If you plan on going to the State Fair of Texas, show up hungry. They have plenty to offer and we have our first look at the 2021 Big Tex Choice Award nominees.

I actually went to the State Fair of Texas for the first time back in 2019. It was a lot of fun, but missed out on so much stuff. Seriously, they have so much to do there and I now know why everyone says it is a must visit every year. Being a fat kid at heart, my favorite part was the food.

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Back when I went in 2019, the one item I really wanted to try was the Big Red cornbread. It was worth the trip just for that. As always, the State Fair has their finalists for the Big Tex Choice Awards. They have two divisions, savory and sweet. Someone will walk away with a best award from each. Another award will be given out to most creative, which could go to anybody. Below you will check out the top ten finalists. Let me know who you think is going to win.

  • 1

    Crispy Crazy Corn - Ruth Hauntz

    Photo Courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

    "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."

  • 2

    Deep Fried I-35 - Clint and Gretchen Probst

    Photo Courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

    "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. "

  • 3

    Deep Fried Seafood Gumbo Balls - Gourmet Royale

    Photo Courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

    "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."

  • 4

    Lucky Duck Dumplin' - Bert Concessions

    My Pick for Most Savory!
    Photo Courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

    "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!"

  • 5

    Pork Shots - Glen and Sherri Kusak at Hans Mueller

    Photo Courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

    "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."

  • 6

    The Armadillo - James Barrera

    Photo Courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

    "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."

  • 7

    Brisket Brittle - Ruth Hauntz

    My Pick to Win Sweet Award!
    Photo Courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

    "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."

  • 8

    Deep-Fried Halloween - Isaac Rousso

    My Pick for Most Creative!
    Photo Courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

    "Our 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, like M&M’s®, Reese’s® Pieces, Mini-Twix®, OREO® cookie crumbles, and candy corn just to name a few."

  • 9

    Fernie's Fried Toffee Coffee Crunch Cake - Winter Family Concessions

    Photo Courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

    We start with lightly glazed, old fashioned cake donuts and break them into chunks, highlighting their firm, slightly crunchy exterior, and soft cakelike interior. Next, we add a generous scoop of buttery baking morsels flavored with rich English toffee and crunchy almonds and the mixture is blended with a velvety custard.

  • 10

    Texas Pumpkin Poke Cake - Michelle Edwards

    Photo Courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

    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.