With its rich and diverse history and continued European influence, our favorite neighbor up north has so much to offer. Canada may not have Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Trader Joe’s, among other things that Americans are deprived of when in Canada, but they do have a bunch of their own exclusive foods not available in the US. Although we may love to make fun of Canada a lot, when it comes to food, Americans are seriously missing out. Here is a list of twelve foods and snacks that are available in Canada and should be available in the US too.
1. All Dressed Chips
This heavenly variety was briefly available in the US on limited release. A complex mix of tomato, salt, vinegar, onion, sour cream, barbecue, and more make this sweet-savory flavor into what can only be described as the everything bagel of Canada. When you’re out shopping, look for Compliments Extra Flavour, President’s Choice Loads of Flavour, or Western Family as these all seem to be Canadian favorites.
BeaverTails (or Queues de Castor in French because Canada) are delicious fried dough pastries hand-stretched to resemble a beaver’s tail that are often topped with cinnamon and sugar, Nutella and banana slices, maple butter, whipped cream, or just about any other kind of sweet toppings you can think of. The Ottawa-based chain even made an ObamaTail in honor of President Obama’s visit to Ottawa in 2009.
3. Butter Tarts
A Canadian tradition and mouthwatering delight, these small pastries are often filled with butter, sugar, cream, raisins, and walnuts. You can easily make your own using this recipe.
4. Coffee Crisp
Coffee Crisp is a popular chocolate bar consisting of alternating layers of vanilla wafer and coffee-flavored soft candy, covered with a milk chocolate shell. It’s the coffee love-child of a Kit-Kat and a Butterfinger – the three essentials.
5. Hickory Sticks
Packed with smoky, hickory barbecue flavor, Hickory Sticks are fried potato sticks that’ll make you feel like you’re eating thin, mini French fries. As if we needed more reasons to love potatoes…and Canada.
6. Ketchup Chips
Every time I go to Canada, I need to stock up on these and whenever my Canadian friends come down to the States, we make a Flamin’ Hot Cheetos-Ketchup Chips trade. They’re a bit of a hit or miss for a lot of people, but they’re definitely my favorite flavor of potato chips.
7. Kinder Eggs
Unfortunately, these are still illegal in the US because the FDA has had a ban on candy with embedded toys since 1938, and so those smuggling these bad boys across the border can actually be fined up to $1,200 per egg. Yikes. If you’re ever in Canada though, or in Europe, give these a creamy treats a try, and the fun toy is a plus too.
8. Montreal-Style Bagels
Unlike New York bagels, bagels in Montreal are smaller, thinner, sweeter, and denser, with a larger hole. They’re boiled in honey-sweetened water and then baked in a wood-fired oven. Also, Montreal bagels have been to space, so take that New York.
9. Montreal-Style Smoked Meat
It’s pretty similar to pastrami, except it is cured in seasoning with more cracked peppercorns and more savory spices like coriander, garlic, and mustard seeds. It also contains significantly less sugar. Just take a look at that kosher meaty perfection.
10. Nanaimo Bars
Originating from Nanaimo, British Columbia, these delectable bars consists of layers of a graham cracker crust, custard-flavored butter icing, and chocolate. Nanaimo Bars are really important to Canadians. You can even get an original recipe from the city of Nanaimo itself on their official website.
French fries are great and all, but wouldn’t they be so much better if they were topped with cheese curds and gravy? Canada thinks so, and so should you. Originating in Quebec, poutine is everywhere in Canada. Poutine is so popular that there are even international poutine competitions with endless variations on this classic fave.
Unlike the fruit-flavored chalky candies in the US, Canadian Smarties are more like M&Ms, but better. The chocolate is much creamier and the shell is thicker giving these sweet treats a more pronounced crunch.