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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!

                          1. re: foodiegrl

                            you don't have them????? or ours are better?

                            1. re: julesrules

                              Yes!! I couldn't agree more. Non-existent in the states. My favorite cereal growing up, and I'll be eating them again Thursday morning when I return to S.W. Ontario.

                              Also, Red River hot cereal and honey butter (preferably cinnamon).

                              Jams and preserves are generally much better in Canada than the U.S. (although cheapy and store brands suck everywhere).

                              1. re: Woodside Al

                                aren't shreddies just shredded wheat cereal? pls correct me if wrong?

                                1. re: cctc

                                  Not at all! Shreddies are very different from shredded wheat. They're like small checkerboard shaped squares made of wheat and bran (I think) and are quite sweet. One of my favourite cereals as an adult (as a kid, I hated them).

                                2. re: Woodside Al

                                  Red River cereal is available in Minnesota. Of course, we are right next door to Canada...


                            2. A number of years ago we had breakfast at an Arbys because nothing else was around. They had the most wonderful, flaky, real croissants. We went back several times just for the croissants. Wonder if they still have them or if it was just the Arbys in Windsor...

                              1. Here's a web site that sells a number of Canadian products south of the border. This would be way of testing whether the claims in this thread are true.

                                1. Shreddies, Smarties, Malt Bread, Macintosh toffee, Tim Horton's, Oka cheese, maple syrup, bagels, smoked meat from Schwartz's.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: hacheson

                                    Tim Horton's has a few outposts in Rhode Island so I recently tried a few and they were among the worst donuts I've ever had. Sandwiches were decent and it was a nice change to get food on an actual ceramic plate.

                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                      I *USED* to think that Tim Horton's had the best donuts around North America and would head from Detroit to Windsor, ON on Saturdays for coffee and donuts. And when they arrived in Columbus, OH, they were pretty good.

                                      However, recently, it does not taste like the donuts are produced in house. The donuts taste like they are frozen and quite frankly, are pretty bad.

                                      The bagels are frozen and are no better than what you would find at a grocery store.

                                      1. re: jlawrence01

                                        a year or so ago it was brought to the nation's attention that tim horton's had indeed stopped making donuts in house and were premaking them and shipping them frozen from a main distributor.

                                        probably why we consider it an experience now rather than something to be proud of ;) it's all about the iced cap.

                                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                          Tim Horton's is better than dunkin Donuts and Winchells but does not hold a candle to Krispy Kreme.

                                          1. re: Marianna215

                                            Only the "Original Cream" donuts are better. The rest of the donuts (chocolate et al.) are better at Uncle Timmy's.


                                    2. re: hacheson

                                      as an american living in canada, I must disagree about Tim Horton's...Dunking Donuts' coffee and donuts are both better, although I am no great fan of either. I think its just another case of liking the version you grew up with...

                                      1. re: cctc

                                        AMEN. Tim Horton's is truck stop coffee and the donuts are nowhere as good as DD. For that matter, KK are better donuts, and TH's sandwiches are an embarassment.

                                      2. and Maynard's wine gums.

                                        1. Is Canada Dry Ginger Ale any better???

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Hue

                                            Canada Dry is an American company. I seem to recall growing up in Canada that there was America Dry pop that wasn't very good.

                                            1. re: gourmaniac

                                              Geez, I always thought that Cadbury-Schweppes, PLC was a BRITISH company.


                                              1. re: gourmaniac

                                                Oh! Oh! If you can find it... Temagami Dry Ginger Ale!!! My mother used to send me cases of the stuff when I was in university. Not sweet... bitey! It went out of business around 1990, and then was revived. It's not as sharp as I recall it, but it's still the best ginger ale (cf. ginger beer) that I've tasted.

                                              1. re: beer786

                                                I don't think I agree with you there... I am certainly biased because I am Canadian...

                                                First of all, better poutine is not general to Canada, but it is better in Quebec, where the meal was born.

