Friday, August 16, 2013

CNE opens to fanfare and deep-fried treats

The Canadian National Exhibition was filled with eager beavers Friday morning.

Fairgoers started filing into exhibition at 8 a.m., even though opening ceremonies didn't start for two more hours.

Rob Ford, who helped kick off the festivities, said his favourite part of the event is the food building, where delicacies such as Nutella french fries, deep fried whole onions, and all manner of baconated treats can be found.

“I come down all the time,” he said.

Ford ended his interview with assembled media once questions about his drinking and after-hours jail visit arose.

At the food building, hundreds of people gathered to sample some of the most decadent delicacies. Brian Lesznik, who comes to the CNE specifically for the food, said it’s all about gluttony.
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“There's so many new selections now that it's going to be a fun-filled day of eating!” he said, his eyes filled with hungry glee.

“It's fair food, it's time to eat.”

This year's invention: the cronut hamburger, a deep fried croissant covered in cinnamon sugar, filled with an all-beef burger patty, cheese and bacon-maple jam.

By 10:30, Epic Burgers & Waffles had already sold five cronut burgers to hungry people for what must have been the greasiest breakfast of their lives.

Lily Mark, whose whole family is excited to try the meaty confection, decided to err on the side of restraint and split the burger in four.

“So we can all taste,” she said.

But Karla Mount Steven, who's been coming to the CNE with her family for the last decade, can't have any of it.

She's getting married in November, so in her stead her sister, Holly Mount Steven, is pinch hitting.

“I'm gonna be brave for her,” she said.

Richard Nunez, who saw the cronut on TV, went all out and got it with bacon and egg in addition to the beef patty.

“It's good,” he said. “I can taste everything in it.”

Hazel May Newton opened the 135th CNE. At 102, she's been coming to the exhibition since she was 7 years old, when she won first place for her apple pie.

“Everybody knows me for my pie,” she said.

This year, she wants to win another prize. “I want to see if they can guess my age!” she said.
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