Looking at the CNE's mouthwatering options

Toroto Sun reporter Matt Ingram tries out the newest food at the Canadian National Exhibition -...

Toroto Sun reporter Matt Ingram tries out the newest food at the Canadian National Exhibition - here the Tiny Tom's donuts which aren't new but very popular on Monday August 18, 2014. Michael Peake/QMI Agency

MATT INGRAM, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:06 PM ET

Nothing says Canadian National Exhibition like unusual chow to tantalize the taste buds.

 

For its 136th running, the CNE is dishing out an array of weird new treats and some old classics to keep the stomach stretched.

The Toronto Sun’s Matt Ingram went to the Ex to challenge his digestive tract and here’s his his rundown of dietary delights.

His favourites are listed in order...

1. Thanksgiving Waffle from Fran’s ($10)

5 arteries clogged out of 5

Thanksgiving came early this year and we all should be happy it did. Fran’s restaurant has a booth at the Ex for the first time and no surprise they brought out something new for the fans -- the Thanksgiving waffle. Just imagine a waffle that tastes like stuffing, with cranberries, mashed potatoes, green onions and fresh roast turkey slathered in gravy and served up hot. The turkey is fresh and the waffle has an authentic stuffing flavor infused with a cranberry essence. It’s exactly what would be served if Thanksgiving was a breakfast holiday and to that end I’ve come up with a new holiday tradition -- #Thanksfast and #Breakgiving. Check my twitter -- it’s a thing.

2. Cocoa infused fried chicken from Coco’s Fried Chicken (2 piece meal $8)

4.8 arteries clogged out of 5

The people at Coco’s Fried Chicken have come up with something unique at the CNE -- mixing all that’s great about fried chicken with the mood enhancing, magical powers of chocolate. Yes, that’s right, chocolate chicken. The batter has cocoa in it, making it look noticeably darker than regular fried chicken and giving this pleasant poultry a chocolaty taste without being too sweet. Served up with fries, its crispy and dished out hot without being greasy. To complement your meal, you can get chocolate ketchup to go with it, adding a tangy, sweet flavor to whatever you put it on.

3. Butter coffee from Hula Girl Espresso ($6)

4.5 arteries clogged out of 5

Quite possibly the best coffee you can get at the CNE, this one was a surprise. Automatically when you hear “butter coffee” you imagine a stick of butter floating in a cup of coffee. So when they hand you this rich, slightly bitter but very smooth coffee you may not be sure they gave you the right thing. What’s even more surprising is some people will tell you its actually good for you because of the health benefits of the butter. The secret to this creamy drink is blending organic butter and coconut oil to Hula Girl Espresso’s roasted coffee and serving it up hot -- simple and beautiful.

4. S’more Bao from Far East Taco ($6)

4.3 arteries clogged out of 5

Being a camper I thought I knew a little something about s’mores but man was I wrong. You think graham crackers make the s’more? Think again -- the only way to really do it is with a bao, a type of bun used in Chinese cuisine. The soft and light bao is filled with chocolate and marshmallow and heated up in a melted, messy fashion. It’s big enough for two so you can pick it up and share it with a friend like the Lady and the Tramp if you wanted.

5. Rice ball from Corrado’s Authentic Italian Food ($6)

4.2 arteries clogged out of 5

Corrado’s rice ball is back to delight customers for a second year. It won best food concession in 2013 and, in case anybody missed it last year, this one had to make the list. The owner, Corrado Pecorella, is manning the booth serving a classic Sicilian recipe to many a happy customer. The rice ball is covered in marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese creating a great textured treat for the Italian in all of us.

6. Liquid nitrogen sorbet from Eative ($7)

4 arteries clogged out of 5

Like something out of a high-school chemistry class, the folks at Eative use liquid nitrogen to flash freeze fresh fruit juice into very smooth sorbet. The nitrogen is piped into a cake mixer where they add the juice and mix it for less than a minute to create this cool confection. It’s available in four flavors including the very tasty pineapple and mango.

7. Spicy peanut butter sriracha balls from Fran’s ($7)

3.8 arteries clogged out of 5

This one is a marriage of opposites, bringing together the creamy, mouth-coating power of peanut butter and the tongue-melting hotness of sriracha sauce. Those very different flavors are brought together in a light, fried pastry and served in generous portions.

8. Americano Gringo cheeseburger nachos from Nachos Libre ($13)

3.7 arteries clogged out of 5

The same people who brought you Toronto restaurant Sneaky Dees have brought their food to the CNE in nacho form. There are eight different combinations to try including the Americano that comes with ground beef, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onions, jalapenos, bacon and covered with a three-cheese blend. Perfect for sharing, all this meal is missing is a beer.

9. Chunky Elvis grilled cheese from Chunky Cheese AKA Coffee Zone ($9.50)

3.5 arteries clogged out of 5

If this is what killed Elvis, he certainly died happy. This little gem is a standard grilled cheese sandwich dressed up with peanut butter, banana and bacon to create a truly unique meal. Served with chips, the chunky Elvis is a best seller for these business owners who advertise this artery-clogging sandwich with a cardboard cutout of the King himself.

10. The Fun-Ana from Mister Mikes ($7)

3.3 arteries clogged out of 5

Nothing says carnival like a corn dog, but what about a banana dipped in corn dog batter and deep-fried? Like the name implies, it’s a merger of a funnel cake and a banana. It’s a hot, gooey mess of fried banana, chocolate sauce and icing sugar that you have to fight to bite.  


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