Presenting… The 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists… in Emojis

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 10.53.50 PM

It’s the 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists … In Emojis!

It’s that time of year again. Big Tex himself and the rest of the folks from the State Fair of Texas just announced all the finalists for the most creative, best tasting and … is there a prize yet for who can get the most people to eat the weirdest shit yet? No? Well, there should be. Anyway, everyone is talking about fried Jello and the random stringing together of seemingly unrelated words that people will deep fry and serve in exchange for coupons of unknown exchange rate. THIS IS WHAT WE DO.

What I’m saying is, these finalists are made up of a lot of words. So I thought I’d help everyone decipher all the gobbledygook with a little help from my colorful frenemies, the emojis. Enjoy!

(All descriptions via official State Fair of Texas 2016 Big Tex Choice Awards press release.)

Caribbean Pineapple Corn Corpse
Caribbean Pineapple Corn Corpse

Caribbean Pineapple Korn-a-Copia by Stephen Alade

“Bringing a taste of Caribbean flare to the Fair, this dish stands out among the rest with its profile of fresh flavors. Marinated grilled chicken and shrimp are served over a bed of yellow Caribbean fried rice and topped with a tropical salsa and pineapple rum glaze. Served in a pineapple half shell, this Korn-a-Copia will have you ready for a day at the beach… or a day the Fair!”


Deep Fries "Bacon" Burger Dog Sliding in on a Stick
Deep Fries “Bacon” Burger Dog Sliding in on a Stick    

Deep Fried Bacon Burger Dog Slider on a Stick by Brent & Juan Reaves

“Meat lovers are in for a treat with this tantalizing triple threat. A miniature, handmade seasoned ground beef patty is stuffed with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, and an all-beef hot dog on a Hawaiian roll. It is then placed on a skewer topped with a pickle, dipped in a tempura batter and deep fried to perfection. Every Bacon Burger Dog is served on a bed of shoe string fries with ranch dipping sauce.”


Deep Fries Lift Pig Convenience Store Dings
Deep Fries Lift Pig Convenience Store Dings

Deep Fried Pulled Pork “FUNYUN®” Dings by Chris Howard

“Putting a tasty spin on a pantry staple, the unique combination of flavors in this deep fried dish create the perfect balance of sweet and savory. A “FUNYUN,” the traditional crunchy snack, is stuffed with pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, pineapple slices and bacon. It is then dipped in a flavorful batter and deep fried. Each order is served with a multilayered sweet BBQ sauce.”


Fern Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pants Mac Cheese Dip
Fern Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pants Mac Cheese Dip


Fernie’s Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pocket with Mac ‘n Cheese Dip by Christi Erpillo

“Two classic American comfort foods, one mouth-watering meal! This ultimate taste extravaganza starts with a savory cream sauce chock-full of shredded roasted chicken breast, tender diced white potatoes, sweet carrots, peas, corn and a special blend of herbs and spices. This hearty filling is ladled into fresh, flaky pastry dough and then gently folded “hot pocket” style. Each bite of the deep fried, golden brown, buttery crust is bursting with a savory sauce of chicken and veggies. Pure down-home goodness! Served with a side of mac ‘n cheese-inspired dip, this unique sharp cheddar sauce creates a tantalizing flavor combination.”


Fries Red "O"
Fries Red “O”

Fried Jell-O® by Ruth Hauntz

“For the first time in Big Tex Choice Awards history, America’s favorite childhood dessert is given a State Fair of Texas twist! A classic cherry-flavored Jell-O in a panko-crusted breading, flash-fried to perfection, and then dusted with powdered sugar. Prepared with a tasty topping of whipped cream and a cherry garnish, this dish has the perfect amount of crunch to compliment the jiggle.”


Syringe Ball Ball Barbecue
Syringe Ball Ball Barbecue

Injectable Great Balls of BBQ by Glen Kusak

“Smoke-crusted BBQ beef brisket is hand shredded with bock BBQ sauce and molded to form balls. The ball of beef is then breaded with seasoned bread crumbs and deep fried to a crispy perfection. Served on top of a bed of coleslaw, each order comes with its own pipette of bock BBQ sauce to be injected into the brisket balls. Guaranteed to be a perfectly succulent bite every time.”


Down Fries Chicken Hot Food
Down Fries Chicken Hot Food

Southern Fried Chicken & Dumplins by Clint Probst

“Putting a modern twist on a traditional Deep South favorite, this southern fried dish is a two-in-one hit! Juicy shredded chicken is mixed with bits of signature seasonings, dough and a touch of gravy. This decadent mixture is then rolled into balls, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried golden brown! Served with fried “biscuit bites” and a side of gravy, this dish is truly comfort food heaven!”


Ferris Wheel Cookie Fries
Ferris Wheel Cookie Fries

State Fair Cookie Fries by Isaac Rousso

“A unique play on America’s favorite savory side dish. The cookie fry may look like it needs ketchup, but don’t be fooled by the classic crinkle-cut appearance. Offered in traditional cookie flavors like chocolate chip or sprinkles, these sweet treats are served with your choice of the accompanying strawberry or milk chocolate sauce. Just consider it an undercover cookie in fry-form disguise.”

NOTE: All proceeds from the Big Tex Choice Awards ceremony will be donated to the State Fair of Texas Youth Scholarship Program. Over its 24 year history, the Youth Scholarship Program has awarded scholarships to more than 1,800 students for a total of more than $8.7 million. Eligible recipients include graduating high school seniors from around the state of Texas who have competed in State Fair livestock events, as well as graduating seniors from five Fair Park area schools – Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, James Madison, Lincoln, North Dallas and Woodrow Wilson High Schools. Due to the event’s charitable cause, a portion of each ticket is tax-deductible.

The 2016 exposition runs September 30 through October 23 in Fair Park. Visit for more information.