CNE Treats: Ridiculous, Delicious, or Both?

July 19, 2012 Updated: September 29, 2015
Returning to the collection, the Krispy Kreme burger by Epic Burger, located in the CNE Food Building. (Courtesy to CNE)

TORONTO—Food is about to get even more creative and crazy at the 134th annual Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), which runs for 18 days starting on Aug. 17.

Some of these new treats are unique to the CNE and even more bonkers than old favourites like deep-fried Mars Bars or Krispy Kreme burgers.

Among the 11 new food vendors is a well-rounded collection of healthy, odd, exotic, and seemingly normal choices.

For those who have ever watched YouTube’s Epic Meal Time, the foods at the CNE are just as artery-clogging and delightful, maybe with a little less alcohol but almost equivalent bacon utilization.

A new bacon-centric vendor known as Bacon Nation sells everything topped, sprinkled, candied, seasoned, or loaded with bacon. Bacon sundae, anyone?

Also cuckoo is the idea of putting plated foods into cones. Just Cone It! wants you to enjoy grilled chicken, shepherd’s pie, or creative build-your-owns in a cone.

At PULL’D a meat lover can enjoy various meat sources on top of “unusual breads” such as pancakes or pretzel buns. After trying this, you may start to desire pancakes topped with chicken for breakfast.

The CNE will offer weird and wonderful treats like deep fried butter-on-a-stick, seen here. Starting Aug. 17, visitors will be able to enjoy a variety of new and unusual tastes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

If you’re not quite ready to take on the odd and exotic, choose from the following almost-normal constructions. A filling choice would be the Loaded Baked Potato, serving a baked potato with butter or a gourmet topping.

Another sane option would be the Big Apple Fritter—deep-fried apple fritters topped with one or a mix of cinnamon, sugar, icing, or ice cream.

Then there is the Sweetness Bakery, offering cupcakes, squares, cookies, cake pops (all with the proud title of “gourmet”).

A mashup of Mexican and East Asian culture is available at the new Far East Taco vendor, with options like bulgogi, spicy pork and kimchi, fried tofu, and more.

More on the cultural side, CNE-goers can have a Dutch experience at Dutch Frites with the fancy sounding Kroket, Frikandel, Kipcorn, and StroopWafel.

One more exotic land has a spot in the food fare. Thyme & Olives offers baked delights, Lebanese-style.

If healthier options are what you are looking for, there’s Fresh Fuel Smoothies at The Pita Pit, which guarantees three servings of fruit in a cup.

The final addition is vie, which offers raw, vegan, and organic delights. Nothing is heated over 46 degrees Celsius, all to please the 24/7 health connoisseur.

After trying a few of these 11 delicious new vendors, you might start to wonder how many workouts it will take to get rid of the extra calories. The internal debate of whether to purchase one of these mouth-watering specialties typically involves weighing the indulgent price against the often minimal nutritional value.

Don’t let these concerns restrain you—convince yourself to try some new and different tastes. Remember, these are gourmet treats, not daily eats.

Of course, if you had a cheeseburger for breakfast, you might want to opt for one of vie’s vegan power bars for lunch.

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