And yes, fine, you win: the fried butter is back.
If you fry it, they will come. The Canadian National Exhibition has announced this year’s list of new vendors and foods, and we’re predicting that in 2012, it’ll all be about the bacon sundae (why, it only seems like yesterday we were gasping at donut burgers and fried Kool-Aid). It helps that last month Burger King debuted the sundae in the States, leaving Canadians salivating—or cringing—over what it’d taste like.
But first, the healthyish stuff: sample-size portions will be available from the vendors this year, for those who want to pace their caloric intake, in the same way that slowly eating an entire box of 100-Calorie-Pack Oreos just feels healthier than eating five regular Oreos. Also, maps in the Food Building will indicate which booths will be least helpful in your gluttonous quest, with markers like halal, vegan, gluten-free, peanut-free, dairy-free, and so on.
The 11 new vendors? There’s Far East Taco, offering Korean tacos filled with kalbi, bulgogi, spicy pork, and kimchi; PULL’D, with pulled beef, chicken, and pork on carb-laden breads like pretzel buns and pancakes; Vie, with raw vegan food like wraps, pizzas, and cinnamon buns; Loaded Baked Potato, with (what else) baked potatoes with assorted toppings; Bacon Nation, with fried bacon-covered hotdogs, candied bacon, bacon popcorn, Nutella and bacon sandwiches, Jack Daniels bacon sandwiches, bacon parfait, and bacon sundaes; Just Cone It!, offering sweet and savory cones like shepherd’s pie and Philly cheese steak; Thyme & Olives, a Lebanese-style bakery with baklava, olive mix pie, sesame pie, and cheese pie; Dutch Frites, selling kipcorn (chicken fingers), stroopwafel (waffle with caramel), frikandel (sausage), and krokets (deep fried mashed potatoes and ground meat); Big Apple Fritters, with fried apple fritters; Sweetness Bakery, with cupcakes, cookies, and cake pops; and Fresh Fuel Smoothies, selling fruit smoothies.
Foods that will be returning this year due to popular demand—popular demand as determined by media coverage, anyway—include the Krispy Kreme Burger, deep fried cola, fried mac ‘n’ cheese, and out on the midway, there will once again be the unmistakeable musk of deep-fried butter, deep-fried Mars bars, and deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Seventeen food trucks will also be rolling in front of the Allstream and Direct Energy Centres from August 24 through 26. (Korean tacos? Food trucks? Where’s the pork buns booth?) The lineup of Food Network personalities expected to show up at the demo building include Anna Olson, Laura Calder, Michael Smith, Chuck Hughes, Roger Mooking, and David Rocco. Local chefs like Splendido’s Victor Barry, the Distillery Group’s Jason Rosso, and Petit Thuet’s Marc Thuet will also be there.
And while this year’s food vendor lineup is one hell of a salute to obesity, you can breathe easy that we’re no State Fair of Texas yet: they have fried salad.
The CNE runs from August 17 to September 3.