Category Archives: Food

The Problem With Judging Others’ Food Choices

There’s so much more to eating food than just “does it taste good?”

Every bite of food you eat reflects all sorts of cultural and class struggles, and social and health issues.

It’s also an area where judgmental sorts would be better off sitting down and keeping quiet.

Sarah explained why in a recent piece for The Establishment.

To read it go here.

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Things I Ate At The C.N.E. In 2016

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2016

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2016

This year was a modest one for food adventuring at the Canadian National Exhibition.

Between work obligations and a different kind of adventure, I was only able to make it down to The Ex for one big session on September 4.

My spider-senses told me this wasn’t going to be a banner year for stunt food and, well, it wasn’t.

That said, I still knocked down some weird and crazy stuff. Here’s what I ate…

Fran's Bacon Croissundae. This was a vanilla ice cream sundae with chocolate and strawberry sauce, stuck in the middle of a croissant, with a stick of bacon stuck in the middle of all of that. It was also my breakfast. The bacon was kinda unnecessary and this felt like a rare misstep for Fran's. 6.2/10

Fran’s Bacon Croissundae. This was a vanilla ice cream sundae with chocolate and strawberry sauce, stuck in the middle of a croissant, with a stick of bacon stuck in the middle of all of that. It was also my breakfast. The bacon was kinda unnecessary and this felt like a rare misstep for Fran’s. 6.1/10

 

Brewster's Salt Water Taffy, Banana. Sarah had brought these home from a previous Ex trip. Although they're pretty standard taffy strips, they're from a genuine through-the-generations family recipe from an independent food purveyor, so points for that. 6/10

Brewster’s Salt Water Taffy, Banana. Sarah had brought these home from a previous Ex trip. Although they’re pretty standard taffy strips, they’re from a genuine through-the-generations family recipe from an independent food purveyor, so points for that. 6/10

 

Raclette-Suisse. "Broiled Suisse raclette cheese scraped over a bed of crispy-fried potatoes and pickles." For the simple pleasure of hot, melty cheese slathered on hash browns this was pretty great. 7.2/10

Raclette-Suisse. “Broiled Suisse raclette cheese scraped over a bed of crispy-fried potatoes and pickles.” For the simple pleasure of hot, melty cheese slathered on hash browns this was pretty great. 7.2/10

 

Canada Dry Cherry Vanilla Ginger Ale. If you've read any of my past C.N.E. food reports you'll know all about my sadly failed attempts to escape the oppressive ubiquity of Coca-Cola products. It can't be done, so instead I've chosen to embrace the adventure. Sometimes, like when you combine cherry and vanilla with your ginger ale, that adventure isn't necessary. 5/10

Canada Dry Cherry Vanilla Ginger Ale. If you’ve read any of my past C.N.E. food reports you’ll know all about my sadly failed attempts to escape the oppressive ubiquity of Coca-Cola products. It can’t be done, so instead I’ve chosen to embrace the adventure. Sometimes, like when you combine cherry and vanilla with your ginger ale, that adventure isn’t necessary. 5/10

 

Epic Burger's The Churro Burger. It's cheeseburger inbetween two churro "buns." The burger itself was benign, but the combination of churro + burger wasn't exactly harmonious. There was little structural integrity (it began to fall calamitously apart after two bites) and didn't really make any sense. I ended up deconstructing the whole thing and eating the individual pieces separately. Churro "bun": 7/10 Churro "bun" with cheese stuck on it: 6.7/10 Hamburger patty: 6/10 The Churro Burger: 5/10 P.S. When I got my burger I was in line with a police officer who was buying the Krispy Kreme Hamburger (see my 2011 review). Cops really *do* like donuts!

Epic Burger’s The Churro Burger. It’s cheeseburger inbetween two churro “buns.” The burger itself was benign, but the combination of churro + burger wasn’t exactly harmonious. There was little structural integrity (it began to fall calamitously apart after two bites) and didn’t really make any sense. I ended up deconstructing the whole thing and eating the individual pieces separately.
Churro “bun”: 7/10
Churro “bun” with cheese stuck on it: 6.7/10
Hamburger patty: 6/10
The Churro Burger: 5/10
P.S. When I got my burger I was in line with a police officer who was buying the Krispy Kreme Hamburger (see my 2011 review). Cops really *do* like donuts!

