WRAL.com at the State Fair

Taste test: Texas Fried Frito Pie

Posted October 15, 2010 5:34 p.m. EDT
Updated October 16, 2010 3:34 a.m. EDT

If you tell me something is a "pie," I expect it to look like, well, a pie. I don't expect it to look something like a cousin to a Chicken McNugget. Happily that was the only disappointing thing about the Texas Fried Frito Pie, a tasty little snack that would go well with something else called Texas -- Texas Pete!

Texas Fried Frito Pie is available only at Steph's Strawberries, a food booth just a few steps away from the Village of Yesteryear. (Look for the giant strawberry.) The TFFP is described this way: "Texas chili mixed with mild cheddar cheese, wrapped in a Frito corn chip which is then battered and fried." A serving costs $7 and gets you half-a-dozen TFFP pielet (I don't want to call them "nuggets") and some sour cream and salsa. (We used a tiny bit of each -- they aren't necessary.) This is just enough for a meal if you didn't bring your giant Fair appetite, but I'd suggest sharing with a friend as a snack.

Remembering other experiences I have had with fried concoctions, I feared molten chili. But though the TFFP was freshly-made, it was just warm on the inside, not hot. The taste of the chili is prevalent -- I didn't detect a lot of cheese. If you can't handle spicy things, don't worry -- this is extremely mild. In fact, I wanted Texas Pete and I'm kind of a wimp about spicy stuff.

The batter was intriguing. When you bite into a pielet, it tastes kind of like fried chicken coating. Then you chew for a second and it tastes like Frito. Chew again and it tastes like chicken coating. They both taste good so I'm not complaining.

My husband tried one, said "Meh," then asked for another. And another. He had half of them. I think he liked them better as he kept eating them. He said they reminded him of something but he couldn't decide what. Tamales? Chili? Burritos? Fritos? All negative. If he wakes up in the middle of the night and remembers, I'll be sure to update this blog post.

The Texas Fried Frito Pie is fried, but its ingredients of chili and Fritos makes it different from more standard Fair food. I'd put a little Texas Pete on it next time, but it's a good sharable snack and I'll probably have it again.