02 October 2010

State Fair of Texas

The State Fair of Texas is the largest state fair in the country. It's so grand and unique in nature that Oprah filmed an entire episode there. The Fair is also home to a fried food contest that brings the most innovative and often delicious treats to visitors. Past winners have included fried butter, fried Oreos, fried Twinkies, fired short ribs, and fried peanut butter and jelly and banana sandwiches. This years treats (and tricks) were no different:
** Here I am sampling some fried green beans while the local news looks on. These are probably my favorite thing at the fair. Mostly because I can lie to myself that it's healthful (there's veggies in there yo!), but also because there are only so many treats for a vegetarian to enjoy. They are yummy and totally worth it!

** The food pavilion features food from around the world and so delicious! The carnivorous crew members indulged in turkey legs and fried short ribs, but we were on a more serious mission: Fried Beer. The winner of Most Original, it was hiding somewhere in the pavilion and we had to find it. While waiting in line, a fellow fair goer asked us if we wanted her fried beer. She said is was disgusting, put the basket in our hands, and walked away. She didn't even want any tickets for it! Of course, we couldn't take her word for it. Let me just say that if I never have to see, hear, or taste fried beer again it will be too soon. Imagine a salty ravioli filled with Shiner Bock, now imagine biting into said ravioli only to discover the beer is still in liquid state and now running down your shirt. Oh, and it's hot.

On a positive note, the Fried Green Tomatoes were great and they came with a zesty chipotle ranch dipping sauce!

** Deep Fried Oreos are so good. It's like when you hold an Oreo in milk for just the right length of time so it's soft but not soggy, then you batter and fry it. I also tried the fried chocolate (new this year) which was good but I think they were running out so I only got a small chunk. Still, that chunk had a nice cherry in it (fruit! healthy right?).

** The fried grilled cheese sandwich that debuted last year was back again. I was not impressed last year, it tasted like hot oil and no cheese. The best part was the side of tomato soup for dipping. This year, things were looking up for the sandwich though the soup was still the best part. I'm guessing this once again has something to do with being there on opening day before the fryers become disgusting.

** Word-of-the-day Jennie loved the fried Frito pie so much she was clamoring for seconds. I have to say, when I ate meat Frito pie was one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I must have eaten it at least once a month. I kinda wish this had come out last year so I could have tried it but I don't think it lessened anything for me not to. This won Best Taste at this years fair.

** I was kind of bummed when I heard about the Green Goblin. It's a pepper (pablano/habenero?) stuffed with shredded chicken, rice, cheese, and avocado. Why did they have to ruin it with chicken?!

**Fried Moonpie. Like the Oreo but with marshmallow. Pretty good, of course by this time I was fighting a nasty headache from all the sugar, oil, and beer I'd ingested.

** In an attempt to supplement my Fair beer diet, I also tried some fried Texas caviar (black-eyed peas) tossed with seasoning (including Old Bay). They come in regular and spicy, though as a lover of all things spicy I cannot imagine eating that one. The regular was so flavorful and spicy I'm pretty sure the hotter version would kill me.

** Of course, before you leave the Fair you need a little something for the ride home or to comfort you until you can come back again. Might I suggest some cotton candy or salt water taffy (my personal fav)?

I'm sure I forgot something deep fried and wondrous, but I can't remember anymore. It's a good thing I started the day with a small salad, just to keep me grounded. I also never want to see anything fried for a really long time.