Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chocolate Covered Bacon? Only in Canada, eh?

Yesterday, Canada’s largest fall fair opened – the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), a right of summer’s passage into fall long before most of us can remember.

From the usual midway rights, the sounds of hucksters peddling their midway games, the rides, the air show to the food, there is something special about the CNE which most Canadians fondly remember.

One year they served up pizza on a stick – looked too messy so I didn’t try it. Last year they had chocolate covered bacon – that just sounds gross.

Not to be out done, this year you can get something slightly healthier – deep fried butter. Well, okay, it might not be healthy at all, but I’m just curious how they are going to deep fry something that melts like – well butter.

Want something more meaty? Try a cheeseburger in a bag, also new this year.
What ever happened top good old burgers, fries, and ice cream cones?

Although “the Ex” as it has become known by locals in Toronto, Canada, has its fair share of unusual foods – they boast this year there are 22 items sold on a stick – there is something missing from CNE’s of the past.

When I was a kid, I remember going to the Food Building for lunch, and being amazed at all the different tastes. It was a multicultural smorgasbord from everywhere on the planet. They even gave out free samples!

For at least the past decade, if not longer, the Food Building has suffered the modernization of the rest of the world. Now it’s littered with big multinational fast food giants, national fast food chains. You can get burgers and fries, finger licking chicken, and pizza from all the big fast food vendors.

Probably why the mom and pop shops can only survive at “the Ex” by offering wild concoctions like deep fried butter, and pizza on a stick.

Oh well, at least they still sell the classic ice cream waffles, beaver tails, and the ultimate fall fair treat – cotton candy.

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