One of the first things visitors to the New Mexico State Fair look for is the latest unique food to sample. State Fairs don't have the healthiest foods, for sure. But each year there are new foods to tempt the curious. They're often on a stick, and just as often, they are deep fried.
In New Mexico, fair foods often have a regional flavor. In 2012, the State Fair announced it would have a contest for the most original unique food among its vendors. For 2012, the first place winner was Tom Tom's Mini Donuts, for their mini donuts with green chile icing dipping sauce. In second place was Fried Beer from That's Amore. And in third place, Basil's Home Cooking won with their Donut Burger. In 2013, another eight unique dishes were introduced at the fair.
For 2014, the State Fair has again asked food vendors to come up with something new and different. The State Fair chose eight entries out of dozens. Here are the eight entries that made it to the finals:
- Deep Fried Green Chile Bacon Cheeseburger
- JQ's Concessions at the Food Court takes fresh roasted green chile and wraps it around a 1/4 pound burger stuffed with bacon and cheese. It's hand dipped in batter and deep fried, then served with fresh French fries.
- Bacon Pecan Pie Caramel Apple
- What the Fudge in the Lujan Building takes a Granny Smith apple dipped in caramel and rolls it in pecan brittle and crispy maple bacon. It's all served on a stick.
- Red Chile Chocolate Limeade
- Just Squeezed at the food court outside the Lujan building has limeade flavored with red chile and chocolate powder.
- Deep Fried Caramel Ice Cream Wrapped in Fry Bread
- Native Cafe in Indian Village takes vanilla ice cream dipped in caramel sauce and rolls it in a sweet corn flake batter, then deep fires it and puts it inside a fluffy, hot fry bread.
- Deep Fried Carne Adovada Calzone
- Rex's Burgers in the Food Court takes slow-cooked pulled pork tossed in red chile sauce and adds seasoned roasted diced potatoes and a blend of cheeses and bakes them in pizza dough, then fries until golden brown.
- Alligator Bites
- Funnel Frenzy by the Natural Resources building takes alligator pieces and hand dips them in a tempura batter with Cajun spices. It's served with a chipotle mayonnaise dipping sauce.
- Southwestern Schnitzel Sandwich
- German Specialty Foods at the Food Court will feature tender pork loin dipped in egg wash and bread crumbs, served on a hoagie bun with chipotle sauce, peppers, cheese and deep fried onions and peppers.
- Bacon Corndogs
- Mary Lou's at the Food Court will feature hot dogs dipped in corndog batter that has pieces of bacon in it. It'll all be deep fried until golden brown.
Green Chile Cheeseburger Contest
Another food contest that will take place on Monday, September 15 is the Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge. New Mexican restaurants will compete for the title of Best Green Chile Cheeseburger of New Mexico. Ten established restaurants will cook under pop up tents at the Fair. One of the rules is the green chile used with the burgers must be New Mexico grown.