By Contributor | Calgary Herald
Step aside, beef. This year’s roster of caloric midway delicacies puts the spotlight on bacon. Visitors to the Calgary Stampede will be tempted by 31 new culinary concoctions guaranteed to make dietitians cringe.
Officials warn the treats are “not for the faint of heart.” Menu items include deep fried Doritos, deep fried bubble gum and — believe it or not — deep fried butter cubes wrapped in pie crust.
“It’s 10 days of fun. All bets are off,” said midway operations manager James Radke.
Bacon is a big theme this year. One of the signature dishes is the double bacon corn dog, which wraps the salty meat around a wiener before it is deep fried and served with maple syrup and even more bacon.
Stampede-goers with a sweet tooth can chow down on bacon fudge, home cut french fries coated in a layer of cinnamon sugar or gooey cake on a stick. There will be apples and bananas on the midway — but they’ll be drenched in chocolate and rolled in bacon bits.
For the truly brave, shots of pure pickle juice are up for grabs.
The menu for this year’s Stampede, which runs July 5 to 14, has been in the works since the fall. Food vendors go through a selection process in the hopes of securing a coveted spot on the grounds, with preference given to innovative food choices.
In the past, novelty items have included deep-fried Wagon Wheels, bacon sundae funnel cake and pulled pork parfait.
The Naaco Truck will be making comeback, this time with something called the Naaco TNT: a sweet, spicy puffed rice salad from India created using a variety of vegetables, chutneys and fresh herbs and served in a waffle cone.
Last year, the food truck’s Naaco bites — an Indian-flavoured interpretation of a corn dog — took home the prize for best new midway fare and co-owner Aman Adatia hopes to succeed again with a new delicacy concocted specifically for the Stampede.
He believes mini-donuts and beef on a bun has its place on the grounds, but there’s also room for international cuisine. “I’m a born and raised Calgarian and there’s no better party than the Stampede,” he said. “But it’s awesome to have more food offerings than the standard pizza and hotdogs.”
Foodies can also take part in the Stampede’s first food truck rally. Eighteen trucks — six per night — will roll into the agriculture zone on July 11 to 13 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter:/TamaraGignac
You can see a full list of the offerings below, straight from the Calgary Stampede blog:
Double Bacon Corndog: A hot dog is wrapped in bacon, deep fried, dipped in real bacon bit infused batter, deep fried again and served with maple syrup and more bacon bits. Sweet Corn Corndog: Fresh sweet corn is husked, cut off the cob and added to traditional corndog batter to create a fresh twist on an old favourite.
Banana Bacon Ear: Elephant ear dough is wrapped around bacon and bananas, deep fried and served on a stick. Deep Fried Pickled Beans: Continuing the pickle craze, green beans are pickled, battered and deep fried. Deep Fried Butter: The old adage that calories don’t count during Stampede is put to the test with this treat. Cubes of butter are tightly wrapped in homemade pie crust before being deep fried to perfection.
Deep Fried Pie: Homemade pie crust is filled with your choice of pie filling before it is wrapped, deep fried and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Soft service ice cream is available to top it all off. Deep Fried Doritos: A deep fried snack made of Doritos, beer and bacon, could it get any better? Doritos are dipped in a beer batter, sprinkled with bacon bits and deep fried. Deep Fried Bubble Gum: Despite the name, deep fried bubble gum is not of the bubble blowing variety. Puffy marshmallows are infused with bubble gum flavoring, dipped in a pink pastry batter and deep fried. The result is an unexpected gooey delight!
Deep Fried Avocado: Pieces of avocado are coated in light tempura batter and deep fried. Deep Fried Philly Cheesesteak Rollup: The traditional Philly cheesesteak sandwich, which gets rolled up and deep fried.
Chip Dog: Not your typical meat and potatoes. Take your hotdog on a stick and then surround it by spiral cut chips.
Eggroll On a Stick: A Chinese favourite gets the Stampede treatment when we take a classic eggroll and serve it on a stick
Shrimp Chips: A mixture of shrimp and tapioca flour is rolled out, sliced, dried and then deep fried. A staple Asian snack! Naaco TNT: A sweet, salty, spicy, fresh & crunchy puffed rice based salad from India. It is made by mixing a variety of vegetables, sauces/chutneys, spice powders, fresh herbs, lime and puffed rice together and serving it in a waffle cone.
Cochinita Pibil: A pork taco with Adobe salsa, lime, red onions, habaneros (for the REAL Cowboy)
Flautas de Pollo: Rolled chicken tacos that are deep friend and with sour cream, Lettuce and Salsa on top
Chocolate Dipped Jalapeno: Just as it sounds. A jalapeno is dipped into chocolate to make for a sweet and spicy treat Chocolate Covered Bacon: Combining two of our favourite food groups, bacon is dipped in chocolate and served on a stick. Frozen Yogurt: This self-serve frozen treat comes with toppings galore. You are the boss of your yogurt destiny!
B52 Fudge: Fudge with a buzz! Baileys fudge is topped with Grand Marnier fudge and then topped off with Kahlua fudge. Chocolate Cinnamon Bear Fudge: Cinnamon Bears are added to this crowd pleasing fudge to blend sweet and spicy. Western Cake Pops: Finally cake on a stick. Gooey chocolate cake shaped as cowboy boots and hats then dipped in milk chocolate. Giddy up! Dessert Fries: Home cut french fries are coated in cinnamon sugar and served with a side of special frosting dipping sauce. Chocolate Bacon Fudge: Bite into this decadent chocolate fudge and you will discover bacon bits that have been added to the mixture. Sweet and salty! Chocolate Bacon Apple: No fair is complete without a chocolate coated apple and Stampede is no exception. Roll that apple in bacon bits and you are on a new playing field. Philly Cheesesteak: Thinly sliced pieces of steak, sautéed onions and melted cheese are all served on a hoagie roll for this Philadelphia favourite.
Idaho Nachos: Idaho’s version of nachos starts with waffle cut fries that are then topped up with all the fix’ins.
Godzilla Mac and Cheese: Classic gourmet Mac and Cheese with a Japanese flair. ‘Reel Mac and Cheese’ is topped with Nori (roasted seaweed), teriyaki sauce and a squiggle of Japanese mayo. Arigoto.
Idaho Taco: A jumbo Idahoan potato is baked, opened and then loaded to the brim with your favourite taco toppings.
Double smoked bacon wrapped cheese perogie skewer: Pan fried perogies wrapped with double smoked bacon, skewered and served with a dollop of sour cream and chives
Pickle Shooters: Think you have the stomach for it? Shots of pure pickle juice are available for those daring enough to try.