The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) came to Toronto on Friday! The Eat to the Beat team hit the fair grounds on opening day to see the sights and to get a taste of the crazy culinary delights.
A big highlight of the CNE in recent years has been the outrageous fair food. From deep-frying everything under the sun, to giant burgers, to sweet classics, the CNE has seen its fair share of crispy, gooey, mouth-watering creations. 2010’s star of the show was deep-fried butter, with your choice of chocolate, caramel and raspberry sauce. 2011 saw the doughnut cheeseburger; an all-beef patty, topped with cheese and bacon, served between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts. You can check out more of the CNE’s past food fun on our featured CNEat Pinterest Board.
We were very excited for this project, especially since this year the CNE brings to Toronto a meaty favourite: Bacon.
Bacon Nation makes its debut at the CNE, offering up tons of pork in new and amazing creations. We caught the booth’s “Pork Stars” dishing out deep-fried, bacon wrapped Mars bars, Nutella and Bacon sandwiches, and this:
Bacon Nation’s featured dish is a hot dog, wrapped in bacon, battered, and deep-fried, with bacon bits to top it off.
Alongside is the Bacon Explosion: pork sausage, stuffed with bacon bits, WRAPPED in bacon, on a bun with lettuce, tomato, and a Jack Daniel’s barbeque sauce.
And for dessert, what else but a bacon sundae funnel cake, with soft-serve vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and caramel, a strip of bacon and plenty of bacon bits.
Located in the centre of the Toronto Star food building, Bacon Nation was buzzing with activity well past dinner time.
Just Cone It!
Because it just tastes better in a cone is their tagline and we couldn’t agree more! Just Cone It is serving everything from shepherd’s pie to the popular combination of bacon and Nutella in a delectable bread cone.
The Pull’d booth is another that offered all things pork. With the longest line that we saw, Pull’d’s CNE launch blew away our expectations. Prepare yourself to get “Jack’d”, with pulled pork layered between THREE red velvet pancakes, buttered, and covered in Jack Daniel’s-infused syrup.
We have never tried red velvet pancakes, but just watching them on the griddle made our mouths water.
They also offer the classic pork on a bun, or you can try Stack’d, pulled pork on a German pretzel bun, topped with two potato perogies and creamy coleslaw.
For those CNE attendees who prefer lighter healthier fair food, visit Vie. Offering up organic, raw vegan dishes, Vie stands out among the many other offerings of the CNE’s Food Building. Their signature dishes are raw tacos, with “re-fried beans” (vegan walnut pate), fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, lettuce and vegan sour cream. For dessert, Vie serves “guilt-free” tarts and brownies, like the “Love Me Tart”; a coconut beet crust, filled with banana cashew vanilla cream and topped with pomegranate. Reaching out to a different target market, Vie is sure to gain attention.
Cotton candy, sno-cones, candy apples, and popcorn will always be carnival classics, but we thoroughly enjoyed exploring this growing world of extreme carnival creations.
What is your favourite food creation at the CNE? Do you dare try the BBBLT or Jack’d pancakes and pulled pork?