There are certain stereotypes that all Canadian students fit. Our obsession with Tim Hortons? Yes. Our need to apologize for bumping into absolutely everything, including kitchen counters? Absolutely. Our weird words like parkade? For sure. Living in igloos, shoveling our way out of the arctic tundra in the spring, and owning pet moose? Yes, occasionally, and always.
The truth is, we’re proud to be Canadian. Sometimes it can get lonely as a study abroad student. Nobody understands your constant need to make puns, and they make fun of the way you say about (“What did you just say? Aboot?”). If you (like me) ever feel homesick, the best solution is to find some good old Canadian comfort food.
Check out this list of classic Canadian desserts for some ideas.
1. Butter Tarts
When I learned that my American and British flatmates didn’t know what butter tarts were, I spent the next afternoon frantically baking as many tarts as I could cram into the oven. Nobody deserves to be deprived of these goodies. For those of you that are equally as confused, a butter tart is a pastry filled with raisins, syrup, eggs, and (obviously) butter. Give it a try. You won’t regret it.
2. Blueberry Grunt
Originating in Nova Scotia, this delicious dessert is a cross between a traditional blueberry pie and an apple betty. It can be prepared in less than twenty minutes (hello, breakfast) and the majority of the dessert is fruit. Which means that it’s healthy. Sort of.
3. Beaver Tails
Beaver tails (or Moose Antlers; no, I’m not kidding) are essentially fried dough coated in sugar. The best part about these treats is that any topping goes. You want bacon on your beaver tail? Go for it. Chocolate? It’s encouraged. Sardines? It’s an odd choice, but Canadians won’t judge you for it. Have your sardines. You deserve it.
4. Figgy Duff
Hailing from Newfoundland, this dessert actually has nothing to do with figs. Instead, the recipes calls for raisins, which were traditionally referred to as figs by UK settlers. The best part about this dessert? You get to make it in a bag. Yes. It’s actually that easy.
As any wise Canadian knows, what Americans refer to as smarties is actually a different treat than the Canadian version of Smarties. I’m not going to speculate who does it better (spoiler: the Canadians do), but our version includes chocolate candies coated in a crunchy shell. It’s worth having Mom ship a few boxes over so you can educate your American friends. And also so that you can organize the Smarties into different colors. Don’t lie to yourself. We all do it.
6. Maple Leaf Cookies
Despite being targeted at tourists (can you walk through any Canadian airport without seeing these cookies every five feet?), these delicious desserts taste exactly like home. And by that, I mean that these cookies are coated in maple. Anything to do with maple syrup must be good.
7. Nanaimo Bars
The origin of these addicting dessert bars is a mystery. Made of chocolate, custard cream, and a graham cracker crust, these Canadian desserts are a staple at any kid’s birthday party or potluck. In fact, these treats are so famous that the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia ran a contest to establish the world’s official nanaimo bar. What can we say? Canadians are passionate about their dessert.