There is no such thing as halfway at the Canadian National Exhibition.
As the Toronto institution opens for its 134th year on August 17th, the crowds will flood through The Princes' Gates to experience the blaring lights, the temporary roller coasters, the carnival games -- and of course, the food.
Long one of the favourite attractions at the CNE, this year's culinary offerings have attempted to one-up even past years' deep-fried butter and the 1,550-calorie Krispy Kreme burger (though both will still be available this year).
Special events on the food side of things include a Food Truck Frenzy from August 24 to 26, building on the city's current love for food trucks and featuring almost 20 different mobile offerings, and Ribfest almost every day in Bandshell Park.
But as everyone knows, the artery-clogging, 'don't make me go on that ride now' kind of food is found in the Food Building, and this year's choice of consumable heart attacks are doing their best to make you want to wait until 2013 to do it all over again. Check out these dishes, and see if you're not salivating by the end.
Baked And Loaded
From <a href="http://baconnation.net/" target="_hplink">Bacon Nation</a>: A sweet potato filled with marshmallows and pecans, topped with (what else?) bacon bits.
Sugar Cookie French Fries And Buttercream Icing
From <a href="https://twitter.com/SugarStarsTV" target="_hplink">Sugar Stars</a> (at The Food Network Canada stage): 'Fries' made from sugar cookies, cut into rectangular shapes, topped by buttercream icing dyed to look like ketchup.
Spicy Pork Bao Taco
From <a href="https://www.facebook.com/FarEastTG" target="_hplink">Far East Taco</a>: Just as delicious as it sounds, with a healthy dosage of kimchi for spectacular flavour.
From <a href="https://www.facebook.com/FarEastTG" target="_hplink">Far East Taco</a>: Marinated barbecued beef on a taco shell, served with kimchi (of course) and lime
From Pull'd: Triple layered red velvet pancakes loaded with slow-roasted and smoked pulled pork with a signature barbecue sauce and topped with a Jack Daniels-infused maple syrup. The booth is also offering 'Stack'd,' pulled pork between a German pretzel bun, topped with two seared three-cheese perogies and their signature coleslaw.
From Pull'd: Back by popular demand, the Epic Burger showcases a six-ounce beef patty, lettuce, tomato and cheese, sandwiched between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts. You can also, if you so choose, add in a fried egg and bacon.
Cones Of All Sorts
From Just Cone It: A variety of foods in cones, including pepperoni pizza, shepherd's pie, "Olympus" (a salad of tomatoes, onions, feta, cucumber and oregano), and for dessert, "dirty bacon": Nutella and bacon.
So Many Kroketten
From <a href="http://dutchfrites.ca/" target="_hplink">Dutch Frites</a>: These deep-fried delicious treats come in a variety of flavours, including (from left) Bitter Ballin' with beef ragout, some chicken croquettes with chicken ragout, Frickin' Dough, a sausage deep-fried, butterflied and served with curry ketchup, mayo and raw onions -- and of course, the round, puck-like banh mi with Thai noodles and nasi with fried rice.
Big Apple Fritters
From Big Apple Fritter: Apples peeled, cored, slice and deep-fried in a special batter, then topped with cinnamon and icing sugar. There's also an option to add ice cream and/or maple syrups, while slice apples with caramel is available as a healthier choice.
Variety Of Savoury Pies
From Thyme & Olives: Meat pie, spinach pie, cheese pie and a speciality (not pictured) of sesame pie with halloumi cheese
From Vie: A taco shell made from corn and red pepper, 'refried beans' made from walnut paste, lettuce and pico de gallo
Deep-Fried Mars Bar
From <a href="http://baconnation.net/" target="_hplink">Bacon Nation</a>: Exactly what the description -- just wrapped in bacon.
From <a href="http://baconnation.net/" target="_hplink">Bacon Nation</a>: Two pieces of back bacon, eight strips of bacon, lettuce, tomato and Nutella spread
From Vie: A 'cupcake' made from a coconut base, cashew cream and pomegranate seeds.
Jack Daniel's Explosion
From <a href="http://baconnation.net/" target="_hplink">Bacon Nation</a>: Bacon sausage stuffed with real bacon bits, infused with Jack Daniel's BBQ sauce, all wrapped in a bacon weave.
Bacon Sundae Funnel Cake
From <a href="http://baconnation.net/" target="_hplink">Bacon Nation</a>: Ice cream sundae topped with bacon strips, real bacon bits, chocolate and caramel sauce.
Red Velvet Funnel Cake
From <a href="http://baconnation.net/" target="_hplink">Bacon Nation</a>: Red velvet funnel cake with cream cheese icing.
Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog
From <a href="http://baconnation.net/" target="_hplink">Bacon Nation</a>: The deep-fried beer-battered bacon-wrapped hot dog on a stick.
From <a href="http://www.northwestfudgefactory.com/" target="_hplink">Northwest Fudge Factory</a>: Caramelized bacon put on top of fudge and drizzled in chocolate. Also available at the booth: Deep-fried fudge, which is fudge dipped in doughnut batter.
Biggie EX Pop
From <a href="http://sweetnessbakery.ca/" target="_hplink">Sweetness Bakery</a>: A kabob-style dessert composed of chunks chocolate-covered cupcakes sandwiched between pieces of strawberry. The booth will also have squares, cookies and 24 varieties of cupcakes, including Brownie Explosion and Cotton Candy.
Krispy Marshmallow Treats
From Sweet Treats: Doughnut batter filled with Rice Krispies and marshmallow, drizzled in either raspberry, vanilla, caramel or chocolate. Sweet Treats is also home to the famed deep-fried butter, and the "breakfast of champions": deep-fried butter and chocolate-covered bacon.