State Fair food finalists a mix of savory & sweet

- The State Fair of Texas has picked the finalists for the Big Tex Choice food awards. This year’s list includes five savory entries and five sweet ones.

The contest is an annual tradition at the fair. Awards this year will be given out to the best tasting sweet, best tasting savory and most creative entry.

The savory finalists include:

Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup on a Stick - Homestyle, perfectly spiced chicken noodle soup is deep fried and served on a stick. Each bite size ball will have an indention for a spoonful of savory broth sauce to complete the harmony of the best chicken noodle soup you've ever had, and certainly the first on a stick! Each dish is served with a side of crackers.

Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger - Begin with two funnel cakes that are fried to a golden crunch (aka "buns"). The first funnel bun is topped with a juicy, freshly-grilled burger patty, a heaping helping of crispy bacon, and gooey queso!! It is completed with another funnel bun and generously dusted with powdered sugar.

Surfin' Turfin' Tator Boat - Succulent lobster meat is marinated in lemon herb butter and partnered with seasoned steak that is grilled to perfection. Both are topped with cheddar and romano cheeses after being stuffed into a piping-hot baked potato with roasted garlic butter melted inside. It is topped off with a single empress cut lobster claw and a side of lemon butter for dipping.

Texas Fajita Fries - Tenderly breaded deep-fried beef fajita strips are seasoned with a sriracha spice mix and served in a bread cone. Presented on a bed of Texas toothpicks (fried onions and jalapeños) with a side of pico de gallo and a cool, yet spicy, sour cream guacamole hot sauce. Texas fajita fries can be enjoyed as a sandwich or individually like French fries.

The Tamale Donut - Take a traditional tamale and turn it into a not-so-traditional donut! Our "Classic Pork" Tamale Donut starts with slow-cooked pork carnitas, blended with authentic "made-from-scratch" masa. Each dish is hand-formed into the donut shape and fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The "Classic Pork" Tamale Donut is finished off with a drizzle of homemade creamy jalapeno salsa.

The sweet finalists include:

Deep Fried Froot Loops®  - A classic cereal with a State Fair twist! Sweetened Froot Loops® are folded into whipped marshmallow, dipped in a creamy batter, fried to a golden brown, and then topped with a drizzle of glaze and powdered sugar. Breakfast cereal just got better!

Fat Smooth - Three delicious Belgium mini cream puffs on a skewer are dipped in a Café Du Monde® beignet batter. They are then fried until golden brown, dusted in powdered sugar, and drizzled with a chocolate and caramel sauce. The perfect combination to create bring-you-to-your-knees goodness.

Fernie's Fried Texas Sheet Cake - Start with a Texas-sized slice of fudgy chocolate brownie cake generously coated in ground cocoa puffs, panko, and cinnamon sugar. The coated brownie is fried, giving it an ooey-gooey molten center with a crunch outside. The delicious fresh-from-the-fryer brownie is then glazed with a rich, dark icing made with Dr. Pepper®. The chocolatey glaze soaks into the warm brownie while cascading down the sides. The cake is served with chopped Texas pecans, a dollop of whipped cream, and garnished with a fresh strawberry carved to mimic a Lady Bird Johnson rose.

Gulf Coast Fish Bowl - A whimsical beverage featuring all the flavors of your favorite tropical coast, with a kick! Your drinkable aquarium begins with Nerds® candy gravel. Next, the drink is iced and filled with a specially-formulated blue alcoholic punch. Swedish Fish® swim through the ice while a pineapple slice serves as the lid! Each sip brings a stream of crunchy candy and tropical punch up the straw causing a flavor explosion that transports you beachside with every sip!

Pinot Noir Popcorn - It's a blend of Santa Monica Kettle Corn generously dusted with a Pinot Noir burgundy wine powder. The wine-flavored popcorn is paired with savory cheddar cheese flavors to give you the perfect balance of sweet and savory. A perfect pair for a poppin' snack!

Fair fans can actually get a taste of the competition. The final round of judging will be open to the public on Aug. 27 and samples will be available.

The 2017 State Fair of Texas kicks off on Sept. 29

LINK: http://bigtex.com/food/choiceawards/

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