                                                Second of all, I have to say that I have eaten better food in general in Canada than in the US...healthy AND tasty wise. But then again, I am biased! ;-)

                                                1. re: Frenchie

                                                  Poutine=fries, gravy from a damn powder mix and cheese curds. It can be done right anywhere and is NOT "better in Quebec." I am sick of hearing this. We have some damn good poutine in Alberta.

                                                  1. re: John Manzo

                                                    Well I don't know about Alberta, but I've found no good poutine in Ontario. I've done my share of searching.

                                                    1. re: oralfixation

                                                      Once in a while, you stumble across a chipwagon that makes a great poutine. But, inevitably, you can never find it again.

                                                      The Works makes a totally inauthentic version with veggie gravy that's pretty good. If you want to go completely off track, try it with sweet potato fries.

                                                    2. re: John Manzo

                                                      Try eating pouting at La Banquise & then tell me if they make it better in Alberta - me thinks NOT.

                                                  2. re: beer786

                                                    Well, in general I'd have to agree with you about poutine. However, there's a place in New York City that serves awesome poutine. Even visitors from Quebec agree it's very authentic and very good.

                                                      1. re: kobetobiko

                                                        Pommes Frites is on 2nd Avenue between 7th and 8th streets. Here's the web link:


                                                        Note that they import cheese and gravy from Quebec to make their poutine! So I guess cheese and gravy are better in Canada.

                                                        1. re: ambrose

                                                          Oh, the poutine at Pommes Frites was so NOT up to Quebec's standard! The first time I tried I thought it was an off night for them (as I love Pommes Frites in general), but the second time convinced me that it was just not good. I do not find it authentic. It is not just about having cheese and gravy from Canada, it's about the way you put them together. Pomme Frites failed in this aspect.

                                                          So I stil have to say Poutine is the best in Quebec, and Pomme Frites, though trying hard, is still a far cry from Quebec's.

                                                          1. re: kobetobiko

                                                            I think it's more a question of freshness than anything else. You need uber-fresh curds, not ones that have been shipped hundreds of miles south.

                                                            1. re: kobetobiko

                                                              Sorry to hear that your poutine experience at Pommes Frites did not match mine. You may want to check out a new place called The Inn LW12, which I think has just opened. Information on the web is a little confusing. See the following article:


                                                              1. re: ambrose

                                                                Yes the place has just opened.

                                                    1. Better:
                                                      Coffee, in general-at restaurants/cafes - waay better

                                                      1. Pannekoeks.
                                                        Certain beers (ah, BC Brewing, how I miss you).
                                                        Blueberry fritters (from Tim's).
                                                        Normal sizes for coffee (6-8-10 oz., not 16-24-32 oz.)

                                                        1. beer always comes up when canadians talk about their homeland so can someone fill me in ? what "great" beers do you speak of. I wont turn this into a can vs usa bit, but California and oregon make the best beers ;) period end of story

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: beer786

                                                            I think when you get to Microbrewed beers, there's a miriade of great ones the world around. I more refer to the main stream kind of beer. Blue, Canadian, Export etc. vs. Bud, Miller, etc. In that one, I think we win. The stuff my in laws try and pawn off as beer is appauling.


                                                            1. re: beer786

                                                              I think of Creemore Springs in Ontario, Big Rock in Alberta, Blanche du Chambly from Quebec, Maudite from Quebec. Fort Garry Dark Ale from Manitoba. There's many more. And I do like some of the Pacific Northwest and California beers from my days in the SF.Bay Area but I also miss Augustiner Edelstoff from my year in Munich (Dunkles Wiessbier from Schneiderweisse or Erdinger as well). Eye of the Hawk out of Mendicino brewing was a favourite.

                                                              But maybe my tastes are too middle of the raod for "purists" anywhere, whom you can't convince otherwise anyways.

                                                              There's good beer in Canada as there is in the US. Lots still to try. Yum....

                                                              1. re: GGS

                                                                u dont see many canadian micro brews here for some reason, maybe some kind of trade rules or something

                                                              2. re: beer786

                                                                Ohhh... I am such a fan of Steamwhistle pilsner. The brewhouse is right beside the SkyDome/Roger's Center and CN Tower, where my condo was, and we would walk over and buy fresh beer right from the brewery.

