distinctly canadian

Well, maybe not everything here – truffles certainly know no boundaries, luckily – but some of it is what I grew up with and what Christine did not. Sometimes, that’s what it takes to be Canadian.

We start with candy. Coffee Crisps were a staple of my youth, even though they were not my favourite. You can’t miss that yellow wrapper. Chocolate-covered wafers with coffee-flavoured paste in between. Crispy Crunch was my poison throughout high school – a brittle peanutty inside covered with chocolate.

Smarties represent something completely different to Christine – they are to her what I call Rockets, those chalky, tablet-like candies that I only every had at Halloween (and only wanted then as well). Here, better.

Mr. Big. Source of countless jokes and knockoffs, especially as their motto was “When you’re this big, they call you Mister.” Peanuts, caramel, nougat, chocolate. Mmm.

Aero bars. I think these are Canadian (or, like many things here, brought over from England) and they now come in a billion different flavours, like dark chocolate, orange, and baby llama, but when I was a lad, you had regular and mint. The choice was easy – regular was for when there was nothing else. You had to choose mint. You just had to.

Moving on, dill pickle chips are my favourite kind of chips, hands down. I’ll take them over these new designer chips any day and they are the only thing I have requested from friends coming over from Canada to Taiwan before. I have seen then in the US lately, but I know it’s a recent thing and not very wide-spread.

Finally, my good friend Garret took us to Soma in downtown Toronto to try some unbelievable truffles. We first looked around at the gourmet ice cream, the 100% cacao bars that cost as much as a small South American nation, and the chocolate-making facilities on the premises (they make all of their chocolate right there for you to see). We picked a bunch and split them: a spicy chili one, a douglas fir (pine tree) one, a bergamot one (my personal fav), a caramel one (still not dulce de leche, though good), and a balsamic vinagrette (not bad, but not the best. Definitely a different taste.) An excellent outing and a recommended one at that!

Other than that, it was home eatin’ – in my house, that still includes perogies, which, though they aren’t Canadian, are a part of Canada for me. Perogies and curling – Canada’s answer to baseball and apple pie.

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