Happy Canada Day weekend everyone!
In honour of our true north strong and free, I’ve compiled a list of fun food facts about Canada and how our food differs from that of the United States. I had originally intended for this to be one post, but I just kept writing and writing.
Some of these tidbits suprised me quite a bit (Americans don’t have Smarties?!), while others were pretty obvious (hello, poutine).
The first part of this three-part series begins with snack foods: potato chips, chocolate bars and desserts. If anything on this list is inaccurate, or if I left something out, please leave a comment and let me know.
Three of our major staple flavours–ketchup, dill pickle and all dressed–are not available in the U.S. I can’t imagine what my childhood would have been like without Hostess ketchup chips!
We have some other somewhat unconventional chip flavours that I’m willing to bet aren’t in the states either: Lay’s fries and gravy (in other words, poutine), roast chicken, and cheddar and sour cream. Lay’s also made curry chips for a little while but I haven’t seen them in stores in a couple of years. They were quite good.
I found out just last weekend while chatting at a wedding that Smarties aren’t sold in the U.S. In fact, my American dining guest didn’t even know what they were! The best description I could provide was, “They’re kind of like M&Ms.” But not quite.
To the best of my knowledge, the following chocolate bars aren’t available in the states either:
- Glossettes – raisins or peanuts covered in a soft, shiny chocolate coating
- Cherry blossom – an individually-wrapped chocolate-covered maraschino cherry; it’s a retro favourite according to my parents
- Coffee Crisp – a coffee-flavoured bar made of thin wafers and cream covered in a milk chocolate coating
- Crunchie (I think!) – sponge toffee covered in milk chocolate
- Eat-More – a chewy, pliable dark bar made from toffee, peanuts and chocolate
- Aero – milk chocolate bar filled with tiny air pockets – taste the bubbles!
- Caramilk – milk chocolate bar with caramel-filled squares
- Jersey Milk – pure milk or dark chocolate bar divided into squares
- Mr. Big – a large, long bar made from wafers, caramel, peanuts and crunchy rice pieces covered in milk chocolate
- Crispy Crunch – a crispy peanut bar with a milk chocolate coating
From what I’ve read, these sweet Canadian treats are hard to come by in the U.S.:
- Butter tarts
- Le tire (hot maple syrup poured over clean snow to make a sort of taffy)
- Nanaimo bars
- Maple sugar pie
- Date squares
- Beaver tails (fried ovals of sweet dough dusted with sugar)
- Laura Secord chocolate and candy shop
Be sure to stop by for parts II and III this weekend! In the meantime I want to know: what’s your favorite Canadian food?