 

Salted Caramel Fudge. Hitting up the fudge booth is one of my C.N.E. vices. The salted caramel may be the tastiest, texturally most awesome one I've tried yet. 8.3/10

Salted Caramel Fudge. Hitting up the fudge booth is one of my C.N.E. vices. The salted caramel may be the tastiest and texturally most awesome one I’ve tried yet. 8.3/10

 

R.I.P. Gene Wilder. I'm more of a Blazing Saddles person myself.

R.I.P. Gene Wilder. I’m more of a Blazing Saddles person myself.

 

Championship Carrot. These are what championship carrots look like. The part I enjoy most about this is knowing that someone pulled those out of the ground and said to themselves, "These are fucking perfect. I'm totally going to enter them into the C.N.E. vegetable competition and win a goddamn ribbon."

Championship Carrot. These are what championship carrots look like. The part I enjoy most about this is knowing that someone pulled those out of the ground and said to themselves, “These are fucking perfect. I’m totally going to enter them into the C.N.E. vegetable competition and win a goddamn ribbon.”

 

Butter Woes. Churning up the butter with my woes.

Butter Woes. Churning up the butter with my woes.

 

"Big Barrel Root Beer." This was a bit of duplicitous fuckery. When I saw a couple of these "Big Barrel Root Beer" vendors around the grounds I was stoked. What was this strange new root beer? I had to have me some of this delicious new (not Coke brand) elixir. Then I bought some. It was just Barq's Root Beer from a fountain tap hidden behind the barrel. Bullshit. 1/10

Big Barrel Root Beer.” This was a bit of duplicitous fuckery. When I saw a couple of these “Big Barrel Root Beer” vendors around the grounds I was stoked. What was this strange new root beer? I had to have me some of this delicious new (not Coke brand) elixir. Then I bought some. It was just Barq’s Root Beer from a fountain tap hidden behind the barrel. Bullshit. 1/10

 

Eat My Bowl Roast Beef In A Bowl. It was just slightly gristly roast beef and gravy in a bread bowl. With some mild horseradish sauce. Meh. 6/10

Eat My Bowl Roast Beef In A Bowl. It was just slightly gristly roast beef and gravy in a bread bowl. With some mild horseradish sauce. Meh. 6/10

 

Deep Fried Butter Tart. Deep frying things tends to make them more often in most cases. But when you deep fry a butter tart it mostly just erases the butter tart's identity and leaves some gooey sugar pie slurry in the middle of some fried dough. It doesn't suck, but it isn't magical either. 6/4/10

Deep Fried Butter Tart. Deep frying things tends to make them more awesome in most cases. But when you deep fry a butter tart it mostly just erases the butter tart’s identity and leaves some gooey sugar pie slurry in the middle of some fried dough. It doesn’t suck, but it isn’t magical either. 6.4/10

 

Fran's Blueberry Pie Milkshake. One of this year's premier stunt foods, the Fran's Blueberry Pie Milkshake featured a slice of real blueberry pie blended with real ice cream along with whip cream, rainbow sprinkles, Smarties, cotton candy, a chocolate wafer and an actual piece of blueberry pie on top of it. At no point did this thing suck — the pie was good, the wafer was fun and the actual shake was really good. It felt more like a mining expedition than a taste journey, though. First you had to deal with the cotton candy, then you had to navigate the cream 'n' sprinkle outer rim (getting sprinkles ALL over yourself). After that you had to break through the blueberry pie layer, until finally you were able to unlock the murky blue shake core. It was tasty, but it was also a chore. 7.1/10

