Old Corny Dog learns new trick

By Travis Baugh

Staff Photographer

Illustration by Sophia Espinosa

Next to Big Tex, few things at the State Fair of Texas are more iconic than a crispy, golden brown Fletcher’s Corny Dog slathered in mustard.

On a fateful fall day in 1942, Carl and Neil Fletcher introduced the first Corny Dog at the State Fair of Texas. The brothers were looking for a new portable fair food that would be a hit with fairgoers when they coated a hot dog with cornmeal batter – and so the Corny Dog was invented.

Not much has changed in those 73 years, and the secret recipe for Fletcher’s famous golden-brown batter has remained relatively unchanged. Fletcher’s is still a family-run business and was taken over in the late ’80s by Neil’s sons, Skip and Bill Fletcher. As of this year, there are now four variations of the iconic fair food: the original, the jalapeno and cheese dog, a turkey Corny Dog called the “Bird Dog,” and, new for 2015, a vegetarian Corny Dog.