                                                              3. I almost forgot - creton! We discovered this just in time to pack it for an agonizing hike in the Laurentian mountains. We were climbing for over 4 hours, sustained only by creton, good bread and bottled water. I wouldn't have made it without this superfatted treat.

                                                                1. how I long to breathe the crisp air of Canada again, and taste these special treats:


                                                                  Lay's Smoky Bacon Potato Chips (can you still get the Poutine flavored ones?)

                                                                  Coffee Crisps!!! First thing I do is buy a Coffee Crisp, or three.

                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                  1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                    There are no Coffee Crips in the US? Or are the canadian ones better?

                                                                    1. re: Frenchie

                                                                      I've never seen them for sale within the US. But they are certainly available mere steps from the border in, say, Niagara Falls in those souvenir stores on the Canadian side.

                                                                      1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                        I've seen Coffee Crisp in shops that have lots of imported candy - stuff from Canada, the UK, Australia - places like Cost Plus/World Market. But there's no US version of it.

                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                          I always have to take a big box of Coffee Crisp to my Mum who lives in the states every time I see her. She can't get them anywhere down there.

                                                                          1. re: starlady

                                                                            My husband is from Ontario (We're in Texas) and they sell Coffee Crisp in Dollar Tree stores. The best part is that they're only fifty cents a piece! My husband is in Heaven!

                                                                    2. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                      bacon potato chips?? heaven why cant we get them here!!?

                                                                      1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                        If potato chips is your game, you can't get ketchup or dill pickle down yonder.


                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                          YES!!! Thats what I was going to post -- the only thing that I really miss in the US are the delicious Ketchup and All Dressed potato chips.

                                                                          1. re: Marianna215

                                                                            Oh ya, All Dressed. My wife had no idea what they were the first time.


                                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                                              can you get the Humpty Dumpty Buffalo Wings chips in the US? They're like all dressed but better

                                                                              1. re: orangewasabi

                                                                                I think so. I've heard of them but never seen them here. I believe I did see them in the states though.


                                                                      2. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                        I haven't tried those Lay flavours, not sure if they are still around, but they have new curry and wasabi flavours that are quite tasty.

                                                                      3. The coca cola in cans is better in Canada (much sweeter) and Twizzlers red licorice is soooo much better than those lightweight Red Vines.

                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                        1. re: darasolomon

                                                                          Aha! Shades of the "New Coke" controversy a decade or so back. "New Coke" was indeed the Canadian formulation and in blind tastings it always outscored the 'classic' formulation.
                                                                          But you don't mess with icons (except at your peril).

                                                                          1. re: estufarian

                                                                            Actually, I saw a program that stated, when New Coke came out, Coke sales went up 10%. Then they came back with Coke Classic and sales went up an additional 5%. If this is in fact true, New Coke is not the failure that most people think it was. Oddly enough, they said that Pepsi sales went up about 10% as well. As they said, "There's no losers in the cola war."


                                                                            1. re: estufarian

                                                                              But we had New Coke too, and it tasted different fom Old Coke, right? I was 10 or so but that is how I remember it.

                                                                              1. re: julesrules

                                                                                They switched the formula so all you got was New Coke. Then after the hue and cry reintroduced the original formula as Coke Classic. The later phased out New Coke and dropped the Classic part of the name.


                                                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                                                  Yes, but if New Coke in the States was based on the Canadian Formulation we already had, what did they give us here?

                                                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                                                    Except that Coca Cola Classic was/is more like the original US formula, but was never exactly the same, because they never went back to making it entirely from cane sugar, and transitioned to corn syrup. So it's never been the same.

                                                                                    As for what Canadian Coke was then, I don't know, but the company tailors its formula for each national market, and even for regional markets, apparently.

                                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                                      New Coke was not the Canadian formulation. It was the Diet Coke formulation sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

                                                                                2. Beer - Steamwhistle; Moosehead.

                                                                                  Cheese - St. André; Sir Wilfrid Laurier

                                                                                  Restaurant chains - Chez Cora (best breakfast ever); Bridgehead (beats Starbucks anytime); Tim Hortons (OK, not the donuts - they suck too)

                                                                                  Food brands - La Soyarie; President's Choice; Ace Bakery

                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: piccola

                                                                                    We have President's Choice here in the US. Agree about Chez Cora, though when I've said so I get a chorus of "EW HOW CAN YOU EAT THERE ZOMG" from other hounds.

