Stadium food used to mean a classic hotdog—perhaps spritzed with mustard, ketchup, and relish—and a soda or beer. Now, stadium food means Churro Dogs and Krispy Kreme-bacon mashup items.

The Texas Rangers appear to have found the middle-ground between traditional ballpark items and these newer monstrous food hybrids: two new stands that will only serve fried and bacon-concocted dishes. ESPN has the details:

[pullquote]Shawn Mattox, the general manager of the Rangers’ food and beverage operations for concessionaire Delaware North, told ESPN.com on Wednesday that fans at Rangers games will find a new stand called State Fare, a tribute to famous items fried at the State Fair of Texas.

The star of the stand will be the Fried S’mOreo [pictured below], which is marshmallows breaded in graham cracker crust that is deep fried, mixed with two deep-fried Oreos on a skewer and drizzled with chocolate sauce and Cool Whip ($8). A chicken-fried corn on the cob fried in a buttermilk batter ($5) also will be an eye-catcher.[/pullquote]

smoreo

The other, potentially more popular stand, Just Bacon, will feature bacon novelty items like…

• Bacon Beer
• Bacon sunflower seeds
• Bacon saltwater taffy
• Bacon quesadillas
• Bacon cotton candy

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First We Feast spoke with Jon Ziskal, a concession manager for the Rangers’ food and beverage contractor, Delaware North, about the team’s adding both stands to its Globe Life Park in Arlington stadium. Ziskal noted that the fried-food stand has its origins in Texas’ state fair and its citizens’ love of fried food, while the bacon stand follows what he and his co-workers have seen as the food’s recent popularity explosion.

But are all of these food drops a sign that we’re in the midst of a stadium concessions arms race? Not really.

“We’re at a point where you can’t just sell hotdogs and beer anymore,” Ziskal says. “We don’t really see other stadiums as competition, but we just want to outdo ourselves. It’s one of those things where we—along with teams like the Diamondbacks—have created items that fans really want to come out to see, along with the team on the field.”

Much like other facets of the ballpark—in addition to the stadium’s tenants—Ziskal sees the Rangers’ food as an event in and of itself.

“We started with the big, gluttonous item, the Boomstick back in 2012,” he says. “Even though this food is above $20, it’s shareable and people want to jump in on it. People will take it as a contest: how quickly can I put it down by myself?

Besides the fact that fried-food and bacon-related products are already appealing within themselves, history suggests the stands will do well in their first year: the aforementioned Boomstick brought in nearly $500,000 in its inaugural season.

BOOM

The $26, 3-pound Boomstick. (Photo: Grub Grade)

[Via ESPN]