Combining creativity and food has become an art form at the annual State Fair of Texas. Nearly two decades ago, it was decided to channel these delicious creations into a competition, leading to the Big Tex Choice Awards.

Each year the judges of these awards are faced with the challenging, yet highly coveted, job of selecting the winning Fair foods – this year was no exception, and the lineup proved to be remarkably competitive.

After tasting all 10 foods that made the finals, the all-star panel of judges tallied their scores and cast their final votes.

And The Winners Are

  • Best Taste – Savory” -  Fried Charcuterie BoardTami Nevins-Mayes & Josey Mayes]
  • “Best Taste – Sweet” - Peanut Butter ParadiseChris Easter & Nicole Sternes
  • "Most Creative" -  Cha-Cha ChataThe Garza Family

Best Taste – Savory

Contributed Photo/State Fair of Texas
Contributed Photo/State Fair of Texas

The Fried Charcuterie Board features chopped-up fresh mozzarella, salami, and crisp green apples tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Italian herbs. Then the ingredients are wrapped in a wonton wrapper and fried to a golden crisp, topped with creamy goat cheese and a drizzle of hot honey.

Best Taste – Sweet

Contributed Photo/State Fair of Texas
Contributed Photo/State Fair of Texas

The Peanut Butter Paradise starts with deep-frying a honey bun. Then, caramel is injected into the honey bun and then topped with creamy peanut butter. The treat is then layered with some fan-favorite peanut butter treats, Reese’s Pieces, Crushed Butterfinger crumbles, topped off with peanut butter cups, drizzled caramel, and a cloud of powdered sugar.

Most Creative

Contributed Photo/State Fair of Texas
Contributed Photo/State Fair of Texas

The Cha-Cha Chata starts with a triple-step of two kinds of milk and vanilla ice cream blended to perfection with the family’s top-secret (but famously delicious) horchata recipe. The creamy drink is then poured into a cup rimmed with caramel and cinnamon goodness and topped with a Texas-sized dollop of whipped topping. The Cha-Cha Chata is dusted with crushed candy, a sprinkle of cinnamon galletas de gragega, and deep-fried arroz con leche bites. Take hold of the churro straw and take a sip.

Close But No Cigar

Despite not taking home one of the three titles today, the other 2022 finalists include Chicharron Explosion Nachos, Deep Fried BLT, Deep Fried Lasagna Roll, Holy Biscuit, Deep Fried Rocky Road with Blue Bell Ice Cream, La Bluebonnet, and The Ultimate Brookie Monster.

A Job I'd Like to Have

This year’s panel of celebrity judges included Brad Batson – Co-Founder, Karbach Brewing Company; Hiawatha Williams – Founder, Williams Chicken; Lance Barrow – Emmy Award-Winning CBS Sports Producer; Maricsa Trejo – Pastry Chef and Founder, La Casita Bakeshop; Rob “Big Rob” Maiden – Captain, Mavs ManiAACs; Bruce Sifford – State Fair of Texas Board Chairman.

Taste them All at the Fair

Each of the 10 finalists will be available all 24 days of the 2022 State Fair of Texas, plus a full slate of other new foods being offered at the Fair this year. Fair fanatics can pick up a Visitor’s Guide, which includes a food map that lays out the vendor locations for each of the finalists or check out the food finder map on, making it easy to map out your route and hit all the hot spots along the way.

Visitor’s Guides will be available at State Fair hospitality centers, as well as online at The 2022 State Fair of Texas opens September 30 at Fair Park in Dallas.

YUM: Check Out These 12 Mouth-Watering Eats And Treats Coming To The Texas State Fair

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