For locals and tourists alike, it is well-known that Vancouver truly shines in the summer months. With clear blue skies and beautiful rays of forgiving, gentle sunlight, the phenomenal weather may not last long but it is certainly enjoyed. On August 28th, Eating in Vancouver & the World was invited out to the Pacific National Exhibition for a day of great fair food and rides galore! As most Vancouverties know, no summer is complete without a family trip to the PNE. What many may not know is that the PNE actually has quite a diverse selection of food from savory to sweet. The intent of this media event was to showcase the remarkable diversity of choice available to fair goers as well as highlight some of the more bizarre/popular establishments for the year.
To kick start the event, we swung by a really interesting company called Monkey Butter! Unfortunately, I never found out why the company was named as such but it definitely is catchy and easy to remember. The pleasant lady at the table generously allowed us to sample any flavor we wanted! I started with the Maple Bacon Peanut Butter and finished up with the Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Banana. First impressions were definitely positive as each individual flavor was very distinct and strong. I thought the product was going to simply be peanut butter with a faint taste of other products but I was wrong. The Maple Bacon peanut butter actually had REAL bacon bits which was a very interesting experience. We got to take home little jars as samples and I am amused to report I ended up eating mine by itself like a snack.
After leaving Monkey Butter, we swung by a popular fair favorite Pennsylvania Dutch. I have been to this stall a few times in the past and always enjoyed the food there. Although not the healthiest of options, the sweet snacks are always delicious and even better when shared with family/friends. As part of the event, we were offered two dishes to sample: their Maple Bacon Funnel Cake and Fried Wagon Wheels. Although both were great, I really enjoyed the funnel cake. With maple syrup and bacon, I doubt you could make a funnel cake more Canadian if you tried. The profile contrast of sweet and salty worked really well and the cake itself was very light and fresh. Definitely an item I will be going back to order again.
The third stop on our fair tour was Powers Chocolate, the ultimate chocolate fountain experience! Boasting two huge fountains of liquid dark and light chocolate, it was mesmerized just watching everything from strawberries and bananas to marshmallows get coated in the rich, sweet liquid. The staff were extremely generous in providing samples and somehow I ended up with entire sticks of food. Without complaint, I diligently consumed everything from fresh fruit to coconut powdered marshmallows. As I am sure you can guess, the chocolate in any form was very high quality and you could clearly taste it. I am pretty sure they could have coated bitter asparagus or even liver in the stuff and I would have ordered a dozen sticks. For fair goers looking for something a little healthier than say deep fried mars bars, fresh fruit with a little chocolate may be just up your alley. Stay tuned tomorrow for the PNE 2012 Media Tasting Event Part 2!