Famous for its selection of grease-laden Franken-weird foods, the Canadian National Exhibition kicks off in Toronto on Friday, inviting adventurous foodies and junk-food connoisseurs to test the limits of their palates.

New to the menu this summer is the already much-talked about maple-bacon jam "cronut" burger – a creative heart-stopping food-thing that’s part doughnut, part croissant and part ground chuck.

“(It’s made with) lots of butter,” chef Lisa Sanguedolce, of the Dundas Street West bakery Le Dolci, told CTV’s Canada AM on Thursday. But she stopped there, admitting she doesn’t want to give away their secret recipe.

To assemble the cronut, a quarter-pound beef patty covered with cheese is slapped between two croissant-doughnut halves dunked in a pool of cinnamon sugar. The dessert-meat hybrid is then topped with a homemade maple-bacon syrup jam.

For those looking for additional coronary-inducing options, the CNE, which is celebrating its 135th birthday this year, will also be serving up a variety of other epic platters that fly in the face of a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.

Nutella sweet potato fries

The brainchild of chef Tony Vastis, the Nutella sweet potato fries are arguably the perfect marriage of sweet and savoury. Vastis, who is a self-admitted Nutella-lover, says the unexpected combination was borne from his love of dipping all things in the hazelnut-chocolate spread.

"This concoction just came about from one day having some sweet fries in front of me and I had some Nutella there as well. I dipped it in and I was like 'My goodness, this is something special,'" Vastis said.

Nutella brownie explosion

Not to be outdone by the combination of deep fried potatoes and Nutella, Vastis also created his own version of the dessert sandwich: the Nutella brownie explosion.

Just like its name suggests, the sugar coma-inducing lunchtime treat is made using a large brownie square lathered with peanut butter and Nutella and topped off with a generous serving of mini marshmallows. The mountain of chocolate goodness is then sandwiched between two slices of Texas-cut white bread and is grilled to golden perfection.

"We have a saying: Skip dinner and straight to dessert," joked Vastis.

The all-bacon Canuck burger

If sweet treats don’t excite your palate, Bacon Nation Canada is serving up a triple-oink burger made with a ground bacon patty, topped with bacon strips and homemade bacon mayonnaise.

The restaurant, which made its debut at the CNE last year, also serves a number of other bacon-inspired treats, including bacon wrapped deep fried mars bars and the Nutella BBBLT: a “man-wich” packed with two pieces of back bacon, eight strips of regular cut bacon, Nutella – and of course, lettuce and tomato.


On the lighter side, Wild Child’s Kitchen will be hustling some gluten free and vegan nachos. The healthy option is made with corn tortillas, fresh salsa, guacamole, and faux-meat made with grounded walnuts and sundried tomatoes.

For more information on the CNE’s different food offerings at the Food Building and at concession stands across the carnival grounds , visit http://theex.com/main/food/