The following article was contributed by Vanessa Nielsen, a Tourism Vancouver staffer who works in our Member and Sponsor Relations department.
Since 1910 the PNE has been wowing visitors with sights, sounds, and delectable treats. As a serious food lover it surprises me that until this summer I’d never tried many of the foods that the fair had to offer. Now that I have, it makes me even more anxious for when the gates open next year.
Whether it’s cheering for the super dogs or riding the historic Coaster, every Vancouverite has a favourite PNE pastime. Usually I go straight to the petting zoo, which inevitably leads me to spend the day weighing the pros and cons of becoming a farmer. However, this year I devoted my time, money, and stomach to savouring the classic fair cuisine. Three hours, fifty dollars and six courses later, I left feeling full, sleepy and totally satisfied.
Round one took on a multicultural tone as I paired Poutine, a true Canadian specialty, with a side of Hunky Bills Ukrainian food. Deep fried perogies, sausage, cabbage rolls and sauerkraut made for a nice pairing with the gravy smothered curds and potato slices. The best part of this meal was that I got to try a little bit of a lot of items. I enjoyed these dishes while watching the band rehearse from the beer garden. The table offered a nice place to dig in, while still allowing me to enjoy all the fair had to offer.
I have a very patriotic stomach and I simply could not resist trying a crepe filled with maple syrup, back bacon and mozzarella cheese. This was not only my favourite edible, it was also the messiest. If you’re going to opt for one of these little bundles of flavour at the PNE or anywhere else for that matter, I recommend loading up not only on napkins, but also on hand sanitizer; and if you’ve got one available, don’t be afraid to don a bib. You’ll thank me for this advice later.
A Beaver Tail with sugar, chocolate and honey was the dessert of choice. Although I suppose since it was followed by mini-doughnuts it was the pre-dessert dessert, or as I call it “dessert appetizer”. Mixing brown sugar, chocolate and honey may sound a bit wicked, but it can slay even the sweetest tooth. If this seems a bit adventurous for your taste buds, try it with cinnamon and honey. This is a lighter, yet still delicious option. If you will be sharing your dessert (which I think is crazy, but apparently some people do it), go for the mini-doughnuts. These were yummy, easy to pass around and came in various quantities.
My friends and I are huge fans of Delhi 2 Dublin and spent the night dancing jigs and Bhangra. Nothing works up an appetite like dancing and we rewarded ourselves with a few plates of Wiggle Chips once the show had ended. I mixed nacho and jalapeno seasonings for an extra spicy kick, but find that plain chips with ketchup is a nice alternative.
If you’re a foodie or a fair lover, make sure to try one of these delicious offerings next summer. I’m definitely going back with food as the number one attraction on my agenda.