One afternoon at the Calgary Stampede, my friends Jess, Laura, and I decided weâ€™d go food-stall hopping, searching for the greasiest, weirdest, and most disgusting fairground food options ever.
We succeeded. The prize was clogged arteries.
And so it begins.
Deep-fried butter balls
We were all a little apprehensive about trying butter balls, but we figured greasy balls in our mouths would at least be an entertaining experience. Honestly, I was excited. I love butter. It’s my friend.
Most people avoided these babies, preferring to hover around and snap photos of our bravery instead.
Deep-fried macaroni and cheese
I LOVE macaroni and cheese, and I LOVE deep-fried everything. It’s a miracle I’m not chunkier than what I already am.
So, macaroni + deep-fried batter = Sex in a dish.
I tried this first at a restaurant named Roosevelt, but then encountered it at the Lazy S in the Grandstand overlooking the rodeo. This was like a gourmet version, mixed with crab meat. So at least I got some protein out of it.
Taco-in-a-bag, and deep-fried Doritos
I love this mish-mash. So simple, so perfect.
Grab a bag of Doritos, and cut a hole into the side. Fill the bag with your toppings, i.e: salsa, ground beef, sour cream, green onions, the works. Grab a fork. Eat.
We inhaled this treat like a breath of fresh air.
The deep-fried Doritos, however, weren’t a particular fave. They tasted rather dried out and bland. I mean, why screw with the perfection of a Dorito in the first place? I have a particular passion for Cool Ranch.
While I love both bacon and chocolate, I feel like they’re only good together in theory. You’ll likely argue, but there’s something about meat mixed with sweets that just doesn’t appeal to my tastebuds. The bacon came on a stick, drizzled with warm chocolate.
I gave this a combo a second chance while in Florida, and brought a giant candy bar of bacon and chocolate back to Halifax. I ended up tossing it in the trash. If you know me at all, you know what a serious offence this is.
Deep-fried Oreos, cheesecake, and Pop-Tarts
I tried small samplings of these, as dessert was the final stop on our Eat Food and Die tour. Other desserts included chocolate-dipped jalapenos, chocolate-covered frozen bananas, and chocolate bacon apples. The cheesecake was my favourite, because really, when is cheesecake ever a bad idea?
I love pickles! Deep-fried pickles! There’s not much more I can say about these, except GODDAMN they’re good. I am deeply appreciative of a good pickle, as apparently is Jess.
The only experience we missed out on was the Prairie Oysters. We sought high and low for cow testicles, but they were sold out everywhere. Apparently we’re not the only ones who like putting balls in our mouths.
Alas, we survived. These are the faces of some very satisfied ladies.
(A version of this story appeared in MatadorNetwork.com.)