The creator of Fletcher's Corny Dogs company would "turn over in his grave" if he knew the family was now selling veggie dogs, says current owner Skip Fletcher.
"My Daddy said, 'If it's not broke, don't change it,'" Fletcher says.
So don't tell Daddy, but Fletcher's Corny Dogs is selling a meatless version at the State Fair of Texas for the first year. And they're delicious.
The 'dog is made with soy-based protein, then breaded in Fletcher's secret family recipe cornmeal batter and fried in hot oil. Everything about the corny dog is the same as a Fletcher's original except for the hot dog in the middle.
The carnivores in our tasting group were skeptical. Could a fake meat hot dog really be as good as its 70-year-old counterpart? Yes, almost.
The veggie hot dog doesn't have the same snap to it that a traditional hot dog does. But other than a textural difference, the corny dog really did taste like the real thing.
It's the cornmeal batter that makes the veggie corny dog so delicious.
Seven of us, including two vegetarians, sampled the new veggie corny dog. The group average, on a scale of 1 to 5, was a 4.7. That's a higher number than our most-beloved new fried food, the cowboy corn crunch. Amazing.
Even 81-year-old Fletcher likes it: "There's a lot of people out there who don't eat meat," he says. He called the new corny dog "marvelous."
The famous Fletcher's company also sells jalapeño and cheese corny dogs and turkey corny dogs. Fletcher's was the first company to bring corny dogs to the State Fair of Texas, in 1942.
Veggie dogs sell for 10 coupons each, or $5, the same price as an original corny dog and the turkey corny dog. Though Fletcher's has six stands, the veggie corny dog is only available near the log ride and the Midway, at MLK-10F.
Fletcher's new veggie corny dog is proof that some old traditions do change. This one's delicious.
The veggie corny dog taste-testing group included Sarah Blaskovich, Brentney Hamilton, Britton Peele, Ann Pinson, Mandi Thomas, Tiney Ricciardi and Amanda Wilkins.