Carnie Cuisine

Rodeo-Goers Eat a Ton of Food Each Year...Literally

Concerts, carnival rides, and calf roping aside, the main attraction at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is the food.

By Katharine Shilcutt March 4, 2015

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Y'all ate a lot of funnel cakes last year... | Photo via Flickr user Kool Cats

Last week, our story on the six deep-fried foods you can't miss at the Rodeo became one of our most shared Facebook posts in recent memory, confirming our suspicion than most Rodeo-goers are in it for the food. The annual Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is a citywide excuse to indulge in things considered somewhat tacky the rest of the year, from giant Stetsons (8,000 hats were purchased at the Rodeo last year) and bejeweled boots (7,000 of those were sold) to battered and fried boudin balls.

And indulge we do... According to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, this is what attendees polished off last year alone:

  • 70,000 pounds of potatoes
  • 16,000 pounds of deep-fried pickles
  • 55,000 pounds of barbecue
  • 42,580 barbecue sandwiches
  • 250,000 funnel cakes topped with 1.5 million strawberries
  • 120,000 turkey legs
  • 100 pounds of fried, chocolate-dipped bacon
  • 10,000 cinnamon rolls
  • one-and-a-half semi-trailer loads of deep-fried Twinkies

Mercifully, the tractor trailer's worth of deep-fried Twinkies consumed was more than matched by the number of stuffed animals won by the 1.5 million Rodeo attendees who played midway games last year: enough stuffed animals to fill 62 semi-trailers, in fact. There's some solace there in the idea that at least we're working off our funnel cakes and fried pickles with a little Mini Basketball at the carnival.


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