To prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by all the fried, barbecued, on-a-stick foods at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, there is a new challenge called the "I Ate All Eight."
The eight? Well, they come from the 1st place winners of the annual Gold Buckle Foodie Awards, held late last week.
Decided by a panel of local celebrity judges like Katharine Shilcutt, food critic for the Houston Press, Greg Morago, food editor for the Houston Chronicle and many other media personalities, the entries tended toward the extreme.
Shilcutt's wrap-up of the competition mentioned an entry nicknamed the"pterodactyl wing," which was "a slab of reconstructed beef, pieces plastered on top of each other and held together with barbecue sauce on a giant bone." Mmmm, our favorite, reconstructed beef.
Other entries included a cinnamon roll topped with bacon (it should have won!), fried cherry Kool-aid, which Shilcutt thought "was perhaps the worst [of all the entries], a ball of cake dough soaked in what tasted like straight cherry-flavored syrup and then fried to a greasy, powdered sugar-topped mess" and a feat that we thought was honestly not achievable, "a giant piece of pizza that was topped with too many meats."
However, out of all the fried, meaty madness emerged the winners, of whom you can try all eight and receive a nifty little button to add to your flair.
1st Place Winners in the 2012 Gold Buckle Foodie Awards:
Best Breakfast Food: Burton Sausage — Classic Breakfast Taco
Best Value Food: Ranch House Meat Company — Pork Rib Plate
Best Food-on-a-Stick: Burger Joint RCS Carnival — The Big Rib
Classic Fair Food: Saltgrass Steakhouse — BBQ Pulled Pork Stuffed Baked Potato
Most Creative Food: Custom Confections — Lemon Cream Frosty Bite
Best Fried Food: Far Fix Trinity LLC — Fried Red Velvet Cake
Best New Flavor: Aunt Edmoe’s Cookies — Fried Cookie Dough on a Stick
Best Dessert: Stubby’s Cinnamon Roll — Cinnamon Roll with "The Works"
Entry that Should Have Won Something Because it is Amazingly Awesome: Stubby’s Cinnamon Roll — Bacon Topped Cinnamon Roll*
Coincidentally, if you tune in to Fox 26 this Friday at 9 p.m., you'll be able to watch editor (that's me), Amber Ambrose go on a quest to complete the "I Ate All Eight" challenge at the Rodeo.
*Award category completely fabricated by Eater Houston for the purposes of extolling the greatness of this cinnamon roll. We don't care if bacon isn't "a thing" anymore.