Fran’s Blueberry Pie Milkshake. One of this year’s premier stunt foods, the Fran’s Blueberry Pie Milkshake featured a slice of real blueberry pie blended with real ice cream along with whip cream, rainbow sprinkles, Smarties, cotton candy, a chocolate wafer and an actual piece of blueberry pie on top of it. At no point did this thing suck — the pie was good, the wafer was fun and the actual shake was really good. It felt more like a mining expedition than a taste journey, though. First you had to deal with the cotton candy, then you had to navigate the cream ‘n’ sprinkle outer rim (getting sprinkles ALL over yourself). After that you had to break through the blueberry pie layer, until finally you were able to unlock the murky blue shake core. It was tasty, but it was also a chore. 7.1/10

 

Cookie Dough Me Deep Fried Peanut Butter Cup. Cookie Dough Me's set-up is impressively locked down. They've already got piles of deep fried things — Oreos, cookie dough bits, peanut butter cups — on the ready in hot trays, looking to all the world like a series of trays of Chinese chicken balls. Except, instead of micro-squares of chicken surrounded by tasty batter, these have chocolate goodness. The peanut butter cup was surprisingly delicate, all things considered. Though it's butter cuppiness did get diminished somewhat by the deep frying. 7/10

Cookie Dough Me Deep Fried Peanut Butter Cup. Cookie Dough Me’s set-up is impressively locked down. They’ve already got piles of deep fried things — Oreos, cookie dough bits, peanut butter cups — on the ready in hot trays, looking to all the world like a series of trays of Chinese chicken balls. Except, instead of micro-squares of chicken surrounded by tasty batter, these have chocolate goodness. The peanut butter cup was surprisingly delicate, all things considered. Its butter cuppiness did, however, get diminished somewhat by the deep frying. 7/10

 

Bug Bistro Bug Dog. An all-beef frank blended with cricket protein and covered in Red Hot, lime slaw and mustard-roasted crickets. Before I started I picked off the roasted crickets that were the most "leggy." I'd heard that the legs got caught in your teeth and that was the level of gross I wasn't prepared to deal with. The hot dog itself was a bit greasy, but I couldn't tell whether that was the result of reckless prep or the dog being greasy. And with the sly trick of putting crunchy coleslaw on the dog along with the roasted crickets it completely disguises any textural creep outs you might get from eating bugs. Basically, the hot dog tasted like a hot dog. And if you gave it to someone at a barbecue without it being covered in roasted crickets they'd probably have no idea they were eating a part-beef, part-bug protein wiener. 7/10

Bug Bistro Bug Dog. An all-beef frank blended with cricket protein and covered in Red Hot, lime slaw and mustard-roasted crickets. Before I started I picked off the roasted crickets that were the most “leggy.” I’d heard that the legs get caught in your teeth and that was the level of gross I wasn’t prepared to deal with. The hot dog itself was a bit greasy, but I couldn’t tell whether that was the result of reckless prep or the dog being greasy. And with the sly trick of putting crunchy coleslaw on the dog along with the roasted crickets it completely disguises any textural creep outs you might get from eating bugs. Basically, the hot dog tasted like a hot dog. And if you gave it to someone at a barbecue without it being covered in roasted crickets they’d probably have no idea they were eating a part-beef, part-bug protein wiener. 7/10

Additional reading:
Things I ate at the CNE in 2015. Including Corrado’s S&M Burger and Iron Skillet’s Frosted Flakes Chicken On A Stick.

Things I ate at the CNE in 2014. Including Fran’s Thanksgiving Turkey Waffle and Coco’s Fried Chicken Cocoa Chicken.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2013. Including Nutella Jalapeno Poppers and the S’more Dog.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2012. Including the Chocolate Eclair Dog and Bacon Nation Nutella BBBLT.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2011. Including the Krispy Kreme Hamburger and Deep Fried Twix.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2010. Including Deep Fried Butter and Taco In A Bag.

Bug Dog bitches! #CNE #lunch #kaleandcricketswillfeedusafterthefoodwars

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Which Are Better? Cadbury Mini Eggs Or Hershey’s Eggies

Cadbury Mini Eggs and Hershey's Eggies

Cadbury Mini Eggs and Hershey’s Eggies

It’s Easter Sunday and as far as religious holidays honouring zombies go, our favourite part is the chocolate.

