Jordie Dwyer - Reporter

Jordie Dwyer - Reporter

OPINION: Crazy fair ‘food’ reaches new heights and lows

The good and not-so-good ideas of this summer's fair food announcements.

For someone with allergies to a variety of foods and other restrictions due to health conditions, I find myself shaking my head and my stomach turning around this time each year.

The reason the annual announcement of the wacky, out of this world and just plain weird new midway foods (I use that term extremely loosely) set to show up at both the Calgary Stampede and Edmonton’s K-Days.

Released last week was the list of 40 ‘new’ items (can’t call most of it food, sorry) that span the spectrum from things normal people might be tempted to try all the way to the ‘what odd ball came up with this strange concoction’ category.

Among the more innocuous fair-ings available are the metre-long sausage, deep fried jello and the hickory smoked cordon bleu stuffed burger.

Then there are the vast array of ‘deep-fried’ offerings, some of which are just twisted a bit from the usual. Those include a number of different kinds of cheese curds, butter chicken bear balls, maple bacon mini-donuts and funnel cake poutine.

However, there are some notions that raised the eyebrows in shock and surprise. A couple of specific mentions come, of course, on a stick.

First is the Canadian bacon pickle balls a variation on last season’s big pickle dog is a hot dog inside a pickle that is wrapped in bacon and cut in half then battered and deep-fried before being stuck onto a stick. Sorry, but my stomach is churning just writing that line.

So, on to the next ‘why did they do that’ item crispy chicken feet on a stick. While I have eaten chicken feet many times before, I fail to understand how it has come to the midway and what on earth possessed someone to put them on the end of a stick.

Two other ‘deep-fried on a stick’ items left me confused, corn dog fried shrimp and tater bombs (basically deep fried mashed potatoes, why??).

A few other options also stumped me such as corn with a Mexican twist (a cob covered in something other than butter is not worth my time); deep fried pork belly (sorry, doesn’t out do bacon for me); corned beef wrapped in Swiss cheese then battered and fried like a corn dog (ruins a perfectly good reuben sandwich); rabbit pizza (not the game I’d want on a pizza); and, chili lime popcorn shrimp perogies (simply why mess with the great perogy?).

And there were a number that were either bizarre or frankly gut-wrenchingly putrid.

Among the ludicrous were the tropical bobster (essentially lobster poutine with mango salsa, coriander and cheese served on fries, but why would you ruin lobster that way); clam chowder poutine (yet another tasty dish hitting the skids of someone’s terrible imagination); pie or cake stuck into a milkshake (soggy pie a la mode??); and, raw cookie dough and sprinkles in a waffle cone surrounded by cotton candy (hmmm diabetic cardiac arrest maybe?).

Amongst the worst of the lot is the unicorn white hot chocolate beverage.

Described as a decadent creamy, steamed white hot chocolate drink where the top is surrounded by two rows of rainbow sour pop suckers. If that wasn’t enough, add in a bunch of sprinkles, sugar stars and a rainbow sugar ribbon tail with a bunch of fluffy cotton candy.

Exhibitions and fairs used to have comfort foods and ones that, even if the rides needed barf bags, may not need to be seen again. With all of the stuff listed above, I’m not sure I’d even need a ride to fill one of those bags.

But that is…just an observation.