The smell of the fried foods fill the air as the bright lights of the Ferris wheel bring light to the night sky. Kids with face paint run around with their foot-long corn dogs. It’s the annual event that brings all Texans together, and one of Houston’s biggest events–the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Although there are concerts every night, and the carnival is open until midnight, the food is one of the main attractions of the rodeo. That said, majority of the food is fried, but it still fufills your hunger and sweet tooth. From fried pickles to chocolate-covered bacon, the Houston rodeo has foods one could never imagine tasting.
Cheesy “Gringo” Baked Potato:
At first bite, the cheesy mac and cheese mixed perfectly with the crunchy bacon and soft potato. I immediately fell in love. I knew mac and cheese in a baked potato would be good, but not this delicious. This is a must-have at the rodeo. The mix of two comfort foods made me go back in for more bites. The mac and cheese was slightly underwhelming because the lack of taste and cheesiness, but the texture of the chopped bacon and potato made for a delightful meal.
Chocolate Covered Bacon
I was very skeptical of the chocolate-covered bacon because I did not know how the mix of chocolate and bacon would taste like. The bacon was served in a Chinese to-go box, and came with about ten pieces. I took my first bite and only tasted chocolate, expecting more of a bacon flavor. I went in for a bigger bite, but again, only tasted the sweetness of the chocolate. There was only a hint of bacon and salt. I could only eat one as the thought of chocolate-covered bacon turned my stomach; however, the taste was not nearly as gruesome as I had imagined.
Fried Cookie Dough
I was particularly excited to try this treat. I had heard a lot of praise about the fried cookie dough at the rodeo, so I eagerly bit into the crusted cookie dough coated in powdered sugar. The warm chocolate oozed in my mouth. Although there was not much of a cookie dough taste to the treat, the overpowering flavor of chocolate was enough for me. The fried dough with the powdered sugar on the outside helped serve as a substitute for the absent cookie dough flavor inside the dessert.
I didn’t anticipate trying this goodie; however, I was intrigued when I saw the fried Snickers in the plastic display; the appearance looked very similar to the fried cookie dough, but the inside had melted caramel and chocolate. I bought the overpriced fried Snickers and took the first bite. The wafers and peanuts were still intact, so it tasted just like a Snickers covered in dough and powdered sugar. I do not think it was worth the $8 because it was simply a melted snickers, but the taste overall was pretty scrumptious.
One of my all-time favorite foods at the rodeo is the fried pickles. There are many different food vendors selling pickles in all forms, but fried pickles are the most popular, hence the everpresent winding line. When I ordered this savory snack, I put about three in my mouth at once. These are great for a quick snack between rides and shows. The surrounding crust was not overwhelming and paired nice with the saltiness of the pickles. They are a perfect mix of sour and salty with some crunch.
The classic fried Oreos are one of the iconic treats in the Houston rodeo. I ordered four and ate all of them quickly, burning my mouth in the process. The Oreos are about the size of a tennis ball, deep-fried, coated with powdered sugar and drizzled with chocolate syrup. When bitten into, one would expect a crunch from the oreos, but instead, the Oreo is softened by the fried batter. It is a heaven-like taste. These fried Oreos are by far my favorite sweet treat at the rodeo.