Watermelon burgers and cheeseburger ice cream: A look at the 2024 Calgary Stampede midway foods

The Calgary Stampede showcased its 2024 midway foods Wednesday, with some new twists on familiar favourites. Jillian Code reports.

Taste buds are tingling for this year’s Calgary Stampede, as a preview of 2024 midway food was released Wednesday.

From new twists on old favourites, to delectable desserts, drinkable delights, and pickle poutines, there’s something for lovers of corn, spice, and all things yahoo.

Here’s a peek at some of the 50-plus items set to fill the the bellies of Stampede-goers this summer.

New twists on old favourites

Everyone knows the staples of Stampede — mini donuts, macaroni and cheese, and in more recent years — bao!

This year, attendees can look for unique takes on these menu items, including little teriyaki donuts, Takis mini donuts, golden spider bao, meatball mac and cheese, sour candy soft serve, and even a watermelon burger.

The watermelon burger throws the traditional sesame bun to the curb and replaces it with two slices of the fan-favourite summer fruit. Concessions Inc. says the burger is served with feta, spinach, fresh mint, and drizzled with balsamic reduction.

Sweet treats

You can’t go to the Stampede midway without partaking in a sweet treat!

Highlights of this year’s menu include the bacon lover’s churro sundae, lemon meringue mini donuts, Ube coconut little donuts, and orange chocolate ‘wat-a-melon’ — fluffy chocolate soft serve with fresh orange served between watermelon wedges.

Can’t decide between sweet and savoury?

How about cheeseburger ice cream? There’s no meat, but the vanilla-infused BBQ flavoured ice cream aims to capture the flavour of a patty fresh off the grill. It’s served in a waffle cone, dunked in hot cheese, sprinkled with sesame seeds, and garnished with an onion ring and a pickle.

Another sweet savoury concotion for those who dare — mexican street corn ice cream! Vanilla-infused corn ice cream served in a mayor parmesan cone, topped with Tajin spice, and garnished with a lime wedge and some more corn.

For the pickle lovers

Those who love a fancy cucumber will be appreciative of it’s inclusion on the 2024 menu.

Pickle features include dill pickle poutine, mac ‘n cheese popcorn chicken poutine, spicy dill pickle ranch breadsticks, the ultimate pickle, triple pickle poutine, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos pickle pizza.

Also new this year is the pickle fry poutine, which incorporates 2023’s pickle fries. Freshly brined, the pickle fries are seasoned and fried, topped with cheese curds and hot gravy.

Gettin’ spicy

Calgarians who embrace the spice in life will be keen to try the hottest new additions to the menu.

Grab a dynamite lumpia, cowboy candy colossal onion, fish pakora or salsa fries while you bake in the 2024 Stampede heat.

Spicy standouts include Wok n Go noodles locos in a bag — Asian noodles with nachos chips, chopped with elote style corn and bite-sized dumplings drizzled with Asian chili mayo sauce — served in the oh-so-classic Doritos bag, and cowboy twinkies — beef brisket mixed with spices and cream cheese, stuffed in a jalapeno and wrapped in bacon, garnished with drizzles of BBQ sauce and aioli.

Drinkers and sippers

There’s no better way to cool down on the grounds than to grab a fancy beverage.

On the menu this year is whipped lemonade, mango coconut pearl coolers, and chamoy lemonade.

A different take on a fan-favourite is also set to make an appearance — Ferrero Rocher bubble tea! Bestea Bubble Tea calls it an “exquisitely creamy” hazelnut drink handcrafted with top-tier tea leaves, milk, and Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

This year’s Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth runs July 5 to 14.

For a full list of this year’s culinary offerings, visit the Calgary Stampede website.

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