State Fair of Texas: Announcement of the Big Texas Choice Awards

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The 2021 Big Tex Choice Awards finalists were announced Wednesday morning, the top 10 finalists in the annual State Fair of Texas competition.

DALLAS – The names alone sound pretty intriguing: Deep Fried I-35. Brittle chest. The Armadillo. Texas Pumpkin Poke Cake.

Then you see the pictures and read the descriptions, and your diet braces for impact.

The 2021 Big Tex Choice Awards finalists were announced Wednesday morning, the top 10 finalists in the annual Texas State Fair competition for sweet and fried goodness.

Three of the 10 finalists will be crowned winners for “Best Taste – Salty”, “Best Taste – Sweet” and “Most Creative”. The winners will be announced on August 29.

Initially, there were 32 semi-finalists before Wednesday’s announcement narrowed the field. Watch the reveal of the finalists below.

Here’s a look at each finalist, with descriptions and photos courtesy of the State Fair of Texas.

Starting with the “salty” division ….

Crazy Corn Crisp – Ruth hauntz

The whole kernel sweet corn is individually breaded, fried and sprinkled with our secret seasoning. These crispy little gold nuggets on their own make a great snack, but the heat goes up a notch when we add slowly smoked pulled pork, topped with a tangy pineapple salad, topped with a drizzle of jalapeño cream. freshly prepared and a generous pinch of fresh cilantro.

I-35 fried – Clint and Gretchen Probst

First, we fry our kolache dough, leaving a divot in the center for our filling. We garnish our fried kolache with smoked beef brisket. Our peach juice combines with Dr Pepper® to make a sweet and tangy BBQ frosting that we drizzle with our brisket kolache. We garnish this rollable concoction with slices of peach and a pinch of powdered sugar.

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Fried seafood okra balls – Gourmet Royale

Using a family recipe handed down for four generations, the base is a dark, rich and flavorful roux that represents the true essence of New Orleans. The meatballs are then loaded with Gulf Coast shrimp, simmered chicken, blue crab meat, and andouille sausage. The balls are then rolled in our cracker and breadcrumb dough, then fried, creating an explosion of flavor.

Lucky Duck Dumplin – Bert Concessions

A delicious pastry filled with a delicious combination of rich and chewy cream cheese, mixed with luscious duck bacon and delicately roasted sweet corn, with a dash of herbs and spices. These delicately filled meatballs are placed in the deep fryer until golden brown and fried to crispy perfection!

Pork shots – Glen and Sherri Kusak at Hans Mueller

We wrap the sausage in delicious hickory-smoked bacon that forms a small bowl, and this tasty taste bud teaser is filled with everyone’s favorite: creamy mac and cheese. We sprinkle the outside with a secret sweet and spicy barbecue sauce to finalize this perfect item to share.

Let’s move on to the “sweet” division

The Armadillo – James barrera

This is a buttery cookie semifreddo made from scratch – an Italian version of ice cream which means semi-frozen. The treat is drizzled with cookie butter and sandwiched between two fried armadillo-shaped cookies made with a branding iron. Finally, it is sprinkled with buttery sugar.

Brittle chest – Ruth hauntz

This confectionery delight has the rich, buttery, crunchy and sweet taste of an old-fashioned peanut brittle. We have, however, replaced the peanuts with the smoky goodness of the Texas brisket.

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Fried Halloween – Isaac rousso

Our trick-or-treat experience begins with a delicious, large, fluffy pretzel that is dropped into the deep fryer. As it turns golden brown, we quickly bathe it in sweet corn syrup, followed by a few rainbow nuggets and powdered sugar. Now the fun begins – adding orange and white buttercream frosting, then stacking up some of our most favorite Halloween candies, like M & M’s®, Reese’s® Pieces, Mini-Twix®, OREO® crispy cookies and candy corn to name a few.

Fernie’s Crispy Coffee and Fried Caramel Cake – Winter family concessions

We start with lightly glazed old-fashioned donuts and break them into pieces, highlighting their firm, slightly crunchy exterior and chewy interior. Then we add a generous scoop of buttery baking pieces flavored with rich English caramel and crunchy almonds and the mixture is mixed into a velvety cream.

Texas Pumpkin Poke Cake – Michelle edwards

A decadent Texas-shaped pumpkin cake with gooey finger-licking vanilla frosting, silky caramel, topped with fluffy whipped cream and lightly dusted with secret spices.

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