The best part of summer has officially arrived! The fair at the PNE is back for its 102nd year in Vancouver and is promising more fun than ever. With more live shows and children’s exhibits added, this family-favorite summer activity assures entertainment for all ages. But lets all be honest with ourselves here – what really is the best part of the fair? The food. All of the amazing deep-fried, salty, sweet, tangy, sugary, saucy, everything-you-dream-of-for-a-perfect-cheat-day food is back. I took the plunge and sacrificed myself to a full day of eating in order to find my top three favorite fair foods.
On my trek to find my top chosen fair foods I: consumed over 5000 calories, (including mini doughnuts, samosas, ice cream, deep fried pop tarts, deep fried Oreos, frozen cheesecake, perogies, smoked turkey legs, popcorn, BBQ pulled pork sandwich, hotdogs, pizza, a gyro, and two bottles of water), took one twenty-minute siesta between live shows, got my face painted as ‘Hello Kitty’, and rode the Ferris Wheel three times as I thought that was the only ride my stomach could handle. After all this “research”, I was able to come up with these top three favorites with one honorable mention:
Smoked Turkey Leg
I had to include this in my list, as it has always been one of my all time favorite fair foods. The tenderness level the turkey meat reaches is incredible – one that can only be achieved with hours of smoking. Smoking allows the meat to get to that fall-off-the bone state while perfectly crisping up the skin, creating an amazing flavor profile of smoke and spices. This is definitely a must try for all you meat lovers out there!
Turkey legs are available for $6/leg at “Fresh Roasted Corn & Potatoes” stand.
3). The “Unroutine Poutine” Hot Dog
Poutine? One of Canada’s best inventions. Hot dog? A classic childhood favorite. Poutine on a hot dog? Heaven. An all beef hot dog, snuggled in between a warm, freshly toasted bun, topped with crispy fries, savory gravy and salty bacon bits makes for one of the best hot dogs you will ever try. A hot dog is a perfect blank canvas for any creative twist, and they’ve definitely hit this one out of the park.
The “Unroutine Poutine” is available for $11.75 at the “Crazy Dogs Gourmet Hot Dogs” stand.
2). BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
There’s no question why this stand was awarded the 2012 Canadian National BBQ Champion. They create an award-winning sandwich with their tender, succulent pulled pork served on a soft bun, topped with creamy, cool coleslaw, smothered with BBQ sauce that marries the flavors of sweet, spicy and tangy so perfectly. I sampled bites from every BBQ stand and this was by far my favorite. Don’t forget a side of napkins, as this one tends to get a little messy.
Pulled Pork Sandwich is available for $9 at the “Smoke and Bones BBQ” stand.
1). Frozen Cheesecake on a Stick and Deep-Fried Oreos
This is what the world needs – peace, deep-fried Oreos, and frozen cheesecake on a stick. Both of these treats were what I would like to call a “foodgasm” (Google it). They were both just so good, I couldn’t choose between either one. The frozen cheesecake is dipped in a pot of melted chocolate right before serving, allowing it enough time for the chocolate to harden yet still have a smooth texture to it. I’ve chalked this one up to be the best frozen dessert I have ever had. Ever. Meanwhile the deep fried Oreos is taking one of best packaged-cookies ever made and deep frying it. Need I explain more? The frying allows the icing in the middle to become warm and creamy while the light batter and cookie melt in your mouth. Topped with chocolate drizzle and icing sugar, I couldn’t think of a better guilty pleasure.
These treats are available at “Granny’s Food” stand.
Cheesecake – $7
Oreos – $6
Written by: Melanie Booth