Do you smell that? That’s my State Fair erection…and it’s growing.
Within the last 12ish days(?) the finalists for the 2012 State Fair of Texas Big Tex Choice Awards were announced and a winner was named. Upon reading the list of foods that, in just under a month, will meet their end in my stomach, I was left with a feeling peppered with excitement but mostly flavored with a giant question mark above my head. I guess it was also upheld by dedication, responsibility, and nostalgia. I have a job to do. A service to mankind. However, I don’t find myself with the feeling of blind food disbelief and “awe” that many others in the world of the interwebs do.
Maybe, I’ve just become desensitized to the ridiculous offerings over the years? The competitors throw their brains against the wall to think of food experiments (foodxperiments) to bring to the table that wind up being precisely 97% the same as last year’s entries. I mean, with the exception of a couple of entries, all these creations have practically been available at the Great State Fair for the last several years. You know I’m right. However, I AM surprised to see the list of finalists and see such obvious creations. I know I hate myself for saying that, too. Even more so, it vexes me. I am vexed. I am vexed that these aren’t staples on Dallas menus. Fried macaroni and cheese on a burger? Easy Slider Truck, Goodfriend, Liberty Burger. You haven’t thought of that? Cinnamon roll with bacon? Hypnotic Donuts? I’m looking at you. C’mon, man! (said in my
best worst best Michael Irvin/Chris Carter voice).
And, “Fried Pork Wing”? I can go right now to The Libertine Bar and order the Hog Wings. How is THIS on a list that I thought was dedicated to the “best” of the “new” offerings? (More on that later…)
All the same. None the less. I still get excited this same time every year. I crave that slight and small next step of creativity that can only be realized when Big Tex comes along and puts his size 70 boot up the ass of State Fair chefs. Or, maybe it’s just the total give up on the part of State Fair competitors where they say “F*** it! Let’s just put some bacon in it and throw it in the deep fryer.” and my subsequent/reluctant bear hug embracing the awesomeness of all of that. Either way, we’re all about to be treated to foods that only seem to be available for 24 days (most of them fried, specked with bacon and served on sticks). And, it’s going to be awesome. You can lie to yourself all you want saying you’re going to peruse the new vehicles, catch up on the latest in dairy science, or try to score a deal on new high-efficiency windows. We all know why you’re there. At best, the acres of shiny cars, midway games, and
handmade crap culture are mere peripheral distractions to the solidifying of DFW’s collective arteries (and good ways to walk off that 3rd corn dog). So, let’s just get to the food, shall we?
At the Choice Awards judging on Labor Day, Deep Fried Jambalaya took home the prize for Best Taste, while Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll won “Most Creative”. Not being at the tasting, I cannot comment on the Deep Fried Jambalaya (yet). However, just looking at the list, I have to take umbrage with the Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll winning for “Most Creative”. I harken back to my statements about State Fair chefs giving up and just finding new combinations of fried and bacon. I will state again, I am not above this. I’ll eat the s*** out of fried and bacon all day. However, in a competition where someone thought of/figured out how to put fried chicken, tater tots, and a pickle on a stick, batter it, and fry it, and then, christen it “Picnic on a Stick”, a cinnamon roll sprinkled with bacon wins?
To that end, in a world where the Picnic on a Stick exists as a competitor, someone really thinks recycling the fried cake idea is “unique”? Someone saw “Fried Mexican Fire Crackers” on a list or application (or whatever form you fill out to enter this competition) and said “oh yeah! Fried tamale. How explosive!”? Bulls***. And now, you Fried Pork Wing. Someone has the gall to fry a f***ing pork wing and present it in a paper basket with a failed smile hoping for your acceptance? Does The Libertine Bar know about this? Even if The Libertine didn’t have such a creation…THIS surpasses this year’s other new food entries? This list disgusts me. I guess Fried Cactus gets some points for having the balls to fry a ball of flavorless green slime. I look forward to trying it, but flavor-wise, cactus ranks around zucchini. (NOTE – I LOVE zucchini. I know I’m a walking contradiction, but this is the State Fair. I have limited stomach real estate and funds).
There HAS to be more exciting and unique things out there. Past years have brought us Fried Frito Chili Pie, the maligned Fried Beer and Fried Bubble Gum, and of course, Fried Butter. Someone deep fried a club salad one year. That’s awesome.
I know there are more creative new offerings this year. I know there’s Fried Cotton Candy and Fried Caramel Corn out there. I will find them. So, f*** you, Fried Pork Wing. I’m sure you’re tasty. But, because I’m a wild card (and I AM a wild card), you’re in my cross-hairs. I know the Big Tex Finalists are probably going to be very tasty (I’ll let you know for sure), but I know there’s going to be lots of tasty things. There’s going to be a lot of work to do to help you spend your monies and limited stomach real estate wisely.
September 28th comes early this year, little babies. Look to your daddy, The Gator as the Santa Claus for your fair needs. I’m out.
(This post escalated to unexpected places and flew off the rails.)