The zaniest, most over-the-top and (in some cases) actually delicious food at this year’s CNE

The zaniest, most over-the-top and (in some cases) actually delicious food at this year’s CNE

For every child and parents of children and people who were once children, the arrival of the CNE means one thing: summer is almost over. So, from August 18 until September 4, you can eat your feelings by indulging in the festival’s annual edible freakshow. This year, there are all of the obligatory deep-fried things (cheese curds, avocado, Oreo cookies), and it seems pickles are popular. Here, a dozen of this year’s signature gut-busters, ranked from “not entirely disgusting” to “not today, Satan.”

Hungry Husky’s deep-fried cheese curds

12 Sprinkled with cinnamon and served with Ontario maple syrup, these deep-fried dairy bites are a sweet-and-savoury delight.

Burrito Co.’s deep-fried avocado

11 Burrito Co.’s banking on some millenial love for this deep-fried dish that comes with some kicky chipotle mayo for dunking.

Street Dogs’ Tokyo street dog

10 Still in the realm of things-that-are-pretty-normal-and-actually-tasty is this tempura-battered dog, which comes topped with teriyaki sauce, kewpie mayo and nori.

Hot Bunzz’s Italian Stallion

9 Same goes for these fully loaded sandwiches from Hot Bunzz, the best of which is the pulled beef short rib. The addition of alfredo capellini is a weird twist, but somehow it works.

Dolcé Inc.’s General Custard

8 Custard comes in two forms at this dessert booth: there’s the creamy frozen stuff, which is drizzled in whipped cream and caramel; and then there’s the entire Portuguese custard tart buried at the bottom.

Tim Hortons’ red licorice Timbit “poutine”

7 Feeling a might patriotic, the doughnut chain whipped up their take on poutine: Twizzler-flavoured Timbits drowning in whipped cream and finished off with some actual Twizzlers.

R&J Concession’s dill pickle pizza

6 This pie really doubles down on the dill flavour. Not only is it covered in pickle coins, underneath the cheese there’s a layer of dill ranch.

Sweet Jesus’ Chilly Dawg

5 This punny item from Sweet Jesus is a doughnut bun filled with soft serve ice cream, drizzled with chocolate syrup and sprinkled with crushed peanuts.

The Funnel Cake Shop’s deep-fried cotton candy Oreo

4 Continuing the tradition of deep-frying things that shouldn’t be deep-fried, the Funnel Cake Shop batters and fries Oreos wrapped in freaking cotton candy.

Splash’s pickle lemonade

3 After you’re done with that pickle pizza, you can wash it down with this briny, brackish lemonade. Or not. Your body, your choice.

Black Halo’s Spice Cream

2 Charcoal ice cream is so 2018. This year, try Spice Cream! Black Halo took something that’s normally cold and refreshing and added Tabasco sauce and bird’s eye chili peppers to it.

Farm to Fryer’s Hot Cheeto Chicken

1 Like cheese and heart attacks? Then you’ll love this sandwich-like abomination made with Hot Cheetos–dusted fried chicken and deep-fried, cheese-stuffed Doritos. It may as well be sponsored by Lipitor.