                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                      Where?? Where can I buy my PC??
                                                                                      Re: Cora's - I was all prepared to hate it, but ended up loving it instead. They do basic comfort food very well, and it's great for groups - where else can people go as healthy or as indulgent as they want?

                                                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                                                        Any Jewel in Chicagoland or Acme in the New York area. Albertson's don't seem to have it (despite being the parent company of both Jewel and Acme), though.

                                                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                          I looked on the Acme website and couldn't find any mention of PC, even after doing a brand search...

                                                                                        2. re: piccola

                                                                                          If you are in NYC, D'Agostinos at one time carried Predient's Choice items, including cookies and cereal, that were really good, but I do believe they might have stopped carrying them, because at some point I no longer found them there - but then, I also moved to another neighborhood, and stopped shopping at D'Ags. You could call them and ask if they still carry PC products.

                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                            I shopped at D'Ags all of last year, and never saw it. :-(

                                                                                    2. The fact that we use real cream in our coffee.

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Googs

                                                                                        real cream you mean whole cream not half and half?? or skim milk? well we use all of those in america lol

                                                                                        1. re: Googs

                                                                                          And sorry, but I'm Canadian, and neither I nor my family have ever used cream in our coffee.
                                                                                          Unless you're referring the the use of powdered creamer, which I've never used either and see more often in the US than at home...

                                                                                          1. re: piccola

                                                                                            That could well be it. I travel down to the U.S. on business a lot and find that the powdered stuff is much more common down there. In any decent restaurant however, cream is offered as it is here in Canada.

                                                                                              1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                                                I didn't mean that no Canadians use real cream - just that it's not a specifically Canadian habit.

                                                                                                1. re: piccola

                                                                                                  I've thought about this since I posted, and then saw your repost (sorry for the bad pun). Those who added dairy tended to use cream. I suspect that, as with so much of "Canadian cuisine", this might be a regional thing, (northern Ontario), and given where I grew up, an ethnic thing (Finns, Ukrainians, Poles used cream.... not certain why the Scots did, can't explain why the Italians often did). Just guesses. Welcome the re-repost.

                                                                                          2. Speaking of Canadian beers. We used to get a brand down here in New Jersey called Brador, which I liked. I also drank it at a hotel bar just over the bridge from Buffalo. Is Brador still available? Was it popular? Was it any good?

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Drew E

                                                                                              As far as I know and No and No.


                                                                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                I spent a lot of time in Toronto about 25 years ago, and remember bringing back a 6-pack of Molson's Brador. At least that's what I remember. I am pretty sure that it was some sort of premium Molson's. The guys at customs joked around, but let me through with my cache. p.j.

                                                                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                    so did sleeman's get sold then-- noticed i can now buy the stuff here in msp.

                                                                                            2. - Oh Henry Chocolate Bars
                                                                                              - Lowney's Cherry Blossom Chocolate Bars
                                                                                              - If you have a headache 222's without a script (not chowish but you know what I mean)
                                                                                              - clover leaf canned sockeye salmon
                                                                                              -Strubs or Mrs. Whytes dill pickles

                                                                                              1. Can't believe that no one has mentioned Chip Nuts (peanuts with a potato crisp shell. Unique to eastern Canada.

                                                                                                1. Tea (i.e. hot tea) is usually a safer bet in Canada rather than the U.S in my experience. In the southern U.S. it sometimes isn't even available in restaurants. Grocery store tea tends to be better in Canada as well; high-end tea shops exist in both countries for the better stuff. As with any generalisation, there are many places in the U.S. that do tea very well and many places in Canada that serve dreck.

                                                                                                  On the other hand, iced tea is usually much better in the U.S. (in my opinion anyway). The iced tea you get in Canada tastes powdered and is much too sweet for my taste.

