Ex marks the spot: eight culinary innovations at this year’s Canadian National Exhibition (including deep-fried cola)

Ex marks the spot: eight culinary innovations at this year’s Canadian National Exhibition (including deep-fried cola)

Four culinary delights at this year’s CNE (Images: Gizelle Lau) 

In the days of yore, people flocked to the Canadian National Exhibition to see the year’s prize cows, pigs and horses. It’s only fitting that in these fallen fast-food times, people now gather round the warm, greasy glow of the deep fryers in the CNE Food Building. Indeed, gawking at the year’s fried fare has become something of an annual tradition, so we headed back to the Ex this year to bring you eight gut-busting indulgences, including this year’s headline grabber: deep-fried Coke cola.

See photos of all eight, along with a readout of our regret-o-meter »


Name: The Krispy Kreme Doughnut Burger
What is it?: Two Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a very generous 6 oz. beef patty, cheese, lettuce and tomato
Tastes like: Someone dipped your burger in maple syrup—without asking
Price:
$8 ($1 extra each for egg, bacon strips or cheese)
Where to find it:
Epic Burgers and Waffles, CNE Food Building
Regret-o-meter:

9 out of 10

(Images: burger, Gizelle Lau; voltmeter, xunil96)

Name: The Behemoth
What is it?: Two Texas grilled cheese sandwiches, an epic 6 oz. beef patty, cheese, lettuce and tomato, plus optional ketchup, mustard and maple syrup (but who could resist?)
Tastes like: A slightly less epic version of the Vatican at the Burger’s Priest; i.e. queasily satisfying and probably the best thing we ate all night
Price: $9 ($1 extra each for egg, bacon strips or cheese)
Where to find it:
Epic Burgers and Waffles, CNE Food Building
Regret-o-meter:

2 out of 10


Name: Deep-fried fudge (vanilla)
What is it?: A block of chocolate, vanilla or maple syrup fudge deep-fried for one glorious minute and 50 blessed seconds in doughnut batter
Tastes like: Some kind of goop that dripped off the alien from Alien
Price: $5
Where to find it:
Northwest Fudge Factory, CNE Food Building
Regret-o-meter:

10 out of 10!!!


Name: Deep-fried cola
What is it?: Coca-Cola batter squirted into a deep fryer and served with whipped cream
Tastes like: This year’s buzziest bit of exhibition excess actually tasted like a mild-mannered, Cola-flavoured funnel cake
Price: $5.97
Where to find it:
Deep Fried Pop Shop, CNE Food Building
Regret-o-meter:

3 out of 10


Name: Deep-fried mac-and-cheese; deep-fried mac-and-curds
What is it?: Crispy fried balls, two ways: macaroni and cheese, and macaroni and cheese curds
Tastes like: Comfort deep-fried and, given some of the other options at the Ex, refreshingly reasonable
Price: $7 for a tray
Where to find them:
Mac & Cheesery, CNE Food Building
Regret-o-meter:

1 out of 10


Name: Deep-fried s’more; deep-fried Jos. Louis
What is it?: Two of your favourite childhood treats covered in a thick, pogo-style batter and fried within inches of their lives
Tastes like: Exceedingly sweet mush
Price: $5 each
Where to find them:
Deep Fried Candy Bars, CNE food building
Regret-o-meter:

8 out of 10


Name: Deep-fried cherry Kool-Aid
What is it?: An obvious rival to the deep-fried cola, this is cherry Kool-Aid batter balled up and dropped into the deep fryer
Tastes like: A greasy ball of cherry-flavoured Robitussin, but slightly crunchier on the outside and slightly less narcotic on the inside
Price:
$5
Where to find it:
Sweet Treats, right across from Sgt. Spatter’s Paintball tent
Regret-o-meter:

10 out of 10!!!


Name: Deep-fried butter
What is it?: Last year’s attention grabber, blocks of battered butter tossed into the deep fryer in ball form.
Tastes like: Slurping up the bottom of your bag of movie popcorn (with extra-butter) after yet another disappointing rom-com
Price: $5
Where to find it:
Sweet Treats, right across from Sgt. Spatter’s Paintball tent
Regret-o-meter:

6 out of 10