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State Fair Deep-fried Foods

June 12, 2012 by staff 

State Fair Deep-fried Foods, The Samoa, the classic Girl Scout cookie, has a hot date with the deep fryer this fall. The deep-fried Samoa will be served at this year’s State Fair of Texas to help celebrate the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary. As any frying expert knows, dunking food into the deep fryer can pose problems: The tasty morsels fall apart in the boiling oil. But Christi Erpillo, whose family has served fair fare for decades, found a way to successfully sink the Samoa into a vat of fat. Erpillo, who grew up as a Girl Scout, should earn a scouting badge for that.

For Erpillo, the twist on the chocolate-coconut-caramel cookie honors two things near and dear to her: the Girl Scouts and fried fair food. “My favorite cookie in the whole world is a Samoa,” Erpillo said. “That just happened to be the one the Girl Scouts wanted fried. It was perfect.” At the State Fair, which starts Sept. 28, many foods – such as corny dogs, cookie dough and bacon – are prepared the classic State Fair way: fried, of course. Erpillo’s fried fair food résumé is impeccable.

Her Fernie’s Deep Fried Peaches & Cream won a Big Tex Choice Award in 2009 for being one of the best new State Fair foods. For fair vendors, it’s the equivalent of earning an Oscar. For more than 40 years, Erpillo’s family has operated The Dock, which is open during the State Fair. Her mother, Wanda Winter, introduced funnel cake to State Fair crowds in the early ’80s. In the world of Girl Scout cookies, frying a Thin Mint might seem the more obvious choice – it’s the No. 1 selling Girl Scout treat.

But the bakery that makes Girl Scout cookies said that the Thin Mint’s peppermint oil would separate in the fryer, said Colleen Walker, chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. But the Samoa, the No. 2 selling Girl Scout cookie, would work. “The cookie is a Girl Scout icon,” Walker said. “Why not have some fun with it and tie it into the State Fair? Fried items are part of the State Fair history. They get a lot of fun buzz.”

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