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Autumn Approaching

August 25, 2010

Autumn is quickly approaching.  How can I tell?  The State Fair of Texas is less than a month away.  In fact, the imposing icon that has been a fixture at the state fair since 1952 serves as the inspiration of my blogging handle:  Big Tex.  You see, I’m American by birth, Texan by the grace of God.  😉  That, and I’ve never been credibly accused of being small.

Growing up in the Dallas area, this was an annual event.  Kids in school were given a free pass to the fair, and a day off to attend as well.  The fair is like many others with food galore, midway, crafts, livestock, and more.  I haven’t been able to attend in over 15 years having moved on to college and then my career, all of which have taken me far from my childhood home.

Memories do remain, though.  I recall riding on the Texas Star and being able to see the Fort Worth skyline (nearly 45 miles away).  Another time, when I was 13, we ventured into the auto show, which was always a highlight due to the concept cars.  I sat inside a Mazda Miata, which was relatively new at the time.  At 13, I concluded this car was too small for me.  With the seat all the way back, my knees were too close to the steering wheel.  This is where I first laid my eyes on the Dodge Viper.  🙂

Another year, I recall a certain corn dog (we called them corny dogs) vendor that had a peculiar greeting:  “How you is?  May I hep ya?”  These were great corny dogs too… freshly made and fried right before your eyes.  Dipped in mustard, this is state fair culinary perfection.  I’d usually have two or three.

There’s rumor of an annual football game that happens on fair grounds too during the fair.  It’s reported that teams from t.u. and OU duke it out on the field, battling for supremacy of the Red River.  Personally, I’ve never really had any reason to seek out further confirmation of such occurances.  Crazy, I know.  But if I were to show some remote form of interest, I might root for both teams to lose.

Another highlight from the State Fair, one that actually gets quite a bit of news coverage, is the newest fried foods to debut.  In Texas, this is serious business.  But this being a beer blog, you might be wondering just why I’m rambling on about a state fair I haven’t attended in more than fifteen years.  Well, one of this year’s finalists for the Big Tex Choice Award is Fried Beer.  It’s descibed as a:

“Beer-filled pretzel pocket is deep-fried to a golden brown. One bite and the escaping beer serves as a dipping sauce.”

Nice!  I’ll have three.  I wonder… can you choose your favorite from selected beers, or will it be Lone Star (the National Beer of Texas)?


Beer blasts

For three years, Zable has been on a mission to concoct Fried Beer. He remembers staring at a bar menu in a restaurant. Calamari. Nachos. Fried cheese.


“Someone needs to figure out a way to fry beer,” he thought.

Zable started experimenting. But the beer-and-dough concoction kept exploding once it hit the fryer. He kept getting burned.

So he consulted with a food scientist – still, no luck.

Then, earlier this year, he finally found the recipe for success. Now Zable keeps the process shrouded in secrecy and has applied for a Fried Beer patent and trademark.

Food vendors at fairs across the country often copycat the Texas fair’s top foods. So Zable is doing whatever he can “so I can’t be knocked off.”

He has been a Big Tex Choice finalist twice before, but that doesn’t cut it. He yearns for the trophy, an Oscar-like award with a Big Tex head.

“I really, really want one of those trophies this year,” he said.

Levy did backflips in his restaurant when he heard that his Deep Fried Frozen Margarita had been named a finalist. When he won a Big Tex Choice Award for his Deep Fried Latte in 2007, his family received requests from media outlets worldwide.

“We got a little taste of that, and we definitely want to do it again,” he said. “If you’re the ‘it’ food at the fair, you are at the pinnacle.”

I still want three.  🙂

Update 2:  A video interview can be seen here.

Increase my order to a half a dozen.

Update 3:  A website is launched.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2010 9:09 am

    If only man the technology to combine fried beer with bacon and glazed donuts!!

    • Big Tex permalink
      August 30, 2010 8:39 pm

      You know, we Texans have already done chicken-fried bacon. That was last year. 🙂 This place, Snook, is near where I went to college. Simple steakhouse, with massive cuts. Great kolaches in town, too.

  2. Don permalink
    August 30, 2010 2:23 pm

    I recognized “Big Tex” from the King of the Hill episode where Hank was not allowed to participate in the grill off because he cooked with Propane!

    • Big Tex permalink
      August 30, 2010 8:41 pm

      🙂 Yeah, “Arland” is based off my hometown, Garland, TX. But Garland has much more than what you see in Arland… but what you do see, is rather accurate in many respects. 🙂

      And Mike Judge hails from Dallas, which explains a lot.

  3. September 1, 2010 11:53 am

    Homesick after reading this.

    • Big Tex permalink
      September 1, 2010 11:59 am

      Here’s one for ya, Jay.

      • September 1, 2010 12:13 pm

        Ironic. I’ve been listening to “The Rose Hotel” CD all day!

  4. September 1, 2010 11:58 am

    And I didn’t realize (or if I did, I forgot) that you were from Garland!

    That’s where my dad has lived for over 30 years. And I lived in Garland for a couple of years after law school, while practicing law in Dallas, before moving to Virginia. So, although the hometown where I grew up is Van (about an hour east of Dallas), Garland is sort of a 2nd hometown for me.

    • Big Tex permalink
      September 1, 2010 12:11 pm

      My folks still live near South Garland H.S. Went to Good Shepherd across from Garland H.S. when I was a wee lad. Went to Bishop Lynch (in East Dallas) for my high school education.

  5. September 8, 2010 1:06 pm

    You had me at deep fried beer.

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