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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.

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Things I Ate At The C.N.E. In 2012

Butter Rob Ford

Rob Ford in his natural element – butter. I didn’t eat this.

Each year I go down to the Canadian National Exhibition and try out an assortment of the bizarre and gimmicky foods they have there. In 2010 it was stuff like Deep Fried Butter and Taco In A Bag, and in 2011 it was things like Deep Fried Pickle and a hamburger made using Krispy Kreme doughnuts as buns.

Once again, this year yielded some fascinating and gruesome taste sensations — including the worst thing I’ve encounter in the three years of tracking this stuff.

Scroll down to see what I consumed:

The first stop was to the Coke booth to purchase a refillable cup and then partake of the magic flavour fountain pop selector machine they have. Basically, it’s like when you’re a kid and you try mixing a million flavours of pop together all at once. First you pick your drink base (choices seen below), then you’re sent to another screen where you can add flavour shots like vanilla, cherry and peach, then the machine fills your cup with the chosen concoction.

Pop Fountain

The magic flavour spooger Coke product machine.

Vanilla & Cherry Coke

This would be our first concoction, Vanilla & Cherry Coke. I was a big fan of the now-disappeared Vanilla Coke so this was a happy return of sorts. Better than normal Coke, but still fountain pop. 6.6/10.

Mandoo Beef Dumplings

We were going to hit the crazy train early and start with Kimchi fries from Far East Taco, but because the Food Building was just opening they weren’t exactly on their game yet. The Mandoo Beef Dumplings were ready though, so we had those. Solid, simple dumplings, they didn’t suck — because dumplings rarely do — but they weren’t exactly a mouthsterpiece either. 7/10.

From here it was on to the big trendy food booth for this year — Bacon Nation — where everything they serve was wrapped in bacon. I decided to go big with one of the ridiculous signature sandwiches on the menu, the Nutella BBBLT. This sandwich is comprised of back bacon, the L&T, bacon, more bacon, and Nutella, all spread over toast. Or at least it was supposed to…

Bacon Nation Nutella BBBLT

The Bacon Nation Nutella BBBLT. As a BLT it solidly does its job. 7.5/10.

Notella BBBLT

Unfortunately, what I got was the Bacon Nation No-tella BBBLT. There was no Nutella. So I basically paid $12 for a novelty sandwich that didn’t have the key component of its novelty. This means this sandwich was actually a complete failure. 0/10.

Fried Egg Sandwich

Sarah then ordered a classic grilled cheese from the Mac ‘N’ Cheesery (sic?) with a fried egg in it. I think she liked it. I had some of her chips — Miss Vickie’s regular (5.5/10) and pickle chunk (5.6/10).

By this time we were had pretty much finished our first wave of the Food Building, which we topped off with another round of pop.

Barq's Vanilla Rootbeer

Pop round two was Barq’s Vanilla Root Beer. This was a totally acceptable choice, though the vanilla flavour was a little on the subtle side. 6.4./10.

From there we wandered around the Ex shopping area. I bought a cowboy hat and almost bought some Russian military hats, then it was on to more food.
Rasberry Coke

Rasberry Coke. This was not a good idea. 3/10.

Greek Cheese Pie

This here is the Greek Cheese Pie from one of those independent booths that only lasts one year. It was basically a baked pita with olive oil on it and wee chunks of cheese. Underwhelming, if that’s a word. 5/10

Sesame Zaatar With Cheese Pie

Sesame Zaatar With Cheese Pie. This was Sarah’s. She liked it, but there appeared to be none of the cheese we asked for. I tried it too. I thought it tasted like birdseed. 4.8/10.

From there we went and checked out the Farm building, mostly to get a photo of the Mayor Rob Ford butter sculpture (shown above). It’s pretty brilliant — him in his natural state and all. The Creature From The Black Lagoon sculpture was technically better, though.
Creature From The Black Lagoon

Creature From The Black Lagoon, sculpted out of butter.