Specifically, the many variations of miniature chocolate egg candies we buy in bulk and then crush about a dozen at a time. But what kind to crush?

This year we wanted to resolve a pressing chocolate egg-related debate: Which are better, Cadbury Mini Eggs or Hershey’s Eggies?

So Sarah and I got a bag of each and had ourselves a competitive taste test. Here are the results:

Savor Test

The classic slow melt delayed gratification effect. Sarah and I each took one egg and let it melt in our mouths.

Hershey’s Eggies
S: It tastes like passing grade chocolate and nostalgia. 3/5
A: This was not impactful. 3/5

Cadbury Mini Eggs
S: Even though I swear this was the exact same as the last one it tasted better. 3.5/5
A: This had a slightly metallic start, but had a rich finish. 3.2/5

Cruchability

The bigwigs in Big Candy don’t just engineer their products for taste. They also engineer them for things like texture, mouth feel and even the sonic qualities of the “crunch” when you bite into them. We wrapped all these traits into something we called the “crunchability” score.

Hershey’s Eggies
S: It did the job. I don’t enjoy crunching these so I don’t care. 3/5
A: When you actually pay attention these create a surprisingly loud, pop rock-y sensation in your mouth. 3.3/5

Cadbury Mini Eggs
S: This one was more satisfying. 4/5
A: Nearly identical in feel and volume to the Eggies, this one dissolved on the tongue a little more delicately. 3.2/5

Cluster Smash

Here we jammed three chocolate eggs at a time into our mouths in a freestyle taste test jam.

Hershey’s Eggies
S: I never put more than one in my mouth at a time so this is nonsense. There’s too much in my mouth… this is an empty experience. 2.7/5
A: This was the first time I actually got a “chocolate” taste kick from the Eggies. 3.5/5

Cadbury Mini Eggs
S: These fit in my mouth better. 3.2/5
A: You can detect a nearly caramel tone when you put more in your mouth. Also, you can definitely taste a richer chocolate. 3.5/5

SCORES

Hershey’s Eggies
S: 8.7/15
A: 9.8/15
Total 18.5/30

Cadbury Mini Eggs
S: 10.7/15
A: 9.9/15
Total 20.6/30

And the winner is…

Cadbury Mini Eggs

Cadbury Mini Eggs

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Songs About Pumpkins

Pumpkins, non-musical

Pumpkins, non-musical

We here at Risky Fuel are masters at the dark art known as the listicle.

Want proof? How about “8 Songs About Pumpkins”?

Sarah wrote this one for Paste Magazine.

To see the full list go here.

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Stars/Broken Social Scene’s Amy Millan On Saving Seeds

Amy Millan of Stars/Broken Social Scene

Amy Millan of Stars/Broken Social Scene

Later this week Stars/Broken Social Scene singer Amy Millan will be receiving the Planet In Focus Eco-Hero award for her work in the past year on the USC “I Am A Seed Saver” campaign.

I asked Millan what that’s all about and how she got fellow musicians like Leslie Feist and Sam Roberts to participate.

To read the full story head over to Samaritan Mag by clicking here.

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Things I Ate At The C.N.E. In 2015

CNE food 2015

CNE food 2015

Summer’s almost gone and that means one thing — the Canadian National Exhibition has started in Toronto.

All those discount merchandisers and over-the-hill musical acts are fine, but the real draw in Risky Fuel quarters are the many, many, many weird, wild and wonderful food vendors displaying their wares in the Food Building and in the C.N.E.’s midway.

Once again we tackled some of the most peculiar foods the Ex had on offer, experiencing Jamaican beef patties as a hamburger bun substitutes, the combination of chicken and Frosted Flakes and a whole lot more.

Read below to find out what our eating adventures were like…

Round one, August 21

Bub's Burger's Bad Boy. Spicy cheese, beef burger patty, honey garlic fried chicken filet, pepperjack cheese, wasabi cucumber, hickory stix, tomato sriracha mayo and buttermilk coleslaw all between two Jamaican beef patties.

