It’s the season for festivals and fairs.
And while some of the attractions may be the midway or the crafts, let’s face it — we go for the food!
The Canadian National Exhibition has always been famous for its food building. After a two-year hiatus, I think my tummy has settled.
I remember as a kid, it was so exciting to head to that food section and fill up on free samples and fill tote bags with freebies.
I’m not sure how many of either there are nowadays, but one thing that holds true is the CNE is known for creative food concoctions.
The organizers are keeping mum about most of this year’s choices, but have revealed one breadcrumb.
Toronto vendor Harrison Swift has been serving up some of the fair’s most interesting treats since 2013 (think pickle lemonade). Brace yourself and your stomach for the arrival of ketchup and mustard-flavoured ice cream. It's bright red or yellow swirls in a cone.
The new flavours will be served up at a new booth in the Midway called So Cute Ice Cream.
I realize foodies are all about mixing the sweet and savoury these days.
You can try the ketchup ice cream with a french fry. What will go with the mustard cone but a pretzel, of course. If you are even more adventurous, swirl them together.
The thought of it turns me a bit green but who knows?
I have come to appreciate coffee ice cream.
Remember other fair foods of the past, like deep fried dill pickles. That’s like a staple now.
Well, to be honest, deep fried anything sets my taste buds a tingling.
Deep fried Mars bars went over well.
Funnel cakes — sign me up!
New to the list is deep fried jelly beans but those seem only to be a hit in Nebraska.
Even deep fried chicken noodle soup balls. Served on a stick, no less. I can’t even fathom how they make those and you will have to go to Texas to sample.
How about slawsa? That is a mixture of coleslaw and salsa for your burger.
While I usually love to try new things I don’t like to mix my first with my dessert courses.
Remember at family potlucks when they plopped the red jello salad on the paper plate with your hotdog and potato salad and it turned all the food crimson and soggy?
To this day, I have to separate my foods on different plates.
While some culinary experiments seem to work other foods should just be left alone.
To me, the Oreo is the perfect cookie. There is no need to make them in vanilla. No need for double stuffed or coloured icing. Certainly, there is no place for minis.
Variety is always good but it is getting really difficult to find original plain potato chips. Sure, salt and vinegar, ketchup, dill pickle and barbecue can be tasty but for my money, I prefer the good old salty, non-ridged chip.
Ice cream makers have made a fortune on all its varieties of flavours and it has been fun to eat my way through most of them.
But I have to draw the line with the CNE’s two newest ideas.
Team Ketchup? Team Mustard? I just can’t do it.
For those of you who will though, may I suggest, as a chaser some Pepto Bismol — pink yet chalky — the original recipe!
The CNE, in Toronto, runs Aug. 19 to Sept. 5.