The 2017 Big Tex Awards Semi-Finalists Will Blow Your Mind and Taste Buds

It’s that time of year again where the masters of the culinary world are brought together to compete against one another for the ultimate crown: a Big Tex Award. That’s right, y’all. The semi-finalists have been chosen for the annual Big Tex Choice Awards which takes place deep in the heart of Dallas, Texas.

Since 2005, the Big Tex Choice Awards have been taking the country, or we mean state, of Texas by storm. From miscellaneous fan favorites being battered and deep fried to sweet treats with a twist, there’s surely something in store for every palette, regardless of taste.

This year, the stakes have been raised as a third category of metaphorical cake to be won has been added to the winning lineup. Not only can your favorite fried wedding cake ball or deep fried root beer float take the prize for “Best Taste” or “Most Creative”, but they can also be voted as the best tasting sweet treat, or best tasting savory snack. Though these contenders would be head over heels to even be in the final lineup for the awards, it’s even sweeter to bring home the ultimate prize: a Big Tex Choice Award.

And the winner for #BestFriedFood #MostCreative is Smoky Bacon Margarita!!! #bigtexawards #howdyfolks @statefairoftx

A post shared by Urban Epicurious (@urbanepicurious) on

The finalists won’t be announced until August 27th, but that doesn’t mean we can’t collectively drool over the conceptual ideas of the semi-finalists. Just one gander at the lineup thus far will cause immediate salivation in the mouths of any onlookers, and even more so to those with a culinarily creative imagination. For others, simply looking over this list is enough; for others, there’s no way to go, but to join in on the fun.

Luckily for those, there are tickets available to sample all of these tasty treats, and it’s not just the tasting that you’ll get with the price of a ticket. Also included are commemorative hats, mugs and other festive keepsakes to bring back to wherever it is that you call home. The event will take place on Sunday, August 29th in Dallas.

For those that can’t make it, let the community drool session begin. Here are the 30 semi-finalists for the 2017 Big Tex Choice Awards. Enjoy, and try not to get too hungry in the process! Unfortunately the photos of the creations are under wraps until the judging session, so we’ve added in a few Big Tex Awards images of years passed.

1. Beer Battered Beef Jerky

If it’s battered in beer, we’re starting off on a good note. Though we’ve never experienced battered beef jerky in this lifetime, we can’t wait to be a part of this wonderfully beer-filled world.

2. Fried Redneck Wedding Cake Balls

What did we tell you about fried foods? That they were all over this years Big Tex Choice Awards, and that trend is already evident with number 2 on the list. What makes these redneck wedding cake balls as opposed to the norm? That’s something you may have to pay to find out.

3. Cajun Fried Deviled Eggs

Again with the fried food is the fried deviled eggs with a cajun flare. There’s no telling just how good these bad boys are, but if our love for all things cajun is any indication, they’re probably as life changing as they sound.

4. Fried Sloppy Joe Flautas with ‘Not Cho’ Fries

What is a ‘Not Cho’ fry, you may ask? That’s something we can’t tell you, but the creators themselves would love nothing less than to show you first hand. Plus you get the real deal in the mix: flautas. There’s nothing more yummy than that combination! Well . . . until the next stand, that is . . .

5. Crawfish Lollipop

If you like lollipops, you’ll like this cajun take on the sweet treats. Normally known to be a chicken lolli, we’ll take the crawfish take on this classic any and every day of the week.

6. Fried Texas Dirt

Well y’all, what else is there to really say, here? It’s fried and has ‘Texas’ in it’s title. Translation: magic.

7. Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Mozzarella with Jalapeño Ranch

If being in Texas (AKA the birthplace of Chuy’s) has taught us anything, it’s that it’s a sin to talk down about or avoid creamy jalapeño, or jalapeño ranch. The fact that this bite includes it’s own take on this Texas classic can only mean good things.

8. Fried Texas Sheet Cake

Texas sheet cake is for lovers; lovers of sweets, lovers of all things Texas, lovers of food. Then you fry it? WHAT. Just . . . yes.

9. Deep Fried Breakfast Cupcake

Again we find ourselves in the world of deep fried goodness. This time it’s with a breakfast cupcake, whatever that means. If we had to guess, it’s a muffin-esque bite that has berries of some sort and topped with icing. Then again, it’s all deep fried, so who knows what the actual composition of this stuff looks like.

10. Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger

Nothing screams “fair!” like good ole’ funnel cake, and then you add bacon to it? Dreams do come true, y’all. Dreams. Do. Come. True.