Bub’s Burger’s Bad Boy. This is this year’s alpha stunt food — spicy cheese beef burger patty, honey garlic fried chicken filet, pepperjack cheese, wasabi cucumber, hickory sticks, tomato sriracha mayo and buttermilk coleslaw all between two Jamaican beef patties instead of traditional burger buns. For such an obvious monstrosity it’s actually… not bad. The honey garlic adds a nice tang, the chicken’s done right and the hickory sticks are a fun dining surprise. What’s wrong with the whole package, however, is its complete, utter and total disregard for structural integrity. There’s a reason why there’s a giant spear through the whole burger, after all. And as anyone who’s read my past CNE reports knows, structural integrity is a big deal. Because without it you end up with mess. And mess means my hands get dirty. And when my hands get dirty with food I get a little bit insane. Which happened as I paced through the Ex midway holding both my hands in the air desperate to find a washroom in which to wash them. 7.1/10

Chicken Waffle On A Stick

Chicken Waffle On A Stick. Dry chicken surrounded by a coating of what seemed similar to the batter used in making fortune cookies. The sauce options — hot sauce, table syrup, and something I can’t remember — were not excellent, so I chose the syrup. I chose wrong. This was an entirely unpleasant food experience. 4.6/10

Deep Fried Red Velvet Oreos

Deep Fried Red Velvet Oreos. Another of the marquee stunt foods this year, some stall in the Food Building had the smart idea to batter Oreos in a red velvet style and sell less of them (three)  for more money than you can buy regular deep fried Oreos (five) at the stands in the midway. Taste-wise they were fine for deep fryer junk food, but I can’t in good conscience recommend them when there’s a virtually identical product with better value available 100 metres away. 6/10

Barq's Root Beer with Vanilla

Barq’s Root Beer with Vanilla. I’ve given up on trying to avoid the long tentacles of the Coca-Cola/CNE Industrial Complex and decided to embrace that funky machine they have that creates like a thousand different flavour combinations. I’ve had the root beer + vanilla before. 5/10

Pickle Pete's Deep Fried Cheesecake

Pickle Pete’s Deep Fried Cheesecake. Another of the dazzler new food entries this year, the deep fried cheesecake combined two of my favourite things: 1) cheesecake, and 2) deep fried-ness. The result was something firmly on the tasty side of things, where the result ends up being vaguely cannoli-ish. It’s solidly good and as a midway deep fry vendor Pickle Pete’s is on point. 7.3/10

Pickle Pete's Deep Fried Green Beans

Pickle Pete’s Deep Fried Green Beans. Green beans are already right up there on the tasty vegetable scale, but batter and deep frying them then serving them with a chipotle mayo concoction bams them up even higher. These were solidly alright and if I was given the option of “deep fried green beans” or “french fries” as my side at a restaurant, I’d very likely take the beans. There was, however, one hitch to eating these: I had them immediately after eating the deep fried cheesecake, which was a very unfair thing to do to my tastebuds. 6.3/10

Round two, August 25

99 Cent Spaghetti

99 Cent Spaghetti. SWERVE! Just when you thought I was only all about the hyper-new stunt foods I go and try the 99 cent spaghetti from the classic 99 Cent Primo Spaghetti booth. It was my first time ever trying the buck-for-pasta deal (thoroughly acceptable for what it was, btw) and what I found most fascinating was the genius way the booth operates. Sure, you can get spaghetti for 99 cents, but Parmesan cheese is an extra 75 cents, meatballs $1.75, and if you don’t want the small cup of ‘getti, upsizing is $1.89. And when you see other people getting those things you want them, too. It’s classic get them through the door, then get them with the extras. I did not upsize, though, because I am, at my core, a frugal person. 5.5/10

Bentley's Deep Fried Poutine Balls

Bentley’s Deep Fried Poutine Balls. Now this is a brilliant idea. Encase a cheese curd in a ball of mashed potato, deep fry said potato curd ball, then slather with gravy and more cheese curd. It’s a totally effective twist on what’s already one of the greatest foods in the known universe. 6.8/10

