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Sunday, August 21, 2011

[Toronto] Food at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

Review Location:
210 Princes' Boulevard
Toronto, Ontario

If you've never been to CNE (or what is commonly referred to as The Ex) then your definitely missing out. Each year, this 18 day exhibition attracts thousands of people with its carnival games, food stands, fair rides, casino, animal shows, shopping, and much more. Obviously as a huge foodie, every year I only remember CNE by the countless hours roaming the food building and food carts. This year was no exception. Infact, this year I went with @misswu23 as well as a bunch of other girls, and went on an all fried food frenzy. Believe it or not, for the entire day I did not eat a single thing that was unfried. What a disgustingly amazing day. 

Deep Fried Pop Shop -home of the Deep Fried Cola

"Deep Fried Coke" ($5.95)

First fried item: Deep fried coke. I don't know if it was a good thing that we had this first, because it was absolutely a huge let down. The coke syrup is mixed with the batter and drizzled into the fryer making it a stringy deep fried spiral. It is then topped with coke syrup, whipped cream and a cherry. The coke was over fried so it tasted really burnt. There was absolutely no coke flavour, and only the first couple strands that came in contact with the syrup had a hint of coke flavour. The best part of this whole thing was probably the whipped cream. Despite the hype, I would not recommend this.

 Deep Fried Mars Bar Stand

"Deep Fried Twix Bars" ($5)
Though this is sold at a different stand inside the Food Building, its from the same company that made the deep fried coke. Luckily this item fared much better. After we ordered we literally saw them take 2 sticks of twix and dip them in batter to deepfry. It was super hot and melty, and since I like twix this was delicious! You lose the crunchyness of the cookie but the deep fried batter makes up for it.

 Epic Burger food stall -home of the Krispy Kreme Burger

"Krispy Kreme Burger" ($8)

There was a lot of hype for this next deep fried item. For 8 dollars you get a hamburger with all the trimmings between two sugary Krispy Kreme donuts! Add an extra dollar and you could add a fried egg or bacon but we figured the burger itself would be enough of a heart attack. Not having any real lunch that day I really enjoyed this. To my surprise it wasn't that sickening. The patty was very juicy but I later realized it was just super oiled up mediocre quality meat. Oh wells, what did I expect? At least all the ingredients worked together in taste. The one thing I do realize though, is that it doesn't have as big a novelty factor as the rest of the deep fried foods at The Ex. This 1500 calorie burger sounds like it would be a crazy thing to try, but it really wasn't all that farfetched. It didn't feel that far off from eating a regular burger, just maybe with a honey glazed meat. I would recommend this if you're looking for something filling which isn't just deep fried flour and sugar, but not if you're looking for an interesting unfamiliar fried snack experience.

 Beaver Tails Stand

 "Avalanche" ($6)-Oreo crumbs and chocolate sauce

"Coco Vanil" ($6) - Skor bits, vanila spread, and chocolate sauce

The very first Beaver Tail I ever had was in Ottawa when I was about 10 years old. Ever since it's always been the highlight of my trips to the capital city. I was so excited when I found out there was one in Toronto and made sure that I went today! The oreo one was the better of the two in my opinion. The Coco Vanil had a vanilla spread and skor didn't go well together and was way too sweet. My favourite is probably still the Kilaloe Lemon.

One of the more famous food carts outside in the Midway -home of the deep fried butter

 Deep fried butter fresh in the making

"Deep Fried Butter" ($5)

I actually didn't have it this time around because I had it last year. I didn't find it too memorable. The butter melts very quickly in the fry process and it just gets absorbed in to the batter. You end up just eating a hollow ball of dough that is very buttery. From the looks of it, it seems as if it is made slightly better this year, because it was still sort of runny on the inside. I also had the deep fried Mars Bar at this cart last year. Check out my brother-in-law's post on our CNE food adventures from last year. 

"Curly Fries" ($8 for a plate size)

I didn't end up having any of this because I wasn't feeling fries, but at the rate that my friends were gobbling this up, it seems like a good find. They also serve at this cart those spiral spuds here which I really like!

 Deep Fried Oreo cart outside in the Midway

 Left: "Deep Fried Oreos" ($5 for three or $2 for one), Right: Deep Fried Oreo on the inside

Before The Ex opened this year, the deep fried Oreo was what I was most looking forward to. I don't know if its because the novelty for wacky fried food items just went away after a full day of eating, or if I was just full, but it just didn't live up to my anticipation. For one, it was not made fresh. It was the end of the night so turnover was lower and our 3 oreos came from a pile of pre-fried items. It was neither hot and crispy. The dough became soggy from the cooled-down oil and so it was just overall unimpressive. Taste-wise it quite good. It's unfortunate because I think it would've been great if it was made fresh. I guess the lesson here is to eat all your fried foods when everyone else does!

When it was home time I felt absolutely exhausted. Not only from all the walking, but all the eating! I think I need to exercise and eat salads for the next week, or maybe get some sort of a coronary angioplasty to keep my arteries happy. Aside from that, a great day at The Ex!