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Texas fair-grub contest fries up the competition

/ Source: The Associated Press

The entries in this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards could entice State Fair visitors back to the deep fryer for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

There are Deep Fried Lattes for a morning jump-start, plus fried chili pie, fried guacamole, and a range of crispy desserts including Fried Cookie Dough.

The third annual Big Tex Choice Awards contest on Labor Day tests the fair grub ingenuity of State Fair of Texas concessionaires. Past Big Tex awards have offered nonfried options, but none of this year’s seven entries escaped the fryer.

“I think they’re good products,” said Ron Black, the fair’s senior vice president of food service and novelties. “We’ve got experienced concessionaires, and their products all taste really good.”

Michael Levy will debut his family’s new Deep Fried Latte, which is a fried pastry topped with cappuccino ice cream, caramel sauce, whipped cream and instant coffee powder.

“We have gained about 10 pounds trying this. I’m not kidding,” Levy said. “I’ve probably eaten 300 of these trying to get it right.”

“The Fried Avocado went over so well, and I think people like guacamole even more than they like avocado,” Weiss said.

Gigi White invented Country Pride Peach Cobbler on a Stick, which is a peach cobbler with dumplings rolled in pastry dough and fried, and then covered in brown sugar and cinnamon and skewered. It’s this year’s only entry on a stick.

“I’m a food engineer,” White said. “You really got to work it.”

The other entries include Fernie’s Fried Chili Frito Burrito, Mama’s Fried Sweet Potato Pie and B.W.’s Original Fried Banana Pudding.

“I’m not sure we have another Fried Coke,” Black said, referring to the smash hit of last year’s State Fair. The dish has been imitated at fairs across the country.

Able Gonzales Jr., the creator of Fried Coke, conceded he may never invent an equal.

“I don’t think I be able to beat that type of excitement again,” said Gonzales, the chef behind this year’s Fried Cookie Dough. “That was crazy.”