Calgary’s favourite event is starting this week. The Stampede will bring the city alive with flashy cowboy shirts, hay bales lining every downtown establishment and legendary showmanship. Beyond the entertainment, let’s not forget one of the best things about the Calgary Stampede is the food. Stampede cuisine is deliciously decadent but not for the faint of heart. The 10 days of Stampede are certainly not the time of year to be calorie counting.
For 2013, the midway food selection includes 31 new dishes that offer some exiting culinary twists and creative approaches to western classics and we wanted to put the word out about several items that should be sought during your visits to the grounds. These treats are sure to make you salivate or at least make you curious enough to try a helping. Warning to the reader: If you don’t like bacon, then don’t read any further.
Let’s first explore some classic fare that is being served with a twist. For starters, you’ll want to check out the Double Bacon Corndog; a hotdog wrapped in juicy bacon and then deep-fried in a hearty beer batter with bacon bits served with maple syrup on the side. Sounds like breakfast and lunch rolled into one.
And let’s not forget about the Elephant Ear, a snack that is synonymous with summer fairs and exhibitions. This year the Elephant Ear will be served on a stick with bacon and banana.
Finally, seek out a new deep fried item this year. If you’re looking to try something new, consider deep-fried butter in piecrust, deep-fried bubble gum, or beer battered Doritos sprinkled with bacon bits. What will they think of next?
Let’s move on to sweets. If you are in the mood for something slightly familiar, then why not try a candy apple? The only difference is that this candy apple is rolled in chocolate and sprinkled with bacon bits. Or if you want something sweet and a little spicy then perhaps you should pick up a chocolate covered jalapeno. Feel like getting a buzz on after the rides and can’t stand the thought of Bud Lite Lime? Then Stampede has the perfect thing for you: B52 Fudge, which is part night-cap and part dessert offering three layers of Kahlua, Grand Marnier and Bailey’s.
In the last category of new Stampede foods, let’s explore some interesting and exotic new offerings. The Godzilla Mac and Cheese takes a local staple and throws in Nori (dried seaweed), teriyaki sauce and mayo. Hello flavour country!
Feel like something a bit more international? The Naaco TNT is an aromatic Indian-inspired snack filled with puffed rice salad, chutney, veggies, spice and lime – or there’s the Cochinita Pibil stuffed with pork, salsa, lime and habanera peppers.
When you’re all filled up on the many exciting samples on the midway, don’t forget to grab a pickle juice shooter to cleanse your palette.
The Stampede website has a map outlining the vendors on the grounds along with a helpful guide to the 18 + food trucks that will be on site. For fans of the food truck scene, there will be a food truck rally happening on July 11 through 13.. Happy eating and happy stampeding!