Sneak-a-peek offered a tantalizing experience for both the eyes and the taste buds, as seven judges ate their way through a delicious selection of the 2011 new foods on park for the Calgary Stampede – many bites were taken but only one item would claim the coveted title of “Best”.

Judging criteria was based on a 1 – 5 scale, 5 being the best, in the categories of: service, presentation, aroma, taste, satisfaction, and likelihood of recommending it to friends.

Only a few short weeks ago, I expressed eagerness to taste the Kubi Korn Balls – and as the numbers were tallied, my excitement was transformed into a 1st place prediction. By 7:30 p.m., July 7 Maggie’s Kubasa’s Kubie Korn Balls was officially named Stampede’s 2011 Best ‘New’ Food.

At first glance these golden brown treats might not look like much, but with a side of maple syrup these deep fried bits of Kobasa wrapped in a warm blanket of jalapeño batter really pack a punch.

“I expected them to be bland, but they are really full of flavour,” said Buzz from AMP Radio mid-mouthful. “Definitely the biggest surprise yet.”

And although there was only one top prize, all the vendors came out as winners.

Sweet items like the Gourmet Pretzel Sticks and Deep-fried Pop Tart succeeded in bringing back a piece of childhood for the judges. While the savory kept everyone coming back for more.

“As a kid my mom would never buy us pop tarts – and we’d always be so excited to get them we’d eat them raw,” said Reid Fiest of Global Calgary. “These are such a treat.”

So while the remaining morsels of mac & cheese pizza, pork tenderloin sandwich, turkeytini, doughnut burger, colossal onion, and moowich were devoured the smiles on everyone’s faces remained.

With such a stellar line-up of new foods this year – imagine the impressive spread we’ll be able to offer in 2012.