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Melanie Linnear is senior vice president of concessions for the State Fair of Texas, in Dallas.Fairgoers would always come to the fair, and they’d know: “I’m going to get a turkey leg or a funnel cake, cotton candy, caramel apple”—standard items. The only fried foods the first few decades were the funnel cake and the corny dog. Eventually, vendors offered a few other fried items like the fried Twinkie and the fried Oreo, but there wasn’t a lot of interest in fried foods as a category.That changed after 2004, when Ron Black, who was senior vice president of food service, and Sue Gooding, who was vice president of public relations, were sitting with Tom Kalahar, a friend of the fair, trying to think of a…
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