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Bacon Everything at The Ex 2012

There is a distinctly porky slant to the food items that will grab the most attention at this year’s CNE. Last year was the year of doughnut burgers and deep-fried Cok…er cola and in 2010 Twitter was filled with pictures of deep-fried butter. The three early candidates to take the crown this year are the Bacon Explosion from Bacon Nation, pulled pork on red velvet pancakes from Pull’d, and the bacon fudge from Northwest Fudge.

Bacon Explosion sandwich from Bacon Nation

Bacon Explosion sandwich from Bacon Nation

Bacon Explosion from Bacon Nation

I know you instagram-flooding foodsters and trend-piece-writing food writers are tired of bacon but 98% of the population (who eat pork) have not had their fill. They still make that wide-eyed “oooohhhh bacon” exclamation when they see that someone has figured out how to cram more bacon into a non-breakfast dish. The Bacon Explosion sandwich wraps a bun around a hefty slice of a football shaped, bacon-laden and bacon-wrapped meatloaf that tastes very much like salty pork sausage.

Pulled pork on red velvet pancakes from PULL'D

Pulled pork on red velvet pancakes from PULL’D

Red Velvet Pancakes with Pulled Pork

As bacon breaks free from its type casting as a breakfast food why not pancakes as well? There is something satisfying and complementary about soft, fluffy pancakes and long-braised, tender pork served together with a Jack Daniels maple syrup sauce. The team behind PULL’D chose beets over food colouring as the health-minded route to get the red colour into their pancakes. The PULL’D booth will be setup beside the Epic Burgers (of doughnut burger fame) in the Toronto Star Food Building. Stop by to sample their full menu of pulled meat and serving combinations.

Bacon fudge from Northwest Fudge.

Bacon fudge from Northwest Fudge.

Bacon Fudge from Northwest Fudge

What would the Ex be without a vendor pushing the boundaries of what can be deep-fried? This year Northwest Fudge will once again be coating their fudge in a doughnut batter and deep-frying it. But they’re also offering their fudge with crispy bacon and covered in Belgian chocolate.

Take a look around the Food Building and you’ll see that the offerings at the Ex are moving in a more global direction. Two good examples of this are the Far East Taco vendors and the Lebanese bakery called Thyme & Olives. And for those who didn’t get enough over the past two years the deep-fried butter will be back again.

More information about the 2012 Canadian National Exhibition can be found on their website or through Twitter.

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4 Comments

  1. Bev says:

    I’m most interested in trying the stuff from Pull’d. Please tell me the pancakes aren’t sweet.

  2. foodwithlegs says:

    The pancakes are breakfast-like. Halfway between savoury pancakes and dessert. The maple syrup sauce is (obviously) pretty sweet but you may be able to get them without it. Not surprising that the stuff from PULL’D looks interesting given the crossover between their team and Buster’s Sea Cove.

  3. M says:

    Bacon is typecast as a breakfast food? All I think about is greasy late-night stuff.

    The explosion sandwich looks alright, but people have gotta stop mixing savoury and sweet. Are people not sick of that trend already?

    Deep fried fudge does not sound tasty.

    I assume these vendors do make sales though since they come back every year

  4. foodwithlegs says:

    Done right savoury and sweet is a great combination. Bacon and maple syrup; caramelised onions and gruyere; and eggplant fritters dipped in honey are three off-the-top-of-my-head examples of great combinations. It’s just a matter of throwing away preconceived notions about saving the sweet for the end of the meal. An idea, by the way, that is fairly limited to a small section of the world’s cuisines and over a rather brief span of history.

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