Riley Heruska
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Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger - Photo taken from

Every year, thousands of people flock to the State Fair of Texas to try an assortment of foods that are dipped, slathered, buttered, and of course, fried. There are always new bizarre dishes to try, from Deep Fried S'mores to Fried Thanksgiving Dinner.

This year, there's a whole new selection of strange concoctions to try. Here's a list of the winners and finalists you'll want to hunt down when you make a trip to the fairgrounds. 

Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger

It's like someone just said, "How many crazy foods can we cram into one name?" As gross as it sounds, people have been loving this strange hybrid. It was voted "Best Taste - Savory" and "Most Creative" at the 2017 Big Tex Choice Awards, and people have been raving about it ever since the fair opened its doors this year. Are you brave enough to try this monstrosity? 

Gulf Coast Fish Bowl 

Winner in the "Best Taste - Sweet" category, this creation is an interesting mix of Swedish Fish, Nerds, and other ingredients comes served in a whimsical fishbowl. Although it might not be deep-fried or dripping with butter, this inventive dessert isn't one you'll want to pass up. 

Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup on a Stick 

Yep, you read that right: deep-fried soup. Will the crazy fried foods ever stop at the annual fair? Probably not. It seems like they get weirder every year. Anyway, this savory dish was a finalist in the "Best Taste - Savory" category. If you can, try to imagine a burst of chicken noodle soup flavor packed inside a fried ball. Pair it with some broth sauce and a side of crackers and that's basically what you'll get if you purchase this dish.

Deep Fried Froot Loops 

Although this one isn't quite as ridiculous as fried soup, it's still one for the books. The cereal isn't just fried by itself; the creators also add some whipped marshmallow fluff before dipping the whole thing in batter and frying it to a crisp, sugary perfection. Then, they top it with a dash of yummy glaze. It's the perfect Instagram food, and it was a finalist in the "Best Taste - Sweet" category, so why not give it a try? 

Pinot Noir Popcorn 

I was also confused when I first read this name. Turns out, it's a pretty simple food, at least in comparison to other State Fair options. A wonderful combination of sweet and salty, this kettle corn was a finalist in the "Best Taste - Sweet" category. The popcorn comes dusted in a powder that's made from Pinot Noir wine and is paired with cheese (because why not?).  

Texas Fajita Fries 

Essentially, someone decided to replace potatoes with strips of beef and fry them up. The strips come wrapped in a cone made of bread and are served on "Texas toothpicks." If you really want to spice things up, you can add some fried jalapenos or onions, as well as sour cream guacamole hot sauce. Yes, that is one sauce, not three different topping choices. People seem to be loving this dish, and it was a finalist in the "Best Taste - Savory" category.  

Fernie's Fried Texas Sheet Cake 

Most of us have had Texas sheet cake at some point, but probably not like this. This dessert starts out as a normal slice of the chocolately dessert, then is covered in ground Cocoa Puffs, panko, and cinnamon sugar before the whole thing is fried. But wait, we're not done: then the sweet is covered in Dr. Pepper icing and chopped pecans before being topped with a carved strawberry. Obviously, there's nothing old-fashioned about this twist on the classic Texas dessert, which was also a finalist in the "Best Taste - Sweet" category. 

Tamale Donut 

Yep, it's about as bizarre as it sounds. Despite the fact that it's a donut, this dish definitely isn't sweet. It's made with slow-cooked carnitas and masa, then formed into a ring to look like a donut and fried until completely crispy. As weird as I feel about trying a meat-based dish that's referred to as a donut, I can't help but be curious about this savory taste finalist.  

Fat Smooth 

Okay, we've had some weird titles before, but this one? Totally gross. However, the food looks as far from gross as can be. Close your eyes and picture sweet cream puffs dipped in beignet batter and deep-fried, then drizzled with a scrumptious chocolate-caramel sauce. Even I can probably overlook the disgusting name to taste such a magnificent creation. 

Surfin' Turfin' Tator Boat  

Ready to get fancy at the fair? This creation is a harmonious blend of lobster and steak served inside a cheesy baked potato covered in butter. Come hungry because this impressive finalist dish is one you won't want to miss. It even comes garnished with an empress-cut lobster claw! 

So, those are the big foods at the 2017 State Fair of Texas. Which ones are you most excited to bravely taste? 

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