Stampede: One hour, 1800+ calories
Disclaimer — Before reading the following, it is not recommended you try this experiment unless you are wise and knowledgable of the ways of junk food. I have been practicing the art of junk food consumption for the last 26 years so felt well up to the task of taking on such a challenge.
Now I don’t know about you but this reporters favourite thing (aside from the cowboys) about the Calgary Stampede is definitely the food. Crispy corn dogs, fluffy cotton candy, crisp candy apples and ginormous turkey legs are just a few of the fantastic fares that are offered at the Greatest Show on Earth every year.
After much discussion I decided I would take on the challenge of testing my intestinal fortitude to see how much Stampede fare I could consume in one hour and not even the sight of a cowboy wannabe relieving himself on a C-train fence on my way to the grounds could sway my stomach and I from taking on our task.
At 6:44 on Saturday evening I began my challenge in earnest with a batch of deep fried Oreos. Introduced to the Stampede last year, the Oreos were deep fried to perfection and coated with icing sugar and chocolate sauce. I chose the piece de resistance of all beverages, Coke, to wash them down with. So far so good!
Next I went with a little salt love with my favourite Stampede snack, the corn dog. If there was a deep fried heaven, the corndog would sit on a throne of ketchup watching over all it’s deep-fried subjects!
Next on the docket, I hit the line up of the Tornado Potato, something new to the Stampede this year, thin slices of real potato on an about 16-inch skewer and fried in oil, I eagerly stood in line finishing my corn dog and coke (recieving more than a few glances as to why it was necessary to eat both). The Tornado Potato will be a hit this year as I highly recommend it and saw several people partaking in it’s potatoey goodness. At this point I was starting to feel a little full but was encouraged by my friends to truck on as I was only a third of the way into the challenge.
After the deliciously salty corn dog and potato tornado it was time for more sweet, I stopped by another of my favorite Stampede stops and picked up a caramel apple, a bag of cotton candy and another Coke. In the words of Rachel Ray… YUM-O! No problems munching on my apple but started to slow up a little when it came to the cotton candy.
These are only a few of the treats new to the Stampede this year…
- Deep fried jelly beans
- Tornado Potatos (already lovingly mentioned)
- Hot beef sundae
- Wheat grass juice
- Nitro ice cream
The rain decided to descend upon us at this point and it was onto the Sausage Haus for a German smokie with a little dijon mustard, something I’ve never tried at Stampede but found very tasty. I decided to pass on the saurkraut for fear of cutting my challenge short. I also passed on the bun as I thought it would take up more space than I had room for in my quest.
At this point I was feeling more full than I have ever felt before and would have liked nothing better than do lie down and have a belly rub but still had about 10 minutes of time to go. My friends gave several suggestions on what I should eat next but I eventually settled for a good old fashioned pickle from a barrel…tasty!
Feeling like I’d have to be rolled from the grounds and that I could never look at a corn dog the same again my eating extravaganza came to a close. Using CalorieKing.com I figured I ate almost 1830 calories in one hour. To put that in perspective I looked up what my daily caloric intake should be and that figured to just over 1800. The fat content I didn’t even bother to look up because truthfully I was a little afraid.
There is so much from a food perspective that the Stampede has to offer on the grounds that I missed out on during my challenge but will definitely partake in during the days to come, you can try more worldy fair like taco in a bag, Greek souvlaki or Chinese food, or more traditional stampede vittles like BBQ or the world famous “Those Little Donuts”.
So next time you come down to the grounds, try something a little different, there are things here that even the pickiest eater can enjoy.