These are the deep-fried delicacies you can try at the State Fair of Texas this year

Is it even fair-worthy if it isn’t deep-fried?

Food photos from the 2021 State Fair of Texas. Top left: Texas Easter Eggs, Top Right: Big Tex Bowl, Bottom Left: Country Fried Shrimp and Grits, Bottom Right: Deep-fried Peach Cobbler
Food photos from the 2021 State Fair of Texas. Top left: Texas Easter Eggs, Top Right: Big Tex Bowl, Bottom Left: Country Fried Shrimp and Grits, Bottom Right: Deep-fried Peach Cobbler (State Fair of Texas)

DALLAS – The State Fair of Texas is known for some of the most unique culinary creations in the U.S. and the list of new foods for 2021 doesn’t disappoint.

Fairgoers have always enjoyed a smorgasbord of fried foods - including last year’s “Best of the Best” winner Texas Fried Fritos Pie - and the list of foods for this year’s event includes many deep-fried delicacies.

State Fair of Texas officials released the following list of foods you can expect to see in 2021. All item descriptions come directly from the State Fair of Texas:

Bacon Jam Corn Bombs - Crispy, savory, sweet – with a little bit of heat! Warm bacon jam is ladled over crispy corn hushpuppies, then complimented with a drizzle of ranch dressing and topped with homemade candied jalapeños. This bursting-with-flavor shareable treat is sure to become a State Fair favorite.

Bacon Jam Corn Bombs (State Fair of Texas)

Bag of Eggrolls - You know the saying – variety is always good. A new vendor at the Fair this year, Crunchies Eggrolls and More brings a bag of eggrolls to the Fair, and the taste is Texas-sized. Fairgoers will receive a variety of tasty eggrolls in a bag, consisting of mac and cheese, pizza, original, and samosa egg rolls.

Big Tex Bowl - It’s mac and cheese covered with all of your favorite toppings. A rich and creamy three-cheese sauce is perfectly combined with cavatappi noodles to hold all of the cheesy goodness. Then, it’s topped with smoked brisket, sharp cheddar, French fried onions, chives, applewood smoked bacon, candied jalapeños, and a BBQ cream sauce. A bowl large enough to share for friends with a Texas-sized appetite!

Bucket of Fries - The Bucket of Fries takes a beloved side item to a whole new level! These loaded cheese fries are topped with savory beef and bacon. This flavorful new food comes in a portable bucket, perfect to stroll around the fairgrounds with.

Chicken on a Stick / Combo #4 - A new vendor at the Fair this year, Chans Chicken on a Stick brings the Combo #4 to the new food list. Vegetable rice is combined with lo-mein, then finished off with a pork egg roll and grilled chicken on a stick. The chicken is glazed with homemade teriyaki sauce. With so many tasty things to devour in one meal, this dish is best served as a shareable sample platter.

Country Fried Shrimp Grits - Grits like you have never tasted before! Deliciously rich cooked grits are infused with shrimp and cheese, formed into squares, then dipped in a light egg wash and covered with a homemade batter, deep-fried to perfection. To top it off, this delicious dish is then covered with a mouthwatering shrimp and crawfish sauce. Flavors so good, you’ll come back for more.

Dallas Hot Birddog - The Texas heat can’t compete with the Dallas Hot Birddog! A State Fair classic is reimagined to unveil a tasty union that’s hearty, cheesy, and packed with heat. A smoked turkey frank is dunked in a fiery seasoned batter and deep-fried, then smothered with rich and creamy mac and cheese. It is topped with fried jalapeños and then drizzled with Cholula for a flavor that bites back!

Deep-Fried Pancakes - It’s pancakes like you’ve never had them before. These are just like homemade individual bite-size pancakes, but every bite is the best part of these pancakes. These fresh-from-the-fryer hotcakes come with your choice of our one-of-a-kind homemade syrups: maple butter, fresh blueberry sauce, or our original pecan butter syrup. So good, you’ll never want pancakes any other way!

Deep-Fried PB & Razbrûlée - This is the shabby chic of Fair foods. The seamless marriage of an after-school kid food (PB&J) and that special dessert you sometimes get at anniversary dinners at 5-star restaurants as an adult (crème brûlée). The two are melded together perfectly to blend different times of your life all in one unforgettable food experience. A deep-fried peanut butter sandwich pocket is topped with a thick and creamy vanilla creme with a turbinado sugar-heavy sprinkling and broiled and caramelized to a hard-shell top. This Deep Fried PB & Razbrûlée is then dolloped with a perfect helping of mixed berries to complete the beautifully delicious dessert!

