Big Tex Choice Awards

More than a decade of decadence

Since 2005, the Big Tex Choice Awards contest has solidified the State Fair of Texas as the top Fair for great food creations. Each year, State Fair concessionaires fry up tasty and unique foods for a chance to become a finalist in the annual Big Tex Choice Awards competition. Everything from Fried Beer to Fried Peaches and Cream has made the cut to become a part of the exclusive club of fried food creations.

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2021 Big Tex Choice Award Winners

Winner "Best Taste - Savory"

DEEP FRIED SEAFOOD GUMBO BALLS

by Gourmet Royale

Winner "Best Taste - Sweet"

THE ARMADILLO

by James Barrera

Winner "Most Creative"

DEEP FRIED SEAFOOD GUMBO BALLS

by Gourmet Royale

2021 Savory Finalists

Crispy Crazy Corn

by Ruth Hauntz

Sweet whole kernel corn is individually battered, fried, and dashed with our secret seasoning. These crispy little gold nuggets alone make a great snack, but the heat turns up a notch when we add slowed-smoked pulled pork, topped with a tangy pineapple slaw, kissed with a drizzle of freshly made jalapeño crema and a generous sprinkle of fresh cilantro. It’s a crunchy, sweet, savory, tangy flavor party that’s crazy good. 

Deep Fried I-35

by Clint and Gretchen Probst 

The Deep Fried I-35 combines various sweet and savory ingredients into decadent tribute to the Texas road trip! First, we fry up our kolache dough, leaving a divot in the center for our filling. We top our fried kolache with smoked beef brisket. Our peach juice combines with the Dr Pepper® to make a sweet and tangy BBQ glaze which we drizzle over our brisket kolache. We garnish this roadworthy concoction with peach slices and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Voila, y’all!

Deep Fried Seafood Gumbo Balls

by Gourmet Royale

Using a family recipe that has been handed down four generations, the base is a dark, rich, and savory roux that represents the true essence of New Orleans. The balls are then loaded with Gulf Coast shrimp, stewed chicken, blue crab meat, and andouille sausage. The balls are then rolled in our saltine cracker and breadcrumb batter, then fried, creating an explosion of flavor. Served with a side of dark gumbo roux sauce, chicken fried okra spears, saltine crackers, and a small bottle of hot sauce.

Lucky Duck Dumplin’

by Bert Concessions

A delectable pastry filled with a delicious combination of rich, fluffy cream cheese, blended with succulent duck bacon and delicately roasted sweet corn, with a sprinkling of herbs and spices. These delicately filled dumplings are dropped into the deep fryer until golden-brown and fried to crispy perfection! Three Lucky Duck Dumplin’s are served alongside a sweet and gently spicy Thai chili glaze for dipping, finished with a sprinkling of fresh basil and nestled in a small hand-held tray.

Pork Shots

by Glen Kusak and Sherri Kusak at Hans Mueller

This new Fair favorite starts with Texas best smoked sausage at the base of this shot. We wrap the sausage with delicious hickory smoked bacon which forms a tiny bowl, and this savory tastebud-teaser is filled with everyone’s favorite – creamy mac and cheese. We sprinkle the outside with a secret sweet, spicy BBQ rub to finalize this perfect Fair-food-to-share item. Talk about a party in your mouth! 

2021 Sweet Finalists

The Armadillo

by James Barrera

Y’all will want to go home with the Armadillo Cookie Butter Ice Cream Sandwich! It is a made-from-scratch cookie butter semifreddo – an Italian take on ice cream that means semi-frozen. The treat is drizzled with cookie butter and sandwiched between two deep fried Armadillo-shaped cookies that are made with a branding iron. Finally, it is dusted with buttery sugar. Absolutely a velvety cream delight! 

Brisket Brittle

by Ruth Hauntz

This confectionary delight has the rich, buttery, crunchy, sweet deliciousness of an old-fashion peanut brittle. We have, however, replaced the peanuts with the smokey goodness of Texas brisket. This addictively sweet yet savory treat finishes with a satisfying hint of heat. 

Texas Pumpkin Poke Cake

by Michelle Edwards

Your fall favorite with Texas flair! A Texas-shaped, decadent pumpkin cake with a finger-licking, gooey vanilla glaze, silky caramel, topped with fluffy whipped cream, and lightly sprinkled with secret spice. 

Deep-Fried Halloween

by Isaac Rousso

This trick-or-treat experience starts with a delicious large chewy pretzel that is dropped in the fryer. As it becomes golden brown, we quickly bathe it in candy corn syrup, followed by some rainbow sprinkles and powdered sugar. Now the fun begins – piping in orange and white buttercream icing, then stacking some of our most favorite Halloween candies on top. Crowned with Marshmallow whip cream and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, the final touches of Hershey’s chocolate syrup caramel sauce and candy corn are drizzled on. 

Fernie’s Fried Toffee Coffee Crunch Cake

by Winter Family Concessions

We start with lightly glazed, old fashioned cake donuts broken into chunks. Next, we add a scoop of buttery baking morsels flavored with English toffee and almonds and the mixture is blended with a velvety custard. The cakes are dipped in an egg product and covered in panko and vanilla cookie crumbs, then quickly fried to a golden brown! It is served on a plate with a light dusting of powdered sugar and sprinkled with more toffee bits and a dollop of frothy mocha coffee whipped cream.  It is topped off with a miniature chocolate covered toffee bar to fancy it up! 

Previous Big Tex Choice Award Winners

Year Category Winner
2018 Best Taste :: Savory Fernie’s Hoppin’ John Cake with Jackpot Sauce
Best Taste :: Sweet Arroz con Leche (Sweet Crispy Rice)
Most Creative Cotton Candy Taco
2017 Best Taste :: Savory Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger
Best Taste :: Sweet Gulf Coast Fish Bowl
Most Creative Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger
2016 Best Taste Fried Jell-O®
Most Creative State Fair Cookie Fries
2015 Best Taste Fernie’s Holy Moly Carrot Cake Roly
Most Creative Smoky Bacon Margarita
2014 Best Taste Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil
Most Creative State Fair Brew – Funnel Cake Ale
2013 Best Taste Deep-Fried Cuban Roll
Most Creative Fried Thanksgiving Dinner
2012 Best Taste Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll
Most Creative Deep Fried Jambalaya
2011 Best Taste Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack
Most Creative Fried Bubblegum
2010 Best Taste Texas Fried FRITOS® Pie
Most Creative Fried Beer™
2009 Best Taste Fernie’s Deep Fried Peaches & Cream
Most Creative Deep Fried Butter
2008 Best Taste Chicken Fried Bacon
Most Creative Fried Banana Split
2007 Best Taste Texas Fried Cookie Dough
Most Creative Deep Fried Latte
2006 Best Taste Fried Praline Perfection
Most Creative Fried Coke
2005 Best Taste Fried PB, Jelly and Banana Sandwich
Most Creative Viva Las Vegas Fried Ice Cream