We also went to the Arts & Crafts Building — a horrible, horrible exercise in dodging doddering olds, rubbernecking rubes, parents with mega strollers and those generally incapable of navigating crowds — to stock up on fudge.
Vanilla Fudge

Vanilla Fudge. Vanilla totally gets a bad rap just because it’s associated with white people. This shiz is tasty. 8.1/10.

M&M Fudge

M&M Fudge. This is one of Sarah’s favourites. 7.8/10.

Oh My Gosh Fudge

Oh My Gosh Fudge. I’m still trying to figure out what this is made of exactly, but I think it’s got marshmallows and caramel in it. Tasty, though. 8/10.

Red Velvet Fudge

Red Velvet Fudge. I’m still not entirely sold on this whole red velvet food colouring trend, but this was just under the straight vanilla for tastiness. 7.9/10.

Peach Sprite

Another round of pop. Peach Sprite. This was like licking the bottom of a fruit stand clean. The worst. 2/10.

Beer break! (And frozen margarita break. That was some strong tequila.)

Frozen Margarita and Creemore beer

Frozen Margarita and Creemore beer. They’ve got booze in ’em, right? Right. 10/10.

Our finite food limits were starting to be reached so we began planning our last eats. First up — something with actual vegetables in it.
Veggie Loaded Potato

This was a giant Veggie Loaded Potato from Baked ‘n’ Loaded, or Loaded and Baked, or Loaded Potatoface or whatever it was called. It was huge and featured broccoli, green beans, carrots and cheese jammed in the middle of a sea salt crusted baked potato. This was a welcome change from our non-stop sugar consumption and it was alright as far as vegetable slurry goes, too. 7.5/10.

Before we enter into the closing eats phase, I should probably cop to two of my great food pet peeves — food with poor structural integrity, and food that makes your hands messy. It’s my belief that if my food falls apart at any point, this represents a fundamental failure on the part of the person designing it. Likewise, if my hands get dirty eating something it’s the same thing. In a world were we can make watermelons that are square-shaped, we can make it so food doesn’t fall apart all over us, right? Or can we?
Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream On A Stick With Sprinkles

Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream On A Stick With Sprinkles. In theory, this should have been a tasty treat, but the hot chocolate dip make the ice cream melt too quickly and the result was a drippy, deteriorating mess made worse by the chunks of chocolate sprinkle randomly falling to the ground. And being the cheapskate I am, each chunk that fell I was going “That’s 72 cents… That’s 12 cents… That’s 23 cents…” What should have been gold, wasn’t. 6/10.

And then, the finale. I had seen this first thing in the morning and had been plagued with the thought of it all day — the Chocolate Eclair Hot Dog. I did not want to eat this. I knew it was going to be bad. But in the same way a fight gets declared in a schoolyard for after school I knew this was an inevitable tangle I was going to have to face. So just before we wrapped up our Ex visit for the day, I did…
Maple Lodge Chocolate Eclair Hot Dog

The Maple Lodge Chocolate Eclair Hot Dog was one of the worst things I have ever eaten. Things did not get off to a good start when the group of college bros in line before me ordered one, got their order and proceeded to conduct an elaborate photo shoot before attempting to eat it — they were doing it as a dare. It didn’t get any better after I ordered and the first thing the server did was hand me a half-dozen napkins. So I got my Eclair and quickly rushed out of the Food Building to near BMO Field where there’d be less people to see me eat this…
Exactly like the title suggests, this is a chocolate eclair with a hot dog in the middle. On their own they’re both fine foodstuff, but the combination of chicken wiener and whipped cream was not a good one. Worse though, was the mess. Falling, dripping globs of cream landed at your feet, soaked through the napkins onto your hands and generally created the tactile sensation that you were being covered in sticky-sweet hot dog water. With Sarah’s help we wolfed this down (she was actually turning away from people walking in the nearby thoroughfare because she didn’t want anyone seeing her attempting to eat this). It was, truly, a heroically awful food experience. 1.1/10.

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 2015. Including Frosted Flakes Chicken On A Stick and The S&M Burger.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2014. Including Cocoa Chicken and the Thanksgiving Turkey Waffle.