And the winner for #BestFriedFood #Taste is Frannie's Holy Moly Carrot Cake Rolly! #bigtexawards #howdyfolks @statefairoftx

A post shared by Urban Epicurious (@urbanepicurious) on

11. Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup on a Stick

We really don’t even know what to think about this one. Sure, everyone’s heard of chicken on a stick. But soup on a stick? Riddle us intrigued.

12. Gulf Coast Fish Bowl

If there’s one thing Texas knows a little somethin’ about, it’s the gulf coast. Though fish isn’t for everyone, we have a feeling this stuff will make you forget it even has fish in the name.

13. Deep Fried Fruit Loops

Carrying on this year’s deep-fried theme is that of the deep fried fruit loop. Places such as voodoo donuts have been taking the country by storm through means of cereal-inspired donuts, and now cereal is taking over the fair world as well.

14. Oreo Beer

Like butter beer, but not at all. Thing is, it’s hard to relate something to Oreo beer simply because we’re pretty sure it’s never been attempted before. But hey, if there’s a will, there’s definitely (and obviously) a way!

15. Deep Fried Reuben

We really weren’t lying about this whole deep-frying thing this year, y’all. Though we have to admit we’re not mad about it at all, just intrigued. As intriguing as a deep fried cupcake may be, a deep fried sandwich leaves us even more perplexed.

Best Tasting at the Big Tex Awards: Fried Jell-O

A post shared by Andrew Buckley (@andrewbuckleyphoto) on

16. Pinot Noir Popcorn

This is something made for all the wineo’s of the world, and those in the Dallas area are going to have a feast with this stuff. Who needs butter when you can have your popcorn infused with wine? Although we’re not totally sure of their process, we’ll let our minds run with this one.

17. Deep Fried Root Beer Float with Dragon’s Breath

How do you deep fry a dessert beverage? Well, I guess you better hope these contestants make it to the finals so you can see just how it’s done.

18. Ramen Grasshopper Cookie

We like ramen, we know what grasshoppers are, and we’re big fans of cookies. That can only mean great things for this treat, right?

19. Dreamy Drunken Sopapilla

If this means a sopapilla is drowning in booze, count us in.

20. Southern Fried Chicken Monte Cristo

We like chicken fried chicken and all other things that are southern fried and served to us on any type of platter. Chances are this Monte Cristo is going to change our perception of fried chicken, and that’s something we’re more than OK with.

Big Tex Awards and Tasting #statefairoftx #bigtexawards

A post shared by Amy G (@therealguidry) on

21. Fat Smooth

Here’s yet another one of those things we can only pray makes it to the finals for the simple sake of understanding just what it is. We’re rooting for you!

22. Surfin-Turfin-Tator Boat

A boat made of tator-tots is a boat we want to be on. If it’s surfin’ and turfin’ it’s way into our bellies by means of land and sea, we want it all. Now.

23. Fried Arroz con Pollo

Fried corn with chicken . . . Fried. Corn. FRIED CORN. There’s nothing else to say about this wonderment except, “yas”. All of the yas.

24. Texas Fajita Fries

We like Texas. We like fajitas. We like fries. So you’re telling us this combines all three into one dish? What kind of sorcery is this — besides the most delicious kind?

25. Fried Cheesecake Stuffed Apple Sundae

If you’re from the South, you’ve probably had fried cheesecake before. But fried cheesecake in addition to an apple stuffed sundae? That’s a new one, even for us. Hey, if you make it, we’ll take it.

Most Creative at the Big Tex Awards: State Fair Cookie Fries

A post shared by Andrew Buckley (@andrewbuckleyphoto) on

26. Texas Fried Cowboy Fritters

Once again, if you add the word ‘Texas’ to anything in the state of Texas, you’ve already got millions of fans. Hats off to you, sir and/or ma’am: you done did good.

27. Fried El Paso

It’s fried and it’s named after a city in this fine state which can only mean one thing: yum!

28. The Tamale Donut

Who would’ve thought that combining a tamale and a donut was a possible thing? These people have something splendid up their sleeves, and we’re hoping they make it to the finals so we can check out just what this donut is all about.

29. Fried Mango Loco

Mango? Check. Deep fried? Check. Is it crazy? Possibly.

30. Tipsy Topsy Catfish on a Stick

These guys are giving chicken on a stick a run for it’s money and reinventing the wheel to include the Southern fan-favorite — catfish. Surely we’ve all heard what ain’t broke don’t need fixin’, but for whatever reason (catfish. The reason’s catfish), we’re OK with it on this occasion.

Watch: 10 Outrageous Snacks at the State Fair of Texas