There's no doubt that one of the biggest attractions at the State Fair of Texas is the food. And yes, a lot of it is fried food. But bring an antacid and a hearty appetite and enjoy some of the best treats in the state. Here are my top picks.
1. Fletcher's Corny Dog
It's a Dallas original and one of the biggest State Fair traditions: Fletcher's Original Corny Dog. The deep-fried corn-battered hot dog was created by Dallas residents Carl and Neil Fletcher. Corny dogs have been sold at the State Fair of Texas since 1942. Approximately half a million corny dogs are sold during the State Fair each year.
This is an absolute must-have State Fair treat! If you're here for the Texas/OU game, it's also known as the breakfast of champions.
And by the way, it's CORNY DOG -- not corn dog. The pollsters have spoken.
2. Fernie's Funnel Cakes
This is another State Fair tradition since the 80s. Batter that's deep fried, dusted with powder sugar and an optional fruit topping has long been a favorite of mine. It used to be a very rare treat but now you can buy funnel cake mixes at the grocery store. It isn't the same. It's better when someone messes up their own kitchen and cooks for you. I often blame my daughter for wanting a funnel cake. Truth is: I'm just a kid at heart.
3. Fried Lemonade
Maybe the crazy name is why it didn't win a Big Tex Choice Award for flavor. But trust me, this is one of the best tasting items at the State Fair. It's far superior to the winning Texas Fried Frito Pie. This dish should have been renamed Fried Lemon Poundcake. It was absolutely delicious. It was a few mounds of what I call a lemon pound cake fried up kind of like a doughnut. The bottom of the cup had an icing/glaze. Perhaps it should have been drizzled down the delicious mounds of lemon flavor. My husband, 5-year-old daughter and I all loved it. I highly recommend this dessert -- and it's perfect for sharing among several people.
4. Fried Chocolate
This delicious treat didn't place in the winner's division either. I had to take a second bite before I decided that I liked this dessert. The first taste was missing something. But, by the time I got into the brownie and gooey center, I decided it was great. Again, this is the perfect dessert to share. That way you don't spend a lot of money and overindulge in chocolate. I liked it a lot - but I was OK sharing it with the hubby. There are some items that I will not share: a corny dog is one.
5. Fried Latte
I ordered a Deep Fried Latte thinking it might be the perfect breakfast item before the Texas Tech vs. Baylor football game today. Deep Fried Latte is a fried pastry topped with cappuccino ice cream, caramel sauce, whipped cream and instant coffee powder. Who's to say that ice cream can't be served for breakfast? I didn't realize that it had ice cream in it when I ordered it. I was just looking for coffee anything this morning. And I guess because my team, Texas Tech, won -- then it's the breakfast of champions too. Deep Fried Latte was named the "Most Creative" in the Big Tex Choice Awards in 2007.
6. Deep Fried Oreos
If you can deep fry an Oreo cookie, then you can deep fry just about anything in the world. I tried my first Fried Oreo today and it was really pretty good. The only thing missing was a cold glass of milk. This is one treat at the fair that you don't want to miss.
The judges have spoken and some of my friends have too. So many State Fair visitors loved the Texas Fried Frito Pie that I had to give it a mention. I think I may have gotten an overcooked batch. If my brother swears it was delicious, then I'm taking his word on it. He's a foodie like me.
8. Turkey Legs
Some people go to the State Fair just for the turkey legs. It's highly entertaining to watch fairgoers casually stroll through Fair Park gnawing on a humongous turkey leg.
9. Cotton Candy
I have to admit that there's something special about Cotton Candy. Kids love it. Adults bring out their inner kid when they taste the spun sugar treat. Cotton Candy is special because you can't just buy it anywhere. It's a treat! And it's fun to watch it being made too. Maybe next time they will let me give it a try.
10. Fried Tamales
Texas is known for its Tex-Mex dishes. Well this unique delight is purely indulgent. Tamales + Fried = you better hit the gym on Monday! So basically, the answer to your question is "yes." If it can be dropped in batter and deep fried, you will find it at the State Fair of Texas. And it will likely be delicious. Ole!
Good news for followers of a gluten-free diet. There are some delicious foods for your diet. Details.