The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Fair finds and flops

Fair+finds+and+flops

State award-winning fried food not all created equal

As the State Fair season begins, the smell of fried foods permeates the North Texas air like the smoke from a barbecue grill.

The Collegian staff visited the Texas State Fair to try out some of the most talked-about food staples the fair offers: the winners of the Big Tex’s Choice Awards. Offering an array of creative recipes and heart-palpitating eating options, these are the staff’s reviews of this year’s Choice Award dishes.

Jamil Oakford

The Texas Star Ferris Wheel looms over the Midway at the State Fair of Texas. The fair runs until Oct. 23 at Fair Park in Dallas.
The Texas Star Ferris Wheel looms over the Midway at the State Fair of Texas. The fair runs until Oct. 23 at Fair Park in Dallas.
The State Fair of Texas holds a competition to find the most interesting fried foods around, and the best are featured at the fair. Photos by Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
The State Fair of Texas holds a competition to find the most interesting fried foods around, and the best are featured at the fair.
Photos by Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

Fair finds and flops

4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Injectable Great Balls of BBQ

16 coupons ($8) for 2, 18 coupons ($9) for 3

Of all the foods offered at the fair, these barbecue balls were a pleasant surprise. While they were definitely worth the extra calories, they did not appear to be worth the cash.

Two deep-fried balls of barbecue brisket came served on a bed of coleslaw with a small device used to inject barbecue sauce. The outside shell of the barbecue balls was pretty hard, similar to a falafel. The brisket inside was smoky and tender, and when combined with the barbecue sauce, the dish proved its worthiness. The barbecue balls only fell flat when it came down to the price.

Hannah Lathen

0 out of 5
0 out of 5

State Fair Cookie Fries

14 coupons ($7)

This fried dessert seemed like the safe choice for a delicious treat, but the disappointment started just after shelling out $7 in tickets.

The first blow came in the size. Served in the smallest container, it seemed almost like a sarcastic joke. The next came with the taste. Bland and tasting of undercooked cookie dough, the flavors just weren’t there.

The final blow was the sad realization that both the chocolate and strawberry dipping sauces were as equally disappointing as the cookies. And this won Most Creative? Please.

Jamil Oakford

1 1/2 out of 5
1 1/2 out of 5

Fried Jell-O 

16 coupons ($8)

Fried Jell-O may have won the Best Taste Big Tex Choice award, but it resembled doughnuts filled with sadness and disappointment rather than an award-winning dessert.

The dough was similar to that of an undercooked funnel cake and topped with as much powdered sugar. The Jell-O center was barely there, almost like a strange melted jelly. Had it been served cold, the melty mess might have been rectified and scored higher, but not even the mountain of whipped cream could make this worth the 16 coupons ($8).

Katelyn Needham

2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Fernie’s Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pocket with Mac ’n Cheese Dip 

16 coupons ($8) 

A mediocre chicken pot pie met its death when combined with a mac ’n cheese dip.

The pot pie pocket was no better or worse than one you would microwave. It was like a regular pot pie with a creamy mixture of potatoes and mixed vegetables in a warm, flaky crust.

Once it was time to eat the mac ’n cheese dip, everything went downhill. The texture was like a thick rice pudding with cracker crumbs on top. The “cheese” aspect of the dip seemed as real as the plastic cup it came in, and the garlic aftertaste only made things worse.

Hannah Lathen

4 1/2 out of 5
4 1/2 out of 5

Deep Fried Pulled Pork “Funyun” Dings

18 coupons ($9)

This fried specialty was bursting with sweet barbecue flavors. At first open, these deep-fried balls of pulled pork don’t look like anything special, but within the first bite, the dish was strikingly unique.

Tasty and bursting with flavor, the pulled pork was blanketed in a Funyun batter, which sounds like it shouldn’t work, but somehow it did. These deep-fried treats were served with slices of pineapple and a tangy sweet barbecue sauce. It was pricey, though, at 18 coupons ($9). It was only fair to take half a corndog away for this fact alone.

Jamil Oakford

3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Southern Fried Chicken & Dumplins

16 coupons ($8) 

Not as tasty as Grandma’s homemade chicken and dumplings, this twist on the classic left something to be desired.

The gravy was good enough to drink in a 14-oz. cup from 7-Eleven. The breaded balls left the desire for a tall glass of water. There was not much chicken, making it more like a hushpuppy with occasional chicken bits. The small fried dumplings that came with the dish have a good taste but, if not dipped in the gravy, are also drier than expected. Overall, the dish tasted good but wasn’t executed in the best manner. Maybe, maybe not worth the 16 coupons ($8).

Katelyn Needham

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