James Radke, midway operations manager at the Calgary Stampede, samples a deep fried giant squid that will be available at this year’s Stampede in Calgary, Tuesday, June 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Cheesy chicken hearts, calf testicles coming to Calgary Stampede

This year’s Stampede runs 10 days from July 6 to 15

Traditional corn dogs and deep-fried doughnuts are still on the menu but Calgary Stampede organizers say they’re being joined by giant squid on a stick, cheesy chicken hearts and even prairie oysters for foodies attending the 10-day event.

Midway operations manager James Radke says the Stampede menu has to have something for everyone but it’s the craziest combinations that tend to spark the most interest.

“We look for those foods — crickets on your candy apple, crickets in your grilled-cheese sandwich. How can you take those traditional foods and turn them upside down and really make people think about what they’re eating?”

The so-called giant squidward, complete with tentacles, is about the size of a baseball mitt and deep fried.

The prairie oyster balls, which are calf testicles, are braised in a savoury sauce, sliced and served over sweet doughnuts with a blueberry sauce along with whipped cream and crushed nuts.

“We’re talking real prairie oysters,” Radke said. “We push people’s taste buds.

“Whether their reaction to it is positive or negative, that actually doesn’t matter. What matters is it’s generating an emotional response to food and you know you’ve got them right away.”

Yan Situ from the Happy Fish Catering food truck expects the squid will be a big seller.

“It looks a little scary but it tastes good though. It’s nice and juicy inside and then we put on our special bread crumbs so it’s really crunchy outside,” she said.

“It comes in two flavours — salt and pepper and curry pepper. That one’s a little bit spicy, gives a little more heat for the street.”

For those with a sweet tooth, there will be deep-fried, bacon-wrapped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Pop Rocks mini doughnuts, smoking charcoal ice cream in a cup, hot ice-cream doughnut sandwiches and Kit Kat fries.

Only eight or 10 years ago, Radke said, Stampede food was a secondary consideration.

“That’s changed with the advent of food television, of the Food Network, the foodie movement, restaurants changing and everybody really jumping upon that bandwagon. The midway has had to do that as well,” he said.

“The midway has had to transform itself to become a culinary destination.”

This year’s Stampede runs from July 6 to 15.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Apple Triathlon organizers to keep a close eye on air quality

Organizers bring event is back this weekend after taking 2017 off

Naramata firefighters diverted after fires breaches Burns Lake camp

The crew was sent to Vanderhoof after a wildfire reportedly overtook a camp near Burns Lake

UPDATE: Elderly woman injured crossing Kelowna street

Crews on scene helping struck pedestrian

UPDATE: Kelowna’s crying judge refuses to pull herself from case

Judge Monica McParland has refused to pull herself off the case.

Air quality remains at high risk for Okanagan

The whole Okanagan is forecast to be set at a high risk for the remainder of the day

Armed Troops in Okanagan to help firefighters

Canadian Armed Forces arrived in Vernon Thursday, being deployed to West Kelowna fire

Safeway union urgest rejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Naramata firefighters diverted after fires breaches Burns Lake camp

The crew was sent to Vanderhoof after a wildfire reportedly overtook a camp near Burns Lake

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Federal government announces over $115 million to Royal Canadian Navy

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was at Victoria’s CFB Esquimalt to announce missile system upgrades

Most Read