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Jul 11, 2006 11:59 PM

What else is better in Canada?

The oreos, I knew about. The ketchup, well I do love my Heinz but did not realize we had a lock on that too. I've heard contradictory reports on the eggs, and I remember that an American visitor posted about Lactancia Cultured Unsalted Butter - gratifying since that's always been my baking butter. Karl S recently posted about the ketchup, "LIke a number of versions of things that are better in Canada".

Not to be superior, just curious, I'm betting it's NOT the Tim
Horton's coffee & donuts....?

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  1. Cheese is better. The US has a law banning raw milk cheese aged less than 60 days (though some shops manage to get these), Canada doesn't have anything similar. We pig out on real Brie when we're there.

    Yogurt is better. Canada has a wide range of flavors and variety. Here there's mainly lowfat and nonfat yogurts and flavors are limited to fruits or vanilla. We buy an imported Greek-style yogurt but it involves a 45-minute drive each way. In Canada we found good yogurts almost everywhere.

    The strawberries from Ile d'Orleans are the best I've tasted outside of England. They should be reaching their peak right around now. The berries are small, juicy and intensely flavorful. I can't imagine getting these far from Quebec, they wouldn't travel well. Every year I think of these when I see the acres of oversized, cottony tasteless strawberries in our supermarkets.

    1. Bagels at my favorite St. Viateur bakery in Montreal. Baked in a wood fired oven, gosh it is a life altering experience to dash in there on a cold snowy/slushy day and get a bag which is still hot and perfuming your car with wood smoke and hot bread. They are water bageks, hand formed and chewy,not cakey at all and go stale fast. eat them right now. And even though I am an Episcopalian I adore their hand made free formed matzoths. I love the Latkes from the Van Horne bakery, yes they make good bagles but I prefer St.Viateur.

      Brooks Catsup. Even it is finer in texture th4 flavor is better than any I have found anywhere. Almost like a super fine chili sauce. If I were deprived I would go into serious mourning. Nothing else compares to me.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        oh yes, went to university in montreal, those bagels are even better walking home from a party at 2am in -20 C weather!

        1. re: Candy

          The bagels sound delicious - but do you mean to say that they are better than NYC bagels?

          1. re: chowmeow

            They are wonderful. Different, not necessarily better. Every time we go to Montreal we bring home dozens! They freeze well.

            1. re: chowmeow

              Oh god, yes! Its been nearly four years since I lived in Montreal, and I still dream of the St. Viateur bagel shop...the smell of the smoke, the yeasty aromas coming off the vat where the bagels are boiling, sesame seeds toasting in the oven...a taste of heaven, at 50 cents each...

          2. Unless things have changed in the past couple of years, McDonald's fries, still processed the old way with one of the rounds in tallow. IIRC, either McDonald's or another FF chain has the deep-fried fruit pies like McDonald's used to have before they went to baking them in the US. Canadians don't seem to have gotten quite the health faddishness with their foods as in the US, praise be (or they are smarter, since those modification by McDonald's in the US tended to raise caloric loads by a significant degree, surprise, surprise!).

            Kit-Kat: with dark chocolate (just finished my last one from a recent trip to western NY). Kit-Kat peanut butter version. Other candy options not available in the US (the beneficent candied influence of HM The Queen, I guess).

            4 Replies
              1. re: Karl S

                they had a banana kit kat bar for a while that I liked, just a liitle artificial tasting but pretty good. a friend whose mother works in the factory gave me a bag of assorted kit kats when i was pregnant, didn't last long!

                1. re: Karl S

                  McD's in Canada will switch very soon to the new oil formulation, if they haven't already.

                  My brother was shocked as to how good the McD's fries are here during his visit.

                  1. re: Shazam

                    Agree with the fries. I rarely get McD's fries (since I would eat twelve tons), but whenever I'm in Quebec I get a small order. Better than the US and they have vinegar packets in the condiment section for seasoning. Hooray!

                2. Poutine, crispy french fries with cheese curd and gravy, and smoked meat I like better than pastrami.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Infomaniac

                    Oh yes poutine! I love that stuff and Tourtiere too. I try to make that a Christmas eve special around my house. This year It was beautiful and while it was not time for it to go into the oven. I put it out on my screened porch to chill and wait for baking. Time came and I sent DH out to bring it in. He did looking very puzzled and asked if it had looked like that when I put it out there. Well no! Half the top crust had been neatly eaten off. I forgot the hole in the screen door and my youngest dog who is known for her counter surfing abilities (she is a real chow hound everything is potential food, my DH's wedding ring,a needle and thread a horrifying list) had been nibbling away each time I let her out the other kitchen door. She wanted to go out a lot that aftenoon and was always careful to come to the other door to be let in so I did not catch on, standard poodles are pretty smart, It was just the top so I baked it open faced like a tart and with the pork gravy it was still yummy.

                  2. Pepsi
                    Bread (Rustic assortments in the grocery store that is). A good bakery is a good bakery the world around.

                    All I can think of for now.


                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Davwud

                      I visited London (ON) from the Chicago suburbs in March and wasn't impressed with the beer. We found one bar that served non-macro beer, and the bartender said that if we came looking for good beer in Canada, we should have stayed in Chicago.

                      1. re: Danimal

                        There is very good micro breweries in Quebec... London is very bad for anything chowish...

                        1. re: Danimal

                          While better is all subjective, if your bartender suggested there was no good beer in Canada that's just plain stupid. There basically isn't a country on the planet that doesn't have at least some good beer.
                          There are also a number of people in this country that think that if it didn't come from Europe, it can't be any good. Very much beer snobs.
                          We have gallons of great beer here. I just think you got a bad bartender in a bad bar.

                          Sorry you were disappointed.

                          1. re: Davwud

                            I don't think those are beer snobs so much as beer dummies - most of them aren't drinking Leff or anything like that, they are drinking Heinekin and other mass-market stuff. And beer is traditionally a fresh local product right, so why would we want European beer? I think it's a clever ploy by the big multinationals that import the stuff to cut into the microbrew market, which btw Danimal is pretty big & pretty good in Ontario. My personal current favourite is Mill St Tank House Ale, brewed in downtown Toronto.

                            Here is a list of Ontario "micro" breweries but I'm not sure how Molson made it in!

                            1. re: julesrules

                              I think you're right.
                              I will say that I've had a few great micro's in my day but sadly, I can't drink them. A few will give me a wicked hangover. I have to stick with the mainstream beers. Too bad. The Fish House had a Salmon Creek lager that was fantastic. Three of them and I couldn't function for a few days. I switched to Blue and had no problem.


                              1. re: julesrules

                                Hey, it's LEFFE, not Leff!

                                I am not a beer (unless we are what we drink...)

                                1. re: Jim Leff

                                  Hey, it could be worse Jim, Leffe tastes a hell of a lot better than Liffey would!