man cannot live by bread alone – he must have peanut butter. Our Peanut Butter Paradise starts with deep-frying a honey bun. Then, we inject caramel into the honey bun and top it with creamy peanut butter. We continue to 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 powder sugar. Just another day in paradise!
CHIPOTLE SOPAPILLA CHEESECAKE
Sweet raspberries and spicy chipotle are blended with cream cheese to create a sweet treat with Texas heat. We top the tangy cream cheese filling with our homemade sweet raspberry glaze, topped with a crispy, buttery sugar-coated crust. Finally, we served with a drizzle of raspberry compote, whipped topping, and chopped pecans., with candied jalapeños available upon request.