Big Little Tex gets a high-five from Benjamin Smith, 8, at the State Fair of Texas on Oct. 4, 2017 at Fair Park in Dallas. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)

Big Little Tex gets a high-five from Benjamin Smith, 8, at the State Fair of Texas on Oct. 4, 2017 at Fair Park in Dallas. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)

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Finally! The State Fair of Texas, the setting for headline-making oddities such as fried beer, fried butter and fried Coke, is now frying one of the only remaining liquids that matters: ranch.

God bless Texas.

The State Fair of Texas has unveiled its list of 31 semifinalists for its annual Big Tex Choice Awards, and fried ranch has to be one of the strangest. (But seriously: We are here for this. It's a garlic parmesan roll with ranch inside of it, all deep-fried.) 

Or how about this one: Texas Fried Hill Country. How do you fry an entire region of Texas?

4 essential State Fair of Texas foods

Here's how the State Fair describes it: "Fried mozzarella complimented with locally grown basil, sandwiched between two slices of juicy green tomatoes hand-breaded with seasoned breadcrumbs and flash-fried to gooey perfection. Served on a bed of field greens, finished with balsamic drizzle and sweet local Texas honey."

There's also deep-fried M&Ms, a cotton candy taco and funnel cake ice cream for those with a sweet tooth.

And for drinks, winners could include corn dog ale, a frozen hot chocolate and a Kool-Aid pickle sangria, among others.

Of the 31 foods, both sweet and savory, 10 will compete in the State Fair of Texas' final foodie round. Those 10 finalists become the celebrities of the State Fair of Texas: Their concession booths see serious foot traffic and they're the ones we at GuideLive taste on Day One of the State Fair of Texas every year.

As many as three dishes can win awards: Best Taste - Sweet; Best Taste - Savory; and Most Creative. But, the same dish can also win more than one. Plot twist!

The State Fair of Texas runs Sept. 28 through Oct. 21 in Fair Park.

Here's a look at the 2018 Big Tex Choice Awards Semi-finalists:

Savory:

How to get discounted tickets to the State Fair of Texas

Corn dog ale
Deep-fried bodacious bacon bombs
Deep-fried chicken tetrazzini parmesana
Deep-fried lobster pops
Deep-fried ranch
Deep-fried shepherd's pie
Deep-fried skillet potato melt in a boat
Fried cup of corn "elotes"
Fried Kool-Aid pickles
Hoppin' John cake with jackpot sauce
King crispy coconut crab sliders
Deep-fried pico de gallo (called Pico Frito)
Southern-fried chicken nachos
Texas Fried Hill Country (fried mozzarella and green tomatoes)
Texas Twang-kie (a cornbread cake filled with grilled chicken white bean chili and served with a side of cornbread fries)

Sweet:

Bacon brittle
Cherish Erbert Champagne
Cotton candy taco
Deep-fried M&Ms
Deep-fried raspberry brie-ret (say it out loud)
Frosty's frozen hot chocolate
Fruity dessert nachos
Kool-Aid pickle-dilly sangria
Orange Julia's beer-mosa
Orange You Glad We Fried It!?
State Fair Fun-L Cake ice cream
Supra stuffed mini sopaipillas
Sweet bakin' bacon
Sweet crispy rice (arroz con leche)
Texas Thai Delight
The Roll Tide (three strawberry cream cheese pies, deep-fried and sprinkled with cinnamon)

The finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges who taste each one without knowing which concessionaire is behind each dish — which is important, because the Big Tex Choice Awards involves a small who's who of State Fair food fanatics who tend to enter the contest every year. 

Want details on any of the items above? Tweet @sblaskovich with questions.

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