DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The State Fair of Texas is just around the corner, which means that new fried foods are waiting to hit your taste buds for the first time. The latest offerings compete each year to determine which tastes the best and which is most creative. Vendors submitted their new creations earlier this month and the dishes have been narrowed down to eight finalists.

  • Chicken Fried Cactus Bites: Sliced prickly cactus pads, chicken battered and fried, served with a jalapeno ranch and agave nectar dipping sauce.
  • Deep-Fried Divine Chocolate Tres Leches Cake: Slice of chocolate tres leches cake dunked in a buttermilk batter and fried, sprinkled with cinnamon, then topped with whipped cream, strawberries, peaches and syrup.
  • Deep Fried Jambalaya: Jambalaya created with shrimp, cajun sausage and seasonings, coated in flour and fried, and served with a spicy ranch sauce.
  • Deep Fried Mac-N-Cheese Slider: Three cheese mac-n-cheese baked, battered in bread crumbs and fried, then tossed on a slider bun with a beef patty.
  • Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll: Cinnamon roll dipped in pancake batter, rolled in fried bacon crumbs, then fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  • Fried Mexican Fire Crackers: Spicy chicken, cheese and a jalapeno mix all wrapped up in masa dough, then fried and served with a ‘TNT sauce.”
  • Fried Pork Wing: Slow-cooked pork gets lightly fried, rolled in a smoked chipotle glaze, and then served with homemade barbecue potato chips.
  • Picnic On A Stick: Spicy fried chicken, tater tots and dill pickle slices all combined on a stick, then dipped in batter, rolled in bread crumbs, fried and served with your choice of barbecue sauce, ranch or honey mustard sauce.

A panel of three judges will award the winners on Labor Day, at the Eighth Annual Big Tex Choice Awards ceremony. Last year’s winners include the now famous Fried Bubblegum and Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack.

CBS 11 News reporter Melissa Newton got a chance to try two of the competing dishes. Check out her reaction in the videos below.

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