Last year, it was deep-fried butter.
This year, the main food attraction at the Canadian National Exhibition is none other than the suddenly infamous Krispy Kreme doughnut cheeseburger, the first of its kind available in Ontario.
Based in part on the widely successful maple-glazed doughnut burger at the Calgary Stampede, the Ex is making headlines for its Krispy Kreme topped (and bottomed) cheeseburger. Tomato, lettuce, bacon and a fried egg complete the burger.
To even have a chance at enjoying the 1,500-calorie burger — general manager David Bednar called it “1,500 calories of fun” — you have to forget that you just read “1,500-calorie burger.” If fair food is where you choose to indulge, put aside healthy-eating sense and go for it. Otherwise, the guilt will only make your indigestion worst.
[See also: Fried butter on a stick]
Ignoring nutritional math, I took a bite. And then I took another. And another.
The first bite was soft and sweet and surprisingly not disgusting. The second bite was slightly more overwhelming. Too sweet. Too rich. Too much. The third bite was my last, mostly because there was an entire table of deep-fried treats ahead of me. I needed to pace myself.
A few minutes later, I started craving salad.
A few minutes after that, I needed a nap.
The burger was a bit of a sticky mess, with the doughnuts’ glaze melted by the warm meat. The tomato and lettuce felt unnecessary, with their flimsy “I’m healthy” textures fighting against the rest of the melt-in-your-mouth burger.
If you can’t resist trying this dinner-and-dessert-in-one, splitting it with a friend (or two) will still give you bragging rights, but will also preserve your arteries.
(It should be noted that Paula Deen calls her version of this burger “The Lady’s Brunch Burger.” She is not invited to my next girls’ breakfast.)
At least no one has tried to deep fry the doughnut cheeseburger. Yet.
The mostly tasty deep-fried treats you’re likely to encounter at the CNE are just as heart-unfriendly:
Deep frying should amplify the flavour of the original food, one vendor told us, which is probably why this became a favourite among my taste-testing peers. Not too sweet, not too greasy. This is a kid-friendly option — if you’re into feeding your kids deep-fried food on a stick.
[Related: Bisin: Making fresh food last forever]
Deep-fried cola, Slushies, and cherryade.
How do you deep fry liquid? The stock answer? “It’s a secret.” The truth? The folks at the CNE do what the deep-fried Kool-Aid guy does. They create a batter with the beverage’s syrup and deep fry that.
Cola is the brand-new, sure-to-be-popular option this year.
Watch the snack’s creator, Abel Gonzales Jr., fry cola on The TODAY Show below:
The Cherryade balls are Toronto’s answer to the San Diego County Fair’s Kool-Aid balls.
(I recommend the Slushie option only to individuals craving blue sugar. Otherwise, move on.)
The mild mac & cheese tasted more like last night’s leftovers on a stick than fair food. I dub this one “deadly comfort food.”
The gooey deep-fried S’mores triumphed over the too-sweet Pop-Tarts.
The salty Cajun-spiced deep-fried cheese curds threatened to be addictive — if I had been smart enough to guzzle water as I noshed.
The CNE opens on Friday, August 19th. Snack at your own risk.
Outside of nutritional wisdom, what’s your fair indulgence of choice?
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