                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: PaulV

                                                                                                    Oh people here think "iced tea" is something that comes in a can from Nestea. I think I would *prefer* powdered tea without sugar and that canny taste! My Dad is from Georgia so I've been down there and experienced the real nonsweet (and sweet of course) iced tea, my Mom and I love it but so hard to find here. Making it myself just isn't the same, I want to walk into a restaurant on a hot day and get the big glassful as ubiquitous as water. One chain sells it in the summer, and I recently found a new neighbourhood place that brews iced tea to order, so good!

                                                                                                    1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                      The key to good sweet tea at home is to add the amount of sugar you think it needs.....then keep adding. I'm from Alabama originally, you would not BELIEVE how much sugar is in that stuff. It is the first thing I want when I go home to visit.

                                                                                                      1. re: Merry113

                                                                                                        When the family gets together down in the south, my wife's, sisters, sister in law makes the sweet tea. She makes a simple syrup first and then starts adding tea to it. I'm not an iced tea drinker myself by my wife is and she pretty much doesn't order it up here.


                                                                                                    2. re: PaulV

                                                                                                      southern mint tea is is super sweet, I personally like ice to no sugar.

                                                                                                      1. re: PaulV

                                                                                                        iced tea north of baltimore is generally not good...

                                                                                                      2. I love Sweet Maries and in August the wild blueberries from Muskoka and the blueberry pie made with them at Sloanes in Gravenhurst (although I haven't been in years so I don't know if it is still there, anyone?) Thinking of summer in Ontario, I couldn't go a summer without hamburgers from Webers on Highway 11 at Orillia--Love the bridge.

                                                                                                        And a sort of secret--watercress in winter from the Forks of the Credit.

                                                                                                        1. Poutine from Burger King, chinese food from Fort Erie, Coffee Crisps, Smarties and frozen coca cola slushies from Ontario Place were the things I looked forward to the most when going to Canada. Luckily now I live in NYC and can get coffee crisps at a couple differnet candy stores and frozen colas at 7-11 but it's just not the same. Ooh and wine gums! My dad became friendly with a bodega owner and used to buy 3 or 4 cases of wine gums from him every time he went to vist. Oh and "Just Desserts" in Toronto. I am dying for a place like that around here but nothing compares.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: roze

                                                                                                            haha...whats so great about chinese food in fort erie?

                                                                                                            1. re: kare_raisu

                                                                                                              The fact that's its not in buffalo :)I loved Happy Jacks!

                                                                                                            2. re: roze

                                                                                                              Sorry to say Just Desserts is gone. It's now a subway (at Bedford/davenport location).

                                                                                                              1. re: sherry f

                                                                                                                You made me so sad--what happened? Last time I was in Toronto they had just opened up another one. Are they both gone?

                                                                                                                1. re: roze

                                                                                                                  There was a murder at the one on Davenport, and I don't think the biz recovered after that. I think the other locale(Yonge and Eglinton?) just closed several years back.

                                                                                                                  1. re: sherry f

                                                                                                                    There's still a Just Dessert on Yonge Street, just south of Wellesley on the east side.

                                                                                                                    1. re: sherry f

                                                                                                                      Thanks for the replies--thats good to hear that there is still one open. I remember when that murder happened- it was so sad. Too bad that one never recovered-it was my favorite ;(

                                                                                                              2. I miss Bridgehead coffee shops - not just the products themselves (all organic/fair trade, tasty and still affordable), but the concept and the atmosphere. I lived close to two of them in Ottawa and spent so much time there...

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                  Yes, Bridgehead is great. The food is as good as the coffee. Wish they were open a bit later though; sometimes I have to settle for Starbucks or Second Cup for that reason.

                                                                                                                2. Some of my Canadian Faves:
                                                                                                                  Big Turk Chocolate Bars
                                                                                                                  Hawkins Cheezies
                                                                                                                  Old Dutch Dill Pickle Chips
                                                                                                                  Maynards Wine Gums
                                                                                                                  Tim Horton's coffee
                                                                                                                  The Keg!

