Ekka 2009 run-down

Ally vs. the Dog
While I enjoy a drunken Maccas feed when the mood strikes, I can be a bit of a food snob when it suits me. I sneer when people have full cream milk. I yell at my boyfriend when he gets KFC. I gleefully point out the trans fats on the labels of friends’ treats.

But today-today it didn’t suit me. Something happened. Don’t tell my trainer. It was sort of nasty. It was very naughty. It was long, yellow, and it dripped everywhere.

I had a Dagwood Dog.

Yes, I am admitting it. I considered lying and insisting that I breezed past all fried food at the Ekka, but that made me feel even dirtier. I, Ally T, bought a Dagwood Dog. And ate it. The entire thing. Possibly while standing up, possibly while contemplating getting a strawberry sundae chaser.

But wait-we’re moving too fast. The Ekka isn’t just about Dagwood Dogs. “The interesting thing is while many stick to the dagwood dogs and hot chips, there is increasing popularity for the healthy and gourmet options in the Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion”, says Olivia Katter, from the Ekka Media Unit.

The Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion houses a plethora of food and drink providers. The Cupcake Parlour, Merlo’s, Kingaroy Cheese, The Greek Yoghurt Shop, Divine Doughnuts, and Petit Belgium Waffles are just a few of the munchies on offer. Divine Doughnuts had me intrigued-their sign claimed their treats were lower in sugar and were more natural than other doughnuts.

“So, how do you guys cook them?” I asked as I paid $4 for a huge doughnut.
“Oh, in oil,” said the Doughnut Dude.

Ahhh…he assured me it was rice bran oil, which is the healthiest oil out there. But oil is oil is oil, and dang, this doughnut did not taste healthy. It was very tasty though, and had more of a chewy bun-like consistency. In a way, it didn’t taste as ‘fake’ as other doughnuts-it did indeed taste like it used more natural ingredients. But it was still a doughnut.
Along with Divine Doughnuts and Absynthe Bakery (both left), The Royal Queensland Deli is another notable newbie to the Ekka. Fresh deli meats, cheeses, and produce are on offer, as well as a Deli showbag.

Also in the Woolworths Pavilion is tastes from the fresh food people themselves (samples!!), wood fired pizza, li-Naa Japanese Food, Greek food (honey puffs!), Kingaroy Peanuts (ginger and honey flavour is the bomb), and several wineries (free wine tasting!). The Pavilion is all indoors and has a fair amount of seating, and can provide a bit of a respite from the heat and crowds outside.

What I was impressed with more, however, was just down the road a bit. The ‘International Food Village’ looked a little sorry for itself, and didn’t have the same bright shine as the Woolies Pavilion. Do not let that put you off-this little group of stalls was amazing! Think Spanish paella, Indian food, crepes, sushi, schnitzel, souvlaki, churros, burritos, and tacos. While some of the fried Indian foods looked a little weather, the paella and schnitzel wraps were as fresh as you could get.

“Each year brings new and different food offerings,” says Olivia. I know what you’re thinking. Despite all of this fantastic, international food, I still chose to buy a Dagwood Dog. In all fairness, I thought about it for awhile. It didn’t help that they were all over the Ekka. I smothered that baby in tomato sauce, and I became one with the Dog. I don’t want to know what’s in it, I don’t want to know why the batter tastes oddly sweet, and I especially don’t want to know how long I’m going to have to trot on the treadmill tomorrow to burn it off. It was amazing. I am filthy. Go ahead, judge me. Or, be a better person, and try some of the international delicacies when you head to the Ekka.

Royal Brisbane Show (Ekka)
RNA Showgrounds
Bowen Hills map

6-15 August 2009

http://www.ekka.com.au/

Ally was a guest of the Ekka Media Unit. Many thanks to Olivia Katter and Andrea Sackson.

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