It’s that time of year again! State Fair concessionaires are off to the races with a new lineup of incredible, edible innovations for the public to taste. The 14th Annual Big Tex® Choice Awards, presented by Vistaprint, is sure to offer a bite that pleases every appetite. From savory snacks to sweet treats, 2018’s assortment will not disappoint! After much deliberation in the first round of judging, the scores have been tallied and the results are in; 31 semi-finalists have been named and are one step closer to the main event, where they will compete for one of three winning titles. “Best Taste – Sweet,” “Best Taste – Savory,” and “Most Creative.”
2018 BIG TEX CHOICE AWARDS SEMI-FINALISTS
Corn Dog Ale
Deep Fried Bodacious Bacon Bombs
Deep Fried Chicken Tetrazzini Parmesana
Deep Fried Lobster Pops
Deep Fried Ranch
Deep Fried Shepherd’s Pie
Deep Fried Skillet Potato Melt in a Boat
Fried Cup of Corn “Elotes”
Fried Kool-Aid® Pickles
Hoppin’ John Cake with Jackpot Sauce
King Crispy Coconut Crab Sliders
Pico Frito (Deep Fried Pico de Gallo)
Southern Fried Chicken Nachos
Texas Fried Hill Country
Cherish Erbert Champagne
Cotton Candy Taco
Deep Fried M&M’s
Deep Fried Raspberry Brie-ret
Frosty’s Frozen Hot Chocolate
Fruity Dessert Nachos
Kool-Aid® Pickle-Dilly Sangria
Orange Julia’s Beermosa
Orange You Glad We Fried It?!
State Fair Fun-L Cake Ice Cream
Supra Stuffed Mini Sopapillas
Sweet Bakin’ Bacon
Sweet Crispy Rice (Arroz con Leche)
Texas Thai Delight
The Roll Tide
We honestly have no clue yet as to what these items are, but you may speculate.
The contest kicked off in mid-July with an impressive 49 entries represented by 30 concessionaires. It is required that all competitors have at least one year of experience as a concessionaire at the State Fair of Texas to enter the competition. With food as a popular attraction of the Fair each year, these contenders are more than just successful food aficionados; they have proven themselves to be authentic representations of the dedication and passion brought each year to the Big Tex Choice Awards.
The selection process used in the annual competition is headed up by a panel of internal judges and requires “blind judging” from start to finish, meaning the panel does not know which concessionaire is behind each recipe. This allows for the scoring to be totally based on the food entry itself and leaves no room for bias toward or against concessionaires, since their identities are not revealed to the panel. Contestants put their creativity to the test by coming up with an enticing name and description for their original concoctions, along with the option to submit a photo of their entry – then comes the first round of preliminary judging.
Over the next several weeks, the second round of preliminary judging will begin and these edible creations will have to prove to the panel of judges that they are just as delicious as they sound. The tasting round consists of judging each semi-finalist on, at minimum, four main ingredients of a finalist-worthy concoction: uniqueness, presentation, creativity and, of course, taste.
The top 10 entries will compete in the final round. Even if your cuisine of choice doesn’t make it to the main event, concessionaires can still choose to introduce their food at their stand as a “new food” during this year’s State Fair.
With less than one month left until the doors swing open for the 14th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards, be sure to mark your calendars for Sunday, August 26 at 2 p.m. in the historic Tower Building at Fair Park. Last year’s event sold out, so don’t wait to secure your spot. Tickets will be available online for $125, with a limited number of seats available. All proceeds from the annual Big Tex Choice Awards competition are donated to the State Fair of Texas Scholarship Program.