As final preparations were made for the opening of the Oklahoma State Fair, food vendors competed for cash and cachet in the Great Taste of a Fair contest.
Deep-fried, stick-skewered and bacon-wrapped fare is as important to the fair experience as any game of chance, carnival ride or building full of merchandise. And this year, fairgoers will be able to map the food with greater efficiency.
The mobile version of the fair website includes a “food finder,” which breaks down the choices in categories including Bacon, On-A-Stick, Deep-Fried, Great Taste of a Fair and All Food. Touch the categories to view choices, touch the choices and the location is mapped on your smartphone.
So, now, you can literally map out your entire fair-eating itinerary.
That Great Taste of a Fair tab includes all the participants in this year's contest, including the winners.
The contest, judged by yours truly and nearly a dozen others, was broken into three categories: classics, most unique and best tasting. Each category had four winners, first and second place for best savory and sweet items.
In the classic category, the iconic cinnamon rolls from Silver Dollar Bakery edged out the strawberry delight from Sweiss Bakery.
Sophie's Sidewalk Cafe took home the gold in most unique dessert with the peanut butter fudge puppy. Bringing home silver was the bacon-wrapped caramel apple from Rodney and & Lisa's.
The best tasting sweet was Aunt Edmoe's cookie dough parfait followed by CocoFlow's giant cream puff.
The top savory Classic was the cheese curds from D&D Concessions followed by Doolittle's true foot-long jumbo corn dog. The most unique savory item was the not-terribly-unique but tasty frosted flakes chicken on a stick from B&H Amusements followed by the Bacon Bloody Mary at The Roadhouse.
The winner for Best Tasting Savory was the Rajun Cajun's bacon-wrapped chicken on a stick with its signature homemade hot sauce and topped with a dinner roll. The folks from Pensacola, Fla., have dominated this category so thoroughly, it might be time to name the contest after them. This year, they added the twist of wrapping their championship chicken in bacon. Can avocado and cream cheese be far behind?
Taking second was the brisket melt sandwich from Porky's.
First place winners took home $300, with $200 going to second place. Each prizewinner will have a certificate on their booth.
Not all food vendors participated, so there are still plenty of other deep-fried, stick-skewered, chocolate-covered delights to sample.
Gates open this morning at 8 a.m. Buildings open at 10 a.m. and rides start at 1 p.m. The rides start at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays during the fair.