Monday, October 31, 2011

Texas State Veggie Fair, Take Two!

Who: VN contributor Eddie Garza
What: 2nd Annual Texas State Veggie Fair
When: October 23, 2011
Where: Dallas, Texas
Why: To bask in vegan fried goodness deep in the heart of Texas

The Scoop: Jamey Scott of Dallas Vegan is obsessed with fried foods. He’s a native Texan. And like most Texans, Scott grew up anticipating each year’s state fair, where he would relish in deep fried comfort foods of Texas-sized proportions.

That is, until he went vegan.

At the State Fair of Texas, typical foods found are fried bacon, fried butter, fried bubblegum, I could go on. You’ll also find penned-up piglets waiting to be auctioned. Scott’s retort: parody the country’s largest state fair by hosting an all-vegan version just blocks away.

The Texas State Veggie Fair falls on the heels of its ugly step-cousin, the State Fair of Texas, but you won’t find any farmed animals here. Instead, they’ve corralled a host of animal-advocacy and rescue groups, renowned speakers in the animal rights movement and vegan chefs, mixed in with traditional state fair foods and entertainment. “The fair is an opportunity for people to enjoy a fun and festive experience without supporting animal agribusiness,” says Scott.

That fun includes a vegan fried foods competition, with a panel of judges comprised of some of Dallas’ top food journalists, and two winners taking home sizable cash prizes. Sabali Mpozi Earth of Vegan Comfort from Houston took this year’s “Best Tasting” award for fried spicy chicken-less strips, and Arlington home chef Meredith Whitley’s fried banana pudding snagged “Most Creative” nods.

 The fried-food challenge winner: spicy strips!

Fairgrounds were lined with over a dozen vegan food vendors serving a lip-smacking spread of fair faves including caramel apples, Frito pie, fried pizza, fried pickles, corny dogs, and coconut ice cream sundaes. Clowns, jugglers, and alt-country rockers kept crowds entertained as they waited in hour-long lines for vegan fried foods.

Bravo to the incredibly creative crew at Dallas Vegan for hosting another successful, inspiring and imaginative event!

Photos courtesy of Sylvia Elzafon

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