Corrado's S&M Burger

Corrado’s S&M Burger. Another one of the marquee stunt foods this year, this one’s a meatball burger on a toasted garlic bun with spicy Havarti cheese, a deep-fried spaghetti patty, hot peppers and tomato sauce. The novelty to this whole thing is the deep-fried spaghetti patty. Its gimmick is the reason why they can charge $14 for the very coyly named S&M burger, but it’s also the most superfluous, useless item on the sandwich, a tasteless lump of… whatever. Compounding my irritation with the S&M was the messy food adventure I had with this one. See, I *knew* this was going to be a super-messy food, and not wanting to have a repeat of the Bad Boy burger episode, I had the server pre-cut the sandwich in half on top of giving me an empty french fry container and utensils. I figured after unpacking and taking a photo of the S&M I’d just transfer it from its packaging into the fry receptacle and knife ‘n’ fork it. Right at the moment I was about to do this, like a message sent straight from the food gods, a brisk wind promptly blew my fry container (and the utensils I had resting in it) off the table into a puddle-y refuse pile. I was left with no defense from the finger-staining, tectonic instability of this mutant. It was not pleasant. Save yourself the stunt and go for the straight meatball sandwich. 5.9/10

Frosted Flakes Chicken On A Stick

Iron Skillet’s Frosted Flakes Chicken On A Stick. Holy shit was this ever grrrrreeaat. You wouldn’t think a gimmick like a Frosted Flakes batter on chicken pieces, on a stick would work so well, but it did. The Flakes added both a textural crunch and just the right level of sweet and the chicken chunks themselves were juicy and delicious. It was basically like eating a radically bammed up souvlaki skewer where Popeye’s chicken engineers have figure out how to capture Tony the Tiger’s soul. 8/10

Fran's PB&J Milkshake

Fran’s PB&J Milkshake. Fran’s CNE food game has been tight since they took over a booth at the Ex for the first time last year. The latest in a series of new items for this year is the PB+J milkshake. I had my doubts — PB&J is more of a Sarah thing — but I was a quick convert one sip in. The consistency is right, the flavour is right and the whole package, complete with its whip cream topping and strawberry syrup drizzle, works very well. 7.4/10

Canada Dry Ginger Ale with Lime

Canada Dry Ginger Ale with Lime. Most of the time when we try this machine whatever the main pop is, that’s what it tastes like. So if you order root beer with a splash of vanilla it’s pretty much root beer. And if you get any does of vanilla in there it’s bonus. That’s not how things went when we decided to lime up some ginger ale. You could taste the lime. And if that’s what you were hoping for out of the experience, well, small victory then. 5.3/10

Round three, September 3
* I made an impromptu third visit to the Ex with this friends this day and (full confession) kinda sampled bits of their food as a cheat, including another pass at the still-awesome Fran’s Thanksgiving Turkey Waffle. Here are the new things I tackled:

Swiss Waffle's & Crepes' Strawberries and Soft Serve On A Deep Fried Waffle.

Swiss Waffle’s & Crepes’ Strawberries and Soft Serve On A Deep Fried Waffle. Yet another of these classic Ex treats, the Swiss Waffle people proudly state they’ve been around since 1968. This, the deep fried waffle-y cruller thing with soft serve vanilla ice cream and strawberries, was simple in its elegance, but also way awesome. At under $5 it also represents a solid value as far as midway treats go. 7/10

Far East Taco's Smore Bao.

Far East Taco’s Smore Bao. Marshmallow, hazelnut, chocolate, Graham cracker crumbs, sweet milk cream. This tastes *exactly* like a Wagon Wheel. 6.1/10

Just Cone It Grilled Chicken Cone.

Just Cone It Grilled Chicken Cone. Chicken, red peppers, onions and cheese. This was very similar to the pizza cones of the Mad Italian (do a Risky Fuel search) and indeed it might even be the same people. This specific cone, however, lacked anything… special. No sauce, no seasoning, nothing to elevate it beyond, “Hey, it’s stuff in a doughy cone.” Which is low novelty in a food building full of stunt edibles. 5.5/10

Fran's Deep Fried Rice Pudding Balls.