                                                                                                                  1. I'm gonna say tea, only because I've become a fan of Murchies in Vancouver/Victoria.

                                                                                                                    1. I was disappointed to note that Starbucks is clearly NOT better in Canada. In virtually every little bakery, patisserie, coffee shop, the pastries were exquisite. But I noticed when walking past Starbucks (in Montreal at least), they were the same bland, powdery junk you find in every airport Starbucks in the US. What a waste of national baking resources!

                                                                                                                      1. It probably depends on the location in Canada, for many things, but here are mine (from an american living in canada):

                                                                                                                        President's Choice almost anything (makes me miss Trader Joe's just a teensy bit less...)
                                                                                                                        Cheese (from Quebec) and general variety of milk products
                                                                                                                        Bagels (unless you are within 100 miles of NYC)
                                                                                                                        Potato Chip selection (Dill!)
                                                                                                                        Cora's (ack, I like it even tho I should know better)
                                                                                                                        Saskatoon berry Jam!

                                                                                                                        As for beer, there is good and bad beer everywhere, although I think people here are less picky...I would never think of serving/bringing the cheap stuff to a bbq at home, but here in canada people seem to drink the cheapest canned crap even while eating chowish food.

                                                                                                                        Why are the oreos and pepsi better here in canada?

                                                                                                                        What isn't better?
                                                                                                                        The lack of south american food at most grocery stores (ie, goya foods), and no half-way decent jarred or fresh salsa except at restaurants!
                                                                                                                        General lack of selection at grocery stores, actually...

                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: cctc

                                                                                                                          As another American living in Canada, I sooooo agree with you about lack of selection in Canada. My husband doesn't let me go to the grocery store in anymore b/c I will have a melt down. He says "But you don't need that much selection" to which i reply...."No but I DO need the kind I want!"

                                                                                                                          1. re: cctc

                                                                                                                            There seems to be a difference in Diet Pepsi, depending on where you are. Supposedly Dr. Pepper is the same. I guess the local water or whatever changes the taste. But when I go to the inlaws I don't like the DP I get.


                                                                                                                            1. re: cctc

                                                                                                                              The reason the oreos and soft drinks in general are better in Canada is that the US has a government mandated price floor on sugar, making it more expensive to use than corn syrup, so many of your favorite sweet products, such as coke, are made with corn syrup in the US and sugar in Canada (and just about everywhere else).

                                                                                                                              While I agree with most things on this board on what's better up north, I've never seen such a dreadful selection of fresh produce than I have in Montreal groceries. Most of which wouldn't be sold in reasonable American stores.

                                                                                                                              Another poster mentioned this in relation to Coke, but I bet it would also apply to the mass produced jams too.

                                                                                                                              Why hasn't Canada taken the initiative on maple syrup sweetened coke? Get your crack scientist on it!

                                                                                                                              1. re: sailormouth

                                                                                                                                The poor produce must be a regional thing. When my mom visited BC from Florida she was amazed at the beautiful selection of produce in every store, and I know from visiting her there it was far superior to Florida's selection, oddly enough. I am pleased to see that more major supermarkets in BC are selling local products when available, this a change in just the past year or so. Perhaps it is a response to the huge popularity of farmers markets here.

                                                                                                                                1. re: sailormouth

                                                                                                                                  It is regional. I lived in Montreal while going to school - hated grocery store produce. (Why are all of the green peppers plastic wrapped individually??) Good thing is that you can find plenty of great produce outside of the grocery store chains - I always got mine elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: sailormouth

                                                                                                                                    Actually, I believed the change in Oreo taste and texture was due to the elimination of hydrogenated oils... am I wrong? I notice that the cookie, once crispy, shiny, and rich, is now thicker, harder, and yet less crispy, and has a lighter brown, dull look to it. The cream is also a lot less tasty. Whatever the cause of the difference is, if Canada is still selling the former version, I would love to know where to get my hands on some!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                                                                      American oreos have tasted bad to Canadian me since I was kid, going back 25 years or so. Canadian oreos are one of my guilty junk food pleasures.
                                                                                                                                      I remember my Aunt, who worked for Nabisco, mentionning that they, or maybe some other variety, weren't the same after they took out the lard - I think that was in the 80s.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                        Lard could go back in, if they dared, as it has minimal trans fats.

