$100 hot dog among this year’s Calgary Stampede food surprises

“It’s not something you eat every day. It’s something you’ll come to once a year.”

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The Calgary Stampede released its list of new treats that can be found at the Midway this summer, including one of the priciest snacks attendees have ever seen.

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Those looking to go big at this year’s 10-day Calgary Stampede can go all in on a $100 hotdog at the Superbooth truck.

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The monstrous 12-inch smoked jalapeno cheddar dog is made with aged wagyu beef and elk meat, marinated in a 2010 Lokoya Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon for five days, sitting on a bed of Bundnerfleisch, baked red pepper and sun-dried tomato ciabatta bun, and topped with cheese, imported German sauerkraut, onions and banana peppers.

The Jalapeno Cheddar Gut Buster was dreamed up by Rick Paolini, owner of Paolini’s Concessions Ltd., who’s been thinking about this big-ticket item since last year’s Stampede.

“I was thinking, let’s try and do a $100 dog. It seems crazy but let’s go for it,” said Paolini. “I spent some time with the master wine guy at Willow Park Winery to come up with the proper wine. It’s a $100 dog but I think the value is there.”

Pictured are some of the foods at the 2023 Calgary Stampede midway food launch at ENMAX Park on May 10.
Pictured are some of the foods at the 2023 Calgary Stampede midway food launch at ENMAX Park on May 10. Photo by Azin Ghaffari /Postmedia

Paolini’s been a vendor at the Stampede for more than 30 years and said it’s always a fun challenge to come up with something fresh.

“I’ve seen the Stampede go through many different changes and it’s been within the last 10 to 15 years that things have really gotten crazy with food. I think it’s great that people get to experiment with things,” said Paolini.

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“People come up with some crazy ideas, but it’s all green lights at the Stampede.”

He has a few unique hotdogs on the menu, including the Gouda Gator Dog — a 10-inch dog with alligator imported from Florida and Gouda cheese imported from Germany, served on a panini bun with Louisiana tartar sauce, sauerkraut and onions.

‘It’s been in the works for about a year’

Several local exhibitors were set up at Enmax Park on Wednesday to show off their highly anticipated food creations ahead of Stampede. Many of the vendors create at least one menu item that’s unique to their Stampede selection.

For Andrea Harling from V Burger, that new item is the Habanero Cherry Ice Cream Taco.

A plant-based waffle cone taco is filled with vanilla ice cream, filled with a habanero cherry sauce and dipped in chocolate, then garnished with sweet pop rock sprinkles.

Logan Hamilton, manager of VBurger, poses for a photo with a Habanero Cherry Ice cream Taco at the 2023 Calgary Stampede midway food launch at ENMAX Park on May 10.
Logan Hamilton, manager of VBurger, poses for a photo with a Habanero Cherry Ice cream Taco at the 2023 Calgary Stampede midway food launch at ENMAX Park on May 10. Photo by Azin Ghaffari /Postmedia

Harling said the trickiest part of the treat was whipping up a recipe for the perfect plant-based, gluten-free taco shell waffle.

“It’s been in the works for about a year,” said Harling. “The sweetness of the ice cream really counteracts the spiciness of the habanero, and the tartness of the cherry gives you more flavour. There’s also some salt from the shell, so you hit all senses.”

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This will be V Burger’s second year with a food truck at Stampede Park for the 10-day event.

Elk pepperoni pizza, Kool-Aid chicken burger and others will make appearances at Stampede

This year, there are close to 300 exhibitors offering more than 50 new snacks to Stampede goers, said Kyle Russell, director of Stampede programming.

“If you’re a hotdog lover like I am, we have eight new hotdogs this year,” said Russell. “When we think of things like our deep-fried fare and the more unique offerings, we know it’s an experience. It’s not something you eat every day. It’s something you’ll come to once a year.”

Russell said the exhibitors were encouraged to bring something new and unique every year, and they never disappointed with their creations. This year also features more international cuisines on the menu, and some fun food fusions.

“We know that the Stampede audience is everybody. . . we want to have folks come to Stampede and feel like Stampede is for them,” said Russell.

The Happy Fish food truck owner Ying Yansita poses for a photo with a Seafood Michelada at the 2023 Calgary Stampede midway food launch on May 10.
The Happy Fish food truck owner Ying Yansita poses for a photo with a Seafood Michelada at the 2023 Calgary Stampede midway food launch on May 10. Photo by Azin Ghaffari /Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

Other notable treats are the Elkeroni Pizza at the Avatara Pizza truck made with elk pepperoni, the Kool-Aid Chicken Burger offered at Chicky’s Chicken, which has a sweet, cherry red Kool-Aid glaze, and the Fruit Loop Funnel Cake at Next Gen Concessions .

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So Cute Ice Cream will feature Ketchup and Mustard Ice Creams, a frozen dessert they’ve been working to perfect since last year’s Stampede, Russell said.

Those attending Stampede who might not be up for the online treats can find all the classics — such as mini donuts, mac and cheese, soft-serve ice cream and lemonade — Russell said. According to Stampede, more than two million mini donuts are consumed at the event annually.

The Stampede runs from July 7 to 16.

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