Foods at the Fair

Toronto CNE

You know summer’s almost over when all the fairs and exhibitions start taking place in mid to late August. If you live anywhere near Toronto, the big one is the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition). It always ends on Labour Day, which while not the official start, always seems to signify fall is on its way.

Tiny Tom DonutsI haven’t been to the CNE is several years (mostly because we were living too far away), but one of my fondest food memories was the fun in getting a bag of the Tiny Tom mini-donuts.

We always got two bags to share; one powdered sugar and one cinnamon sugar. YUM!

Tiny Tom Donuts

Many of you may have seen the news stories about people becoming ill at the CNE in Toronto recently. I feel terrible for anyone that gets food poisoning and I sure hope all of these people feel better soon!

I also feel bad for the businesses that are closed until they can determine the exact cause of the food poisoning. With over 1 million visitors, I am sure some of these businesses count on making a good portion of their income during the Ex (and I bet the fees to have a stand/counter are pretty high too). That being said, I commend the ones that have closed voluntarily until it is all sorted out. It seems they must wait 48 to 72 hours before getting definitive results from testing food that was gathered from the vendors.

Although they aren’t certain what caused the food poisoning, the focus seems to be on the “Cronut” burger – a hamburger with a croissant-donut mix for a bun, topped with a maple bacon-jam (created especially for the Ex).

Cronut Burger, CNE - Torontolife

State fairs in the US have been notorious over the years for introducing crazy food concoctions. Up here (in Canada), we seem to be keeping pace at exhibitions and fairs too!

There are many people out there who believe you should never eat these foods because they are SO unhealthy. I have never tried any of these fad or trendy foods, mainly because I think they are usually overpriced and I also find some of the creations sound kind of disgusting (but that’s just me). However, my stance has always been that most people only go to a fair a couple of times a year and indulging once or twice is not really the end of the world – especially if you try to eat fairly healthy the rest of the time.

That being said, I couldn’t help but notice this in one of the news articles:

One said his wife became sick after eating the cronut burger, as well as seafood chowder fries, ice cream waffles and a smoothie. He, however, did not get ill after eating a cronut burger.

As I mentioned earlier, I feel bad that people got ill from eating something at the CNE, but I really think I would feel kind of sick to my stomach if I ate ALL of the items mentioned on the same day. The article doesn’t say, but I am guessing that is for one meal… Maybe they were sharing? I’m sure we’ve all overeaten at one time or another (guilty as charged), but I just don’t think I would eat all those rich, creamy, fatty foods together. Maybe I would choose just one…

On a final note… another thing that always reminds me of fairs? Corn Dogs!!

I haven’t had a corn dog in ages, but I found this article on how to make your own at home (click the photo):

Corn Dogs

Do you go to fairs and try the new food fads? Would you try the “Cronut” Burger? Have you ever gotten sick after eating food at a fair?


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