The Texas State Fair runs from September 30 to October 23. Sure there are funnel cakes and corn dogs, but this mega fair has far more to offer. We were there when the gates opened at 10 a.m. on opening day and over the next 10 hours, we got into just about every nook and cranny, sampling any and every food we could find.
At the end of the day we tallied up 64 unique and different items: everything from the surprisingly healthy (the big Greek Salad) to the sweet (Berrie Kebabs) to the sour (sweet tea pickles) to the fried department (fried chicken skins, fried latte, fried biscuits and gravy). It's a matter of pride with these vendors, who will tell you how long they've been involved. Some, just a few years; others, like the Berts, for generations.
This slideshow shares the 25 best items we ate this year, a good number of which are deep-fried, ball-shaped, or both (kraut balls, fried meatballs, Kool-Aid balls).
Of course, taking on such a huge assignment means braving crowds, tasting things that aren't so palatable (fried bubblegum for example) and encountering interesting people such as the manager of the Authentic Greek Fare stand who demanded (and received) a kiss if his Greek Salad was any good.