(Soundbite of sizzling oil)
LIANE HANSEN, host:
I don't know about you but I've gained a pound just listening to that sound. Forget for a moment the caloric and cardiac consequences of cooking stuff in sizzling hot oil. Just think about the fact that there are some things that just taste better when you deep-fry them. I'm not just talking clams, Twinkies and candy bars. I'm talking about the state fair in Texas where they'll fry anything.
The fair doesn't open until later this month but for connoisseurs of deep-fried cuisine who can't wait, tomorrow is a big day. It's the 3rd Annual Big Tex Choice Awards contest when seven new foods for this year's fair will compete for top prize.
Ron Black is the senior vice president of food service and novelties at the State Fair of Texas, and he's in Dallas. Hey, Ron.
Mr. RON BLACK (Senior Vice President of Food Service and Novelties, State Fair of Texas): How are you?
HANSEN: I'm fine, thank you. Before we get to the contestants this year, what won last year?
Mr. BLACK: We have two winners. We have a best taste and we have the most creative. And last year, the best taste was Shirley London's Fried Praline Supreme, and most creative was Able Gonzales' Fried Coke.
HANSEN: How do you fry Coke?
Mr. BLACK: Actually, it's a matter of making sort of a dough ball with the syrup and then breading it and frying it and then topping it with a grizzle of just pure Coke syrup, not the carbonated kind but just the syrup that used to make the drink, and some whipped cream and a cherry and some other toppings. I think they dashed it with a little nutmeg or something on top of that.
HANSEN: You have a contestant right there with you, right?
Mr. BLACK: I do. I certainly do.
HANSEN: Could you introduce us?
Mr. BLACK: Sure, sure. Her name is Christie Arpello(ph).
HANSEN: Okay. Hey, Christie.
Ms. CHRISTIE ARPELLO (Contestant, Big Tex Choice Awards): Yeah. How are you doing?
HANSEN: I'm doing well. You're getting ready for the big day.
Ms. ARPELLO: Cannot wait. (Unintelligible) for it.
HANSEN: What's your entry?
Ms. ARPELLO: Our entry this year is Fried Chili Frito Burrito.
HANSEN: Oh, deconstruct it for us.
Ms. ARPELLO: We take an uncooked flour tortilla, dip in chicken broth for a little extra flavor, and then we put a big, heaping tablespoon of chili in the middle of that, top that with crunched up chili cheese Fritos, fold it up like a burrito and deep fry it. And then you can have your choice of toppings whatever you want. You can have it plain and it tastes perfect just the way it is, or you can have cheese sauce, cheddar cheese, sour cream, onion, hot sauce, whatever you want.
HANSEN: Wow. You've gone all out.
Ms. ARPELLO: We have. It's delicious.
HANSEN: Well, good luck.
Ms. ARPELLO: Well, thank you so much.
HANSEN: Could you put Ron back on?
Ms. ARPELLO: Sure. I'll put Ron back on. Just...
HANSEN: All right.
Mr. BLACK: Hi, Liane.
HANSEN: Hi, there, Ron. Wow. Sounds like a winner there but you've...
Mr. BLACK: We've got some great product.
HANSEN: Ron Black is the senior vice president of food service and novelties at the State Fair of Texas. We also spoke with concessionaire Christie Arpello. Her Fried Chili Frito Burrito competes for a Big Tex Choice Award tomorrow.
Hey, have some fun, Ron. Thanks a lot for your time.
Mr. BLACK: We will do it. Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure.
HANSEN: This is NPR News.
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