Deep-Fried Peach Cobbler Soul Rolls - Our twist on a true southern staple around the holidays – but our version is on the go! Peach Cobbler Soul Rolls are filled with juicy sweet peaches that bathe in butter and our housed spiced sugar mixture before being rolled into an egg roll and deep-fried. It is topped with a generous amount of cinnamon sugar and served with a side of Blue Bell Ice Cream® if you desire.

Deep-Fried Shrimp Étouffée - If you’re looking for a concessionaire’s twist on a southern classic – this is it! Deep-Fried Shrimp Étouffée is our twist on a seafood classic! A deep-fried dumpling filled with piping hot rice and juicy house-seasoned shrimp is smothered in onion, celery, tomatoes, green peppers, and cheese. The fried treat is served with creole mustard or chipotle ranch. Looking for a kick? Add our favorite southern-style hot sauce on the side!

Deep-Fried Toffee - Using a 2019 State Fair of Texas award-winning Milk Chocolate Toffee Square, this tasty concoction wraps the toffee square in a flakey biscuit bite and is then deep-fried. Garnished with powdered sugar bringing out the contrast of confection sugar with milk chocolate.

Fried Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding) - Our family matriarch often made this family-favorite dessert, Capirotada. Combining traditional holiday flavors well-known to Mexican families, it is a lip-smacking bread pudding that is only described as sweet, savory, and scrumptious. Bread is layered with a mixture of two shredded kinds of cheese sprinkled over a piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar) syrup with raisins. Delectable aromatic spices are poured over the mixture, then baked. The resulting pudding is battered and fried, then crowned with whipped topping covered with a drizzle of dulce de leche. A shake of fresh ground cinnamon and bright sprinkles readies the dessert for your first bite. Your tastebuds will wonder why you have never tasted this time-honored dessert before.

Fried Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding) (State Fair of Texas)

Frozen Ranch Water - One of the most popular cocktails in Texas is Ranch Water – a simple cocktail consisting of silver tequila, Topo Chico®, and fresh lime. The Original Frozen Ranch Water is sure to be the most popular new adult beverage offered at the State Fair of Texas this year. Margaritas are between 700-1,000 calories – a Frozen Ranch Water has only a quarter of those calories and tastes just as great. Crisp and refreshing, it’s the perfect companion for sunny warm days at the State Fair for those over 21 years of age. The Original Frozen Ranch Water is our own unique recipe with a wine-based tequila that can be sold at the State Fair. We will also be offering flavored toppers such as passion fruit, Paloma, raspberry, and watermelon for those that want to sweeten it up.

Gobble Balls - It may not be November quite yet, but Ferris Wheeler’s BBQ is getting into the spirit with their new dish, Gobble Balls. First, turkey nuggets are smoked, then breaded and deep-fried. These delectable bite-sized treats are served with your choice of BBQ dipping sauce. You’ll gobble this dish up!

Helmut’s Strudel - The perfect blend of savory and sweet, Helmut’s Strudel has something for everyone. Flaky layers of pastry are wrapped around delicious apple, cherry, and cheese fillings.

Lobster Corn Dog - Everybody comes to the State Fair of Texas for a corn dog, right? But have you ever had a Lobster Corn Dog? This unique, one-of-a-kind item will fulfill both your corn dog and fancy tastebuds. First, we take a lobster cake, bread it, and baste it in the freshest of cornbread batter. Then, we deep fry it until golden and serve with a fresh Remoulade for dipping. Who knew that you could get lobster with your corn dog?

Quesabirria, with Consomé - This new food is taking a traditional quesadilla and turning it up a notch! Juicy and tender shredded steak is mixed with cheese, then stuffed in fresh corn or flour tortilla. Then, it’s grilled to a slight crispy perfection, and topped with cilantro, onion, and a delicious side of rich consommé for dipping.

The Realest Cheesesteak - Everything is bigger in Texas – including our cheesesteaks. The Realest Cheesesteak is not your average cheesesteak. This cheesesteak combines melty three-cheese, savory steak, chicken, sauteed onions and bell peppers, and banana peppers on top of a French hoagie bun. This dish has made SouthSide Steaks & Cakes a South Dallas staple and is sure to be a State Fair favorite when it debuts this year.