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 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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Things I Ate At The C.N.E. In 2011

For various reasons I wasn’t quite able to go to town on the food at the Canadian National Exhibition in the same way as last year, but I still managed to leave a solid lump of fatty battered products in my belly.

Here’s what I ate at The Ex this year:

Coca-Cola

A litre of cola. I’ve stopped trying to fight the omnipresence of Coke products. 3.6/10.

Corn Dog

This corn dog was better than the one we had last year. Got this from the vendor inside the Food Building who specialized in deep frying stuff and there was clearly a higher level of expertise than when hitting the midway deep fryer people. 6.1/10.

Jolly Rancher Blue Rasberry Ice Beverage

This was the Jolly Rancher Blue Rasberry Ice Beverage. Or, if you’ve got a kid, you tell them you’re drinking Smurf blood. There was a weird candy/chemical aftertaste to this. 5.8/10

Smurf Tongue

… But drinking Smurf blood did have one pretty entertaining side-effect. This super-blue tongue of mine lasted almost 24 hours.

Deep Fried Twix

This would be the Deep Fried Twix. I love Twix like a fat kid loves Twix, but deep frying it didn’t really bam things up at all and the “cookie” part ended up being a bit of an obstacle. Last year’s Deep Fried Mars Bar remains superior. 6.5/10

Barq's Root Beer

Barq’s Root Beer. You know if you buy this jug from the Coke booth you get refills for $2.50, right? 5/10.

Fried Egg And Cheese Sandwich

Fried Egg And Cheese Sandwich. After some middling experience with the Mac ‘N’ Cheesery’s deep fried mac ‘n’ cheese last year, Sarah opted for the fried egg ‘n’ cheese sandwich instead. It was the right choice. Instead of pulling gross macaroni from a vat, they made this sandwich fresh. Also, it came with chips and a pickle. 5.9/10.

Deep Fried Pickle

I had a Deep Fried Pickle. And it wasn’t bad either. Adding some ranch dressing to dip was a nice touch, too. 6.4/10.

Deep Fried Pickle

And yes, there was a pickle hidden in that Deep Fried Pickle.

Double Grilled Cheese Hamburger

This would be Sarah’s Double Grilled Cheese Hamburger, which was two grilled cheese sandwiches with a hamburger in the middle. I had to eat half for her. This thing was quite unwieldy and a good four inches high. It didn’t reach such heights in flavour, though. 5.3/10.

Deep Fried Ah Caramel

Vachon’s Ah Caramels are one of my favourite foods ever and I can consume a whole box at once given the opportunity. As it turns out, however, deep frying does these treats a disservice. This was sadly underwhelming, if that’s a word. 6/10.

Deep Fried Ah Caramel

The coagulated innards of the Deep Fried Ah Caramel post-one bite.

Krispy Kreme Hamburger

And the headliner… the Krispy Kreme Hamburger — two Krispy Kreme donuts with a hamburger inbetween. It turns out this wasn’t all that bad. The donuts are tasty and, because I didn’t put any condiments or garnishes on it save for lettuce and tomato, most of the tastes were relatively complimentary. The only real drawback was — considering my borderline pathological hatred of getting my hands dirty from food — the weak-ass structural integrity of the whole thing. Basically, it’s messy as fuck. Which means you have to fight your way to the Ex bathrooms to wash your hands after. Still, it wasn’t gross. 6.4/10.

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 2015. Including Frosted Flakes Chicken On A Stick and The S&M Burger.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2014. Including Cocoa Chicken and the Thanksgiving Turkey Waffle.

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 2010. Including Deep Fried Butter and Taco In A Bag.

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Things I Ate At The C.N.E. In 2010

We’re starting to get psyched for the 2011 Canadian National Exhibition and all the weird food we’re going to eat there. To help build anticipation in the rest of the world, here’s a list of the things that we nommed last year:

Coke at C.N.E. 2010

I had some of this big Coca-Cola. It was just your average corn syrup-based fountain Coke. 3/10… I was thirsty.

