ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The first thing everyone wants to know when they get to the Fair is what the new food items are. So, for the second year running, we’ve decided to sponsor a friendly contest among our vendors to see who could come up with the most unique culinary treat especially for the 2013 New Mexico State Fair. The requirements weren’t that the food item (or items) necessarily be new to the world, just new to our Fair. Out of dozens of entries, we chose what we thought were the eight most unique. You’ll find everything from deep fried Frito pie to pineapple chimichanga a la mode.

“Poll 100 people on the number one reason they came to Fair, and 90 of them will tell you they came for the food,” said New Mexico State Fair General Manager Dan Mourning. “We actively encourage our vendors to concoct new specialties every year, and we host this friendly contest in an effort to highlight their creations, but these aren’t the only new and unique foods on the menu this year—this represents only what we thought were the most unique out of dozens of entries. We hope everyone will come on out and enjoy everything the fair has to offer, including the once-a-year foods you can’t get anywhere else,” Mourning said.

Live judging on Opening Day, Wednesday, September 11 (at approximately 2:30 p.m. on the State Fair Pavilion Stage), will be handled by a group of local TV news personalities who will taste and rank each and every one of the goodies you’ll find listed below (we go to print prior to the judging, so you’ll have to ask around to find out who won). We encourage you to make an entire State Fair day of trying all of these quizzical culinary curiosities and judging for yourself. Here they are:

Pineapple Chimichanga a la Mode—Quesada’s (Food Court)

A flour tortilla filled with pineapple, deep fried to perfection with a crisp shell and warm filling. Topped with heavenly vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

Green Chile Corn Stuffed Baked Potato—The Cornfield (Food Court)

Home grown hatch green chile chopped to perfection coupled with amazing Moriarity white sweet corn sliced off the cob mixed with butter and lemon pepper spices; all atop a fluffy large russet baked potato.

Fried Black Cherry Koolaid Pickle Chips w/Ranch—Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (Indian Village)

Dill pickle chips marinated in black cherry koolaid, battered and deep fried til golden brown and crispy. Served with Ranch.

Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Chili Cheese Dog—Chili Cheese Dog (along south wall of Natural Resources Building)
An all meat foot long hot dog wrapped in a hickory smoked thick slab of Bacon buried in a homemade chili sauce, deep fried, and topped with moist creamy cheddar cheese sauce.

Deep Fried Green Chile Cheese Curds—Farrar’s Fresh Cut French Fries & Deep Fried Cheese Curds (west side of Main Street in Front of Agriculture Building)
Fresh hand dipped green chile cheese curds deep fried to a crispy outside and gooy cheesy inside with a nice spicy kick. Then drizzled with a green chile ranch dipping sauce.

Green Chile Lemonade—Just Squeezed (Food Court, in front of Commercial Exhibit Hall, corner of Main Street and entrance to Food Court)

Sweet, sour with a spicy pop. Lemon juice and pure cane sugar infused with Hatch Green Chiles and water.

Deep Fried Frito Pie—Rex’s Hamburgers (Food Court)
Hand portioned patty with fritos, chile con carne and cheese, dipped in batter, rolled in crackermeal with or without green chile, deep fried to a golden brown, garnished with a cheese sauce.

Deep Fried Cheese Sandwich—Rex’s Hamburgers (Food Court)
A quartered sandwich (bread, American cheese) battered, rolled in crackermeal with or without green chile, deep fried to a golden brown. Served on a paper plate with pickle and mustard.