Southern Fried Lemon Ice Box Pie Balls - A pie ball, hand wrapped in a pâte sucrée dough, is infused with graham crackers, lemon zest, and brown sugar. The filling is our secret family recipe for lemon icebox pies. The pie balls are then battered in our chicken fry, and flash-fried to create a golden flaky crust. Then, we sprinkle the fried pie balls with our sweet fairy dust, made of honey butter powder and confection sugar. After that, we top the balls with dollops of Chantilly cream and garnish them with a lemon graham cracker crumble, lemon zest, and edible gold glitter. One of our family’s favorite desserts, made with a Big Tex twist!

Texas BBQ Brisket Banh Mi - Texas BBQ Brisket Banh Mi is served on a lightly toasted Vietnamese baguette that is topped with chopped smoked brisket, lightly coated in our BBQ sauce, along with cilantro, cucumber and homemade pickled daikon radish and carrots. Honey siracha aioli, hoisin sauce, and fresh jalapeño slices are served on the side.

Texas BBQ Brisket Banh Mi (State Fair of Texas)

Texas Easter Eggs - Rejuvenate the excitement you experienced as a kid when you anticipated hunting for Easter eggs. The only problem is (if they were real eggs) you probably never ate what was inside. Texas Easter Eggs will change all of that. They will be a little easier to find, and when you do – wow, will you be glad you did! These mildly spicy, creamy, cheddar cheesy deep-fried eggs will make you wish you had an Easter basket full of them to take home. While they are not actual eggs from a chicken, they are filled with meats, spices, cheeses, peppers, and all things Texas, shaped like an egg, decorated with a savory (Easter colored) ranch sauce, breaded, deep-fried, and served in our special Texas Easter Egg carton with a perfect finishing dipping sauce.

Texas Fried FRITOS® Pie - A generous portion of savory Texas chili and a hint of sharp cheddar are encased in everybody’s favorite corn chip, then lightly battered and fried to golden-brown perfection. Its smooth medley of hot, meaty, crunchy, salty, cheesy, oozes goodness; “Texas Fried Fritos® Pie” transports you back to the golden age of Fair food.

Texas Fried Surf and Turf - Our Texas Fried Surf and Turf brings a fine-dining vibe to the State Fair of Texas. Tender filet mignon medallions are hand-cut and filled with chunks of Langostino Lobster. A slice of fresh jalapeño inside gives this savory dish a Texas crunch and kick. The medallions are rolled with the delicious lobster and jalapeño inside and then wrapped with a slice of hickory-smoked bacon to hold it all together. There is no breading or batter on our Texas Fried Surf and Turf – we fry them until a crispy shell of fried bacon forms with juicy medium-well steak and rich chunks of lobster inside. Two Texas Fried Surf and Turf medallions are served with our tempura fried asparagus on the side. This delectable delicacy is drizzled with our horseradish hollandaise sauce – a creamy concoction with a mild kick to top things off!

Texas Fried Surf and Turf (State Fair of Texas)

Twice-Fried Albondigas (Mexican Meatballs) - Twice-Fried Albondigas is a wonderful Mexican meatball with a twist on traditional Mexican flavors. Spiced beef is rolled with lightly browned rice, chopped vegetables and aromatic seasonings, rendering one juicy, tasty meatball. First it is deep-fried, then carefully battered, followed by a bread crumb coating, making it ready to fry again to a golden perfection. Biting into an Albondiga will be a culinary surprise of flavors reminiscent of our abuelitas’ kitchens. This delightful Albondiga will be served on top of a hearty tomato-based-infused sauce. Rich in flavor with an afterbite, this dish will give you a swift kick and make you yearn for more. Hold your fire, wait a minute, we are not done! Topping off this burst of flavors will be a drizzle of Crema Mexicana and a sprinkle of cotija queso. Buen Provecho!

If you’re planning to head to Dallas for the fair, you’ll have the opportunity to taste all of the finalists of the Big Tex Choice Awards.

Here’s a map of where to find the fried food of your dreams.

This is the 135th State Fair of Texas and Bix Tex is ready to greet crowds as the fair kicks off on Sept. 24 and runs through Oct. 17 at Fair Park in Dallas.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.