                                                                                                                                2. Fiddleheads

                                                                                                                                  Canadian pork is the best!

                                                                                                                                  Butter tarts

                                                                                                                                  Oatmeal stout from Quebec

                                                                                                                                  Bakeapple and Patridgeberry jam tarts from Newfoundland

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: fushykiwi

                                                                                                                                    McAuslan stout? I'm not a stout drinker but I love their other beers. My favourite Quebec beers.

                                                                                                                                  2. peameal bacon! I remember bringing it to relatives in California as a child, along with old cheddar cheese.
                                                                                                                                    Having spent many years in Florida as a teen, Canadian junk food is just seems so much better. Love ketchup chips, smarties, cookies and wine gums!

                                                                                                                                    1. Ice wine. It isn't cold enough anywhere else for this to be produced.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Zengarden

                                                                                                                                        we make it in minnesota too, yall. and maple syrup & wild rice.

                                                                                                                                      2. Almost everything is better in Canada, especially beer.

                                                                                                                                        1. I just spent 4 weeks in the Maritimes. My vote goes for:

                                                                                                                                          President's Choice prepared meals- we were in an RV and it was great to pop in a shepherd's pie and not have to cook

                                                                                                                                          Crunchies ( my all-time favorite candy bar )

                                                                                                                                          Tim Horton - not because of the awful doughnuts ( though the teacakes and oat cakes were ok) but because they were EVERYWHERE, and in the morning you could tell everyone in town stopped there

                                                                                                                                          1. Peameal bacon!! Yummmmm...

                                                                                                                                            And, again, Shreddies, which are so much more than just a shredded wheat cereal. Like really really good wheat chex (but you have to eat them quick, they don't hold up well to milk). And those delicious candy bars, like Coffee Crisp and Aero, that are only available in import shops in the U.S.

                                                                                                                                            In southwest Ontario: fresh lake perch (or pickerel) just off the docks. Lakeside brand bread & butter pickles. Raspberries and peaches to die for.

                                                                                                                                            Alas, certain drinks I loved as a kid during my summers in Canada, like Canada Dry Ginger Beer or Dad's Root Beer or Chocolate Soldier are now just a memory.

                                                                                                                                            But as adults one can still get real cream in coffee in Canada, and Horlick's (!!) in our milk.

                                                                                                                                            Speaking of adult beverages, the beer argument has been affected by time. Back when I was growing up in Detroit and all that was available most places was Budweiser, Miller's, and Stroh's (or, worse yet, true awfulness like Pabst, Schlitz, or Blatz), a nice Molson's Canadian or Export, shipped cold through the Brewer's Retail and at a full 5% alcohol, was just the best thing ever. People used to stream across the border just to drink the stuff (not to mention the easy availability of Guinness, which my Irish-American grandfather certainly loved).

                                                                                                                                            But then came the import and microbrew explosion and a big change. Now there are great beers available on both sides of the border, much better than the big commercial brews of both countries (and import availability is now a whole lot better in the U.S. than in Canada), so it's no longer such a big deal. And so I'll bet that a lot of younger people here are a bit confused when oldsters like me reflexively respond "beer" when the question comes up of things that are better in Canada.

                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Woodside Al

                                                                                                                                              I used to drink Chocolate Soldier as a kid (in Alabama) so I'm not sure it's a Canadian thing. I think it might even still be available in Alabama (I seem to remember seeing it last time I was there). So much better than Yoo Hoo!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Merry113

                                                                                                                                                I saw it in Mexico as a child too. Guess my point was that it was (then) available in Ontario and not in Michigan (which is where I was).

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Woodside Al

                                                                                                                                                Dad's Root Beer is available in the U.S. BevMo carry it.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Woodside Al

                                                                                                                                                  When saying beer is better in Canada. It is most certainly now only refering to the mass marketed stuff.
                                                                                                                                                  Microbreweries are making good beers across the board.


                                                                                                                                                2. Everyone I know says TOFU is best in Canada than anywhere else in the world. They say the water's good or