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A culinary tour of some of this year’s deep-fried wonders at the CNE

The bacon-wrapped deep-fried Mars bar at Deep Fried Candy Bars

For last year’s Canadian National Exhibition, we brought you eight culinary innovations, including the god-awful (but much talked about) Krispy Kreme burger. This year, dubbed by many the year of bacon, we scoured the Ex’s food stands once more to bring you five new gastronomic wonders to check out (or avoid, depending on your stomach). What follows is the account of our perilous journey, complete with readouts from our Regret-o-meter. Consume the following at your own risk »

(Meter image: xlibber)

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The CNE announces this year’s deep-fried and bacon-laden indulgences

From last year’s fried-things coverage, complete with Regret-o-metre (Image: Gizelle Lau)

Each year, we fear and anticipate in equal measure the arrival of whatever new deep-fried offerings and culinary innovations the folks at the CNE have managed to round up. This year’s lineup of indulgences, which will be available starting August 17, includes the return of such delicacies as the Krispy Kreme Burger, the Colossal Onion and the following deep fried items: butter, Mars bars, PB&J, the ever-controversial Cola and mac-‘n’-cheese. What really caught our eye on the press release, however, was the arrival of Bacon Nation. Expect sandwiches made with Nutella bacon and Jack Daniels bacon, deep-fried bacon–covered hotdogs, a bacon parfait, bacon sundae, bacon popcorn and even meat candy (that’s chocolate-covered bacon and candied bacon). Oh, and also new this year: raw vegan food. See the full lineup [CNE] »

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Must-Try: an offbeat dessert (it has foie gras) that’s worth its $25 price tag, from The Black Hoof

Must-Try: Two Toast Toppers

Two toast toppers—one lowbrow, one luxurious—come together in the Foie and Nutella, The Black Hoof’s most inventive dessert to date. A seared, darkly caramelized three-ounce slab of duck liver arrives sparkling with Maldon salt. The liver is perched on a slice of banana bread that’s been baked in rich buttermilk custard until it’s as dense and creamy as bread pudding. The plate is streaked with Nutella, sprinkled with crumbled hazelnut shortbread cookies, dotted with sherry-rosemary gastrique and finished with peppery lovage cress. Rich, sweet, salty, sour, creamy and crunchy, the bizarre combination of ingredients is a revelation. $25. The Black Hoof, 928 Dundas St. W., 416-551-8854.

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Nutella settles lawsuit over health claims (apparently chocolate spread is not, in fact, health food)

Apparently the world of tasty hazelnut spreads can get pretty litigious. Ferrero, the company behind the sweet, sweet chocolate and hazelnut paste Nutella, agreed recently to a $3 million settlement in order to end four class-action suits filed by a group of American mothers. They claimed the company used misleading ads to portray their sugar-laden product as healthy. Exhibit A: this commercial, where a harried mom feeds her kids the spread on multigrain toast and it’s supposed to be totally fine for them since the bread has fiber…or something. In reality, a few tablespoons of Nutella contain 200 calories, 11 grams of fat (3.5 of them saturated) and 21 grams of sugar—which is more like eating a chocolate bar, really. Thanks to the case, Ferrero USA has agreed to revise its labelling and advertising campaigns (among the now-verboten phrases, the supremely vague “quality ingredients”). If you want to get in on the class action lawsuit, there’s still time: eligible consumers (i.e. Americans) can submit a claim for $4 per jar purchased, though that’s capped at a maximum of $20. [Globe and Mail]