The Most Creative (and Ridiculous) State Fair Food: Fried Bubble Gum

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Deep Fried Bubblegum

They say everything’s bigger in Texas – even the fried-food offerings at their state fair.

Perhaps we were too hasty in compiling our list of the top 10 state fair foods. We seem to have skipped over Texas’ wild offerings.

As the Texas State Fair concluded Monday, a prestigious prize was up for grabs: the “most creative” food at the fair. Who was crowned the king of the funky foods? Why, fried bubble gum, of course.

(PHOTOS: Iowa State Fair’s Artery-Clogging Offerings)

Despite the name, Justin Martinez’s creation wasn’t of the bubble-blowing variety. To create his innovative fried bubble gum, he infuses puffy marshmallows with bright pink bubble gum extract, then batters and fries them. Topping the squishy ‘mallows with baby blue icing and a dusting of powered sugar, Martinez creates a whimsical treat that looks straight out of Dr. Seuss. But the dish brought him real-world acclaim.

And the competition was certainly stiff enough. From the hundreds of offerings, just eight made the final cut as the “most creative.” Fried bubble gum squared off against such innovations as El Bananarito (a deep-fried banana in a whipped cream-filled tortilla, topped with caramel or chocolate sauce) and Deep Fried Texas Salsa (tomato and jalapeno salsa battered with tortilla chips, deep-fried and served with queso).

And there are five others part of the competition that you’ll be drooling over. NewsFeed just ate lunch, but this now makes us crave a huge helping of dessert. After all, fried bubble gum makes Iowa’s fried butter on a stick look like the equivalent of a boring mixed green salad – with the dressing on the side.

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

LIST: Top 10 State Fair Foods

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