Deep fried mac 'n' cheese

The infamous deep fried mac ‘n’ cheese is mighty boring. The exterior has an interesting crunchy contrast to the gooey/borderline overcooked interior, but there’s zero flavour. Save your dough. 4/10

Deep fried mac 'n' cheese innards

The innards of the infamous deep fried mac ‘n’ cheese. 4/10

Pickle slice

This pickle slice came from Sarah’s grilled cheese meal. Solid, if unspectacular. 5.8/10

Pizza on a stick

Mama’s Pizza pizza on a stick. Do NOT let yourself get fooled by this gimmick like I was. It’s just normal pizza. With a paint stir stick in it. 5/10

Plain Chip

This plain crinkle chip came from Sarah’s grilled cheese meal. I hate plain chips. They contribute nothing to the world. 2/10

Deep fried Mars bar

Deep fried Mars bar. This was a pretty good time, though you need to be careful eating it because it slides on its skewer and you end up covered in icing sugar powder. 7.2/10

Pizza on a stick stick

Here’s the stick from the Mama’s Pizza pizza on a stick. 1/10

Lineup

This lineup is why I didn’t try any of the chocolate covered bacon, deep fried butter or deep fried twinkie.

Lemonade

I tried to find something to drink that “wasn’t owned by Coca-Cola.” The best I could do was Minute Maid lemonade… which means I didn’t do well at all. 5/10

Waffle ice cream sandwich photobomb

Waffle ice cream sandwich. I was most looking forward to this but the deep fried Mars bar ended up being better. Notice the photobomb cameo from Crazy Frog. 6.8./10

Chocolate vanilla fudge

Chocolate-vanilla fudge. Good stuff, but it faces a losing battle because it’ll never match my grandmother’s. 6.7/10

Orange cream fudge

Orange cream fudge. I thought it would taste like Creamsicle but it tastes like Fruit Loops. 6.7/10

Deep fried butter

Deep fried butter. Yes, I did it. Sarah and I went for a second trip to the Ex, got there early and got in line for this food wonder. It wasn’t the horror show I was expecting. It was kinda like a pancake/timbit/cruller with a thoroughly melted, buttery and batter-y inner shell (the centre is hollowed because the butter melts into its surrounding batter). 5.5/10

Twinkle Log

This was the Twinkle Log from the same place. I’m not a Twinkie fan and was hoping for a major bam-up. A chocolate dip and some nuts isn’t it. 3.2/10

Coke Zero

Coke Zero, because I didn’t want Coke. 3/10

Carrots

Free Hidden Valley ranch dressing sample with carrots. Glorious, glorious vegetables. It was like a little dose of sanity in my deep fried adventure. 6/10

Corn Dog

Corn Dogs are always a good time. An all-beef weiner would improve these things by a large margin, but it was OK. 5.7/10

Fruit Twists

Free sample Fruit Twists!

Fruit Twists

The Fruit Twists were shaped like licorice and tasted like Fruit Roll-Up meets strawberry jam. Which makes total sense, I guess. 5.7/10

Peach smoothie

Free sample of Europe’s Best peach smoothie. I generally hate peaches but this ended up being alright. Not too peachy, not too weird in the smoothie texture. 6.1/10

Taco in a bag

Taco In A Bag. I tried this… so you don’t have to. It was a bag of Doritos with a mess of taco ingredients thrown in there. Think sub-nacho with a high potential for messy fingers. And the hamburger was cold. At least there was some guacamole. 5.5/10

Barq's Root Beer

Barq’s Root Beer. Root beer is alright in my books. 5/10

Butterfly wings potato shavings

Butterfly Wings potato shavings. I had very little faith these would be any good owing to my hatred of plain potato chips, but man was I wrong. The fresh-from-the-fryer-sligh​tly-chewy-texture vibe of these was amazing. 6.7/10

Candy Floss ice cream

Candy Floss flavoured ice cream. The candy floss was pretty subtle. 6.2/10

Monkey Crunch ice cream

Monkey Crunch flavoured ice cream. I’m not sure what the “monkey crunch” was, but most of it was simple chocolate ice cream. 6.4/10

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 2015. Including Frosted Flakes Chicken On A Stick and The S&M Burger.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2014. Including Cocoa Chicken and the Thanksgiving Turkey Waffle.

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.

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