Fran’s Deep Fried Rice Pudding Balls. I stole one of these babies from my friend BlanchBot. Having no interest in rice pudding in general, I had low expectations for what deep frying said pudding might do to improve things. And yet, it did. By ballifying the pudding it adds a welcome new textural layer to the whole experience. Throwing in a lemon custard dip also bams things up a notch. Improbably, this one’s a winner. 6.8/10

Fanta Orange Soda.

Fanta Orange Soda. Because I have nostalgic association with the “Fanta” brand. 5/10

 

Additional reading:

Things I ate at the CNE in 2016. Bug Bistro’s Bug Dog and Fran’s Blueberry Milkshake with a slice of real blueberry pie.

Things I ate at the CNE in 2014. Including Fran’s Thanksgiving Turkey Waffle and Coco’s Fried Chicken Cocoa Chicken.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2013. Including Nutella Jalapeno Poppers and the S’more Dog.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2012. Including the Chocolate Eclair Dog and Bacon Nation Nutella BBBLT.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2011. Including the Krispy Kreme Hamburger and Deep Fried Twix.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2010. Including Deep Fried Butter and Taco In A Bag.

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The Complete Guide To Food References On BA Johnston’s ‘Shit Sucks’ Album

BA Johnston in his natural state. Photo cribbed from his Twitter.

BA Johnston in his natural state. Photo cribbed from his Twitter.

Shit Sucks by Hamilton, Ontario-based everyman BA Johnston was perhaps the most divisive album nominated for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize Long List and split critics, fans and Polaris followers into two clear camps.

The haters, of which there were many (including enough Polaris jurors that Shit Sucks failed to make the 10 album Polaris Short List), viewed Johnston’s album as schtick, an unfunny musical comedy by a pizza-obsessed loser.

The lovers, though, saw a lot more to Shit Sucks. To these people Johnston was and is funny. They created a Twitter movement on his behalf. They even enlisted the support of Hitler. For them, Johnston’s confessional songs poked at that same wounded, fragile humanity that made Rodney Dangerfield forever question why he couldn’t get no respect.

There is, however, an overlooked third faction in the Shit Sucks debate — foodies. See, in his own way, Johnston is a food connoisseur, a man who has immortalized t-bone steaks, garlic fingers, english muffins and western sandwiches in song, and who dreams of having a deep fryer in his bedroom.

For these people Shit Sucks reveals many unexpected and often melted cheese-laden delights. We put on our best chili boots and decided to track all the food references on BA Johnston’s Shit Sucks album. The results were… delicious:

“Couch Potato Alright”
* cool ranch
* pocket Cheezees
* double dipped corn chips



“I Remember Skinny Jeans The Last Time Around”
* Foodland

“When Is Trash Day?”
* cat food tins
* pizza boxes
* buffalo wings
* burnt toast



“Pizza Party For One”
* pizza
* Little Caesars, Salvatore’s, Uncle Fatty’s, Cutthroat’s, Chicago Style, Pizza Perfect, Nino’s
* pepperoni



“I Don’t Want To Go To The No Frills”
* Oreos
* butter
* steak
* meat
* Dr. Oetker pizza
* Shreddies
* Faygo soda



“Gonna End Up Working In Fort McMurray”
* Pizza Hut



“Bat In The House”
* Delissio pizza
* pizza



“The Commute”
* Special K
* Tim Horton’s coffee
* McDonald’s coffee



“IKEA Hotdog”
* IKEA hotdogs



“Drinking On My Mom’s Dime”
*Golden Wedding



“Old And Lame”
* food court
* a submarine sandwich he’s too high to eat
* 7/11
* chocolate milk



“Nuke Toronto”
* nothing good to eat



“What A Wonderfully Mediocre Day”
* beers
* no name ruffles
* chip dip
* Foodland
* discounted garlic bread
* garlic
* margarine
* bread



“You Can Love Someone And Hate The Things They Love”
* assorted subs



“Shitty Cat”
* taco meat
* tomato patch



“BK Has A New King”
* Burger King
* Whopper Jr
* Whopper Wednesday
* Big Fish sandwich
* Whopper
* Water
* Soda Pop

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