Gut Bombs Win Big at Texas State Fair
Every week at the Austin Post we have a meeting of the minds, where the staff writers get together to drink coffee, share ideas and egg each other on. For several weeks in a row now, our outdoor/sports writer, Eric Pickhartz has been insisting I break away from my features on farm fresh and healthy foods and get down and dirty with a series on full-fat gut bombs. Eric, darling, this one's for you...
Quickly, though, lets decide what constitutes a perfect gut bomb. Naturally, it will be fried, contain at least one meat product, and should be impossible to stop eating once you start.
Austin has its fair share of scrumptious diet destroyers but just for fun we can embark on a little road trip to hunt for the best of the worst foods in Texas. At the Texas State Fair in Dallas, going on through Oct. 23, it's a fried food bonanza where contestants in the annual Big Tex Choice Awards fight to come up with the most original and tasty recipes to ever rise from a fry daddy. This year's winners are making the three hour journey intriguing, if not sinfully delicious.
This year's prize for the Most Creative went to Fried Bubblegum, where bubblegum flavoring is added to marshmallows that are then dipped in batter and lightly fried. As a kid I was told that if you swallow gum that it takes seven years for it to leave your system and I'm pretty sure this would be no different. I guess the upside is that you don't keep it in your mouth long enough for it to lose its flavor.
If you are looking for flavor, the prize for Best Taste went to Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack, where a buffalo chicken strip is dipped in flapjack batter, rolled in jalapeno bread crumbs and deep fried until golden brown and crispy. This little number comes skewered on a stick and is served with maple syrup for dipping. How could anything get more gut bomb-y than this? Starting with meat on stick is the smart choice, but then to combine both sweet and spicy-savory flavors and dipping them in boiling oil is truly genius.
To look at photos of all the Big Tex contestants, click here. Personally, I could go for some of the Hans' Kraut Balls – fried balls of pork sausage and sauerkraut and some raspberry chipotle dipping sauce. The Fried Autumn Pie, a pastry filled with pumpkin cream cheese, fried and rolled in ginger, cinnamon and sugar sound particularly amazing. These options, although not prize winners, are more accessible and slightly less dubious.
Of course if you can't get out of town and you still want to get your gut bomb on, you can always have the kimchi fries from Chi'lantro, fried chicken and waffles from Lucky J's or pretty much anything off the menu at Bacon, but please don't do this all at once. I can't be held responsible for any real abdominal explosions.
Photo courtesy of Maya83.