By Gloria Hong

A summer institution, the CNE has traditionally been a place for innovation – the place where you could see and get the newest products. Over the years, I’ve had a chicken or the egg dilemma with the food at the Ex. Does it create the newest food trends, or does it respond to it? My guess is a little bit of both.  Food trends are not static, but evolve.  I look at the Ex as a bit of a reverse funnel – taking the “newest” trends and making them available to the masses (the CNE’s Bacon push of 2011 solidified it as a real trend).  But it is also a trend loop. Chefs create foods inspired by the Ex, and the Ex serves foods created by chefs.

What does that mean?  The Ex is a great place to take the pulse of food trends and garner inspiration. Then we can see how innovative chefs can interpret these (sometimes outrageous) dishes into dishes they can serve on their menus.

So the fun part! This year, I’m going to take on the Ex Challenge. And YOU are going to vote on which Food trend I’m going to try. Below are some “highlight” foods at the Ex this year. Please vote for the food you would most like me to try. The winning food will be eaten by me (with photographic  documentation!) and I’ll report back on the trends in my follow up blog.

The Cronut Burger: The Cronut has the most buzz going into the Ex and now they’ve made a burger out of it. For those who have not heard, the Cronut is a croissant and donut hybrid.









Bacon Peanut Butter Milkshake: Still working within the bacon trend.









Sea Salt Nutella Fries: I think they might look like this but who knows!









Bacon wrapped, deep fried Mars bar:  just because.









Voting ended August 15!


Canadian National Exhibition, Exhibition Place, August 16–September 2,