The State Fair of Texas Announces 2024 Big Tex Choice Awards Food Competition Semi-Finalists

The State Fair of Texas Announces 2024 Big Tex Choice Awards Food Competition Semi-Finalists

DALLAS – June 27, 2024 – The State Fair of Texas has unveiled the semi-finalists for the 2024 Big Tex Choice Awards, presenting a tantalizing array of new culinary creations set to delight fairgoers this fall. Celebrating its 20th year, the annual competition, sponsored by Karbach Brewing Company, continues to showcase the creativity and innovation of State Fair concessionaires.

Since its inception in 2005, the Big Tex Choice Awards have become a highlight of the State Fair, drawing attention with unique and inventive dishes. Over the years, 111 finalists have emerged from a pool of 40 different concessionaires, with only 42 entries achieving the coveted title of a Big Tex Choice Award winner.

This year's competition began with 65 entries from 40 experienced concessionaires, each vying for recognition. After rigorous judging, 24 semi-finalists have been selected, comprising 10 savory and 14 sweet entries. These contenders will compete for three prestigious titles: “Best Taste – Savory,” “Best Taste – Sweet,” and “Most Creative.”

Semi-Finalists: Savory

Deep Fried Crispy Vietnamese Crepes: Golden, crunchy crepes filled with savory meat, shrimp, fresh veggies, and served with a homemade dipping sauce, offering a symphony of flavors and textures.

Dominican Dog: Crispy Dominican queso frito and salami frito coated in seasoned corn dog batter, deep-fried and topped with red Dominican secret sauce, crushed garlic plantain chips, and chopped cilantro.

The Drowning Taquitos: Hand-rolled corn tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken, deep-fried, and topped with tangy cream sauce, guacamole salsa, shredded lettuce, avocado, pico de gallo, and Cotija cheese.

Fat Bacon Pickle Fries: Dill pickle slivers battered and fried, dusted with spicy ranch pepper seasoning, and topped with queso, maple caramelized bacon, sour cream, jalapeños, and chives.

Hammy Pimento Meltdown: A grilled pimento cheese sandwich with black forest ham on Texas Toast, blending smoky ham with tangy pimento cheese.

Hippie Chips: Crispy potato chips covered in homemade ranch or blue cheese dressing, topped with green onions, bacon bits, sriracha sauce, and blue cheese crumbles.

Hot Chick-in-Pancake Poppers: Nashville hot chicken mixed with pimento cheese, rolled into a ball, dipped in pancake batter, fried, and topped with Sriracha honey and hot powdered sugar.

Oktoberfest Pizza: Handmade pizza dough topped with spicy mustard-infused cream sauce, mozzarella, cheddar, German sausage, skillet-fried potatoes, sautéed onions, green peppers, and sauerkraut.

Texas Fried Burnt End Bombs: Beef burnt ends wrapped in shredded potato, bacon, and green onions, fried, and served with raspberry chipotle barbecue sauce.

Triple Meat Big Back Snack: A five-layer indulgence featuring elote street corn, smoked chopped beef brisket, smoked gouda mac and cheese, a buttermilk biscuit with pork belly burnt ends, nacho beef brisket sausage, and deep-fried crinkle-cut maple waffle-flavored potato slices.

Semi-Finalists: Sweet

Beso De Angel: A sugary fritter taco filled with sweet crema, strawberry preserves, whipped cream, cajeta caramel, sweet condensed milk, and fresh strawberries.

Caramel Macchiato Fritters: Coffee cake balls with caramel centers, dipped in beignet batter, fried, and served with whipped cream, caramel, and white chocolate drizzle, plus a shot of espresso.

Cookie Butter Nachos: Cinnamon sugar-coated tortilla chips topped with cookie butter cheesecake filling, cream cheese icing, caramel sauce, and crushed Biscoff cookies.

Cotton Candy Bacon on a Stick: Honey-smoked bacon dipped in cotton candy syrup, spun in a cotton candy machine, and caramelized to a pink glaze.

Crookies: Croissant filled with cookie dough, topped with more cookie dough, baked, and finished with a syrup drizzle.

Frozen Limoncello: Limoncello sorbet served in a lemon peel, perfect for a refreshing treat on hot days.

It's Bananas…B-A-N-A-N-A-S: A banana shake with banana pudding, topped with whipped cream, Nilla wafers, chocolate-covered bananas, and caramel drizzle.

LAY’S® Potato Chip Drink: A blend of LAY’S® Potato Chips, mango, citrus juices, hot honey, jalapeño syrup, strawberry drizzle, sweet foam, and topped with LAY’S® Sweet & Spicy Honey Potato Chips.

Nutty Bar-laska: A chocolate-dipped nutty bar rolled in peanuts, covered in marshmallow fluff, toasted, and topped with OREOS®, strawberry sauce, and freeze-dried strawberry pieces.

Standing on Business: Salted caramel ice cream in a waffle cone bowl, topped with a spicy dark chocolate cookie, deep-fried sweet potato pie, whipped cream, French fries, and a chicken wing.

Strawberry Pop-Tarts® Beignetffle: Beignet and croissant dough waffle topped with strawberry filling, vanilla icing, whipped cream, and sprinkles, served on a stick.

Texas Sugar Rush Pickles: Cotton candy-flavored pickle slices coated in cereal, layered in cotton candy, sprinkled with sugar crystals and powdered sugar, drizzled with strawberry syrup, and topped with vanilla ice cream.

Tropical Two-Step Punch: A refreshing drink combining citrus, passionfruit, and mango flavors, available in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions.

Whole Bundt of Kisses: Deep-fried 7UP® Bundt cake filled with Belgian chocolate, topped with chocolate chip cookies, miniature kisses, powdered sugar, a Hershey's® chocolate, whipped cream, and edible silver glitter.

The competition employs a “blind judging” process to ensure fairness, with judges evaluating entries based solely on taste, creativity, and fairgoer appeal. The finalists will be announced in mid-August, leading up to the final round at this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards ceremony.

Stay tuned for more updates as the State Fair of Texas gears up to showcase these culinary delights.