The 10 most nostalgic treats at the CNE
Old-school carnival treats at the CNE often take a backseat to the novel Franken-foods introduced each year. For all the monstrosities that employ a more-is-more approach, these classics are reassuringly the same year after year after year.
These are my favourite nostalgic treats available at the CNE.
This dish popularized by the Outback Steakhouse is hardly native to Toronto, but considering the Aussie-themed steakhouse has pulled out of the GTA market, fans of this blossoming deep-fried onion know to make an annual pilgrimage to the CNE to get their fill.
Nothing beats this hot-and-cold midway treat. This iconic ice cream sandwich first debuted at the CNE in 1940 and has become a festival staple ever since.
Among the many cheap thrills at the Ex is this enduring dollar dish. It's an annual tradition for generations of fair-goers. Found in the Food Building, the pile of pasta in red sauce is a throwback to simpler times.
Get your sugar fix with these deep-fried mini doughnuts coated with powder sugar and/or cinnamon. This iconic vendor is one of the oldest still operating at the CNE having first appeared at the Ex in the 1960s.
The origin of this classic concession is hotly debated, though its place on midway menus is certainly not. Battered and deep fried hot dogs on a stick are among the OGs of carnival food.
Legend has it that a Kraft Foods salesman first invented this treat in 1950 by dipping apples into melted Kraft caramels. Voila, the nostalgic treat (and cousin to Canada's beloved Kraft Dinner) has been a festival favourite ever since.
A Scottish chip shop claims to have invented this deep fried delicacy as early as 1995. Regardless of its origin, this indulgent dessert is a highlight for many each year at the CNE.
The belle of the ball at state fairs throughout the United States (especially in Texas) is this meaty treat that's also a favourite at the CNE. Get the slow-smoked original, or have it coated in crushed frosted flakes and then deep fried.
The scent of funnel cake is a seductive force. Puffy golden squiggles of deep fried dough showered in icing sugar and dressed up with a swirl of soft serve and jam is the ultimate fair food.
Rainbow syrup soaked into a snow ball has never been my cup of tea, but the sugary midway treat is a classic that dates back to 1919 when it first debuted at the State Fair of Texas.
Hector Vasquez. With files from Liora Ipsum.
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