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Mac and cheese lemonade, ketchup ice cream are among the new quirky foods when CNE returns

Squid ink Korean corn dog, 60 cm long tacos, ketchup and mustard ice cream, will be featured in this year's Canadian National Exhibition, an 18-day event with two I'm back in Toronto for the first time in years.

Vendors are doing their best to capture the attention of visitors through giant creations such as edible "slime" and macaroni his cheese his lemonade, and the fair and its participation. people are trying to bounce back from the financial hardships brought on them. by the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Ketchup and mustard ice cream is one of the new foods coming to CNE

For vendors, CNE is a big paycheck this year," said Darrell Brown, CEO of the Canadian National Exhibitions Association, which runs the fair.

"Some people struggled to weather [the pandemic], but the majority are back and eagerly waiting for the gates to open."


 CNE itself lost more than $70 million in revenue, with 2020 and 2021 events hurting more than $8 million. After being canceled, he said.

Earlier this week, Brown said this year's event will begin on Friday and run through September 5.

A sample pickled split of Vendor Doll Whipped Soft Serve/Black Halo Ice Cream taken at the Canadian National Exhibition media preview event in Toronto on Wednesday, August 17, 2022. Flavored soft serve between two pickles. Canadian Press/Tijana Martin.

"I think this will be a milestone year for the vendors, and hopefully for us," he said, adding that advance ticket sales are among the best in the industry, he added. I have seen it.

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In addition to typical fair foods such as hot dogs and poutine, the vendor offers over 25 different Offer new fun, fried and extreme foods. Ice cream topped with tabasco and flamin hot he cheetos burger. It also features Celtic Food He Truck Festival and other global cuisine and vegan options.

Those looking for traditional flavors will find familiar favorites such as waffle ice cream sandwiches and donuts.

Pancho's Bakery owner Violeta Correa said failing to sell signature churros and tacos at CNE in recent years was a "huge blow" to the business. .

"We are very happy to be back," said Correa. The bakery, which has been feeding onlookers for more than seven years, has created two-foot tacos and other new Mexican fusion foods to mark the occasion.

Based in British Columbia. According to Scott Dennis of Big Coco's Corndogs, their staple, squid ink corn dogs, are deep-fried Korean-style corn dogs stuffed with cheese, bread crumbs, and ink. butter.

"Last year we had several trade fairs across Canada, but COVID made things difficult," said Dennis.

READ MORE: CNE organizers in Toronto worry safety inspectors' strike will disrupt attendance

Ketchup and mustard ice cream So Cute Ice Cream's ice cream has been a hit on social media since even before it opened. Whenever she's not traveling between festivals, she finds inspiration for new combinations, said owner Samantha Swift.

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Also Mac and cheese pizza, spicy jalapeño They also sell pickles and her lemonade. Others.

"It's great to be back in the CNE bringing people new food experiences and the energy is great. Everyone is excited to be back."

 CNE also touts a nighttime drone show as part of its new feature.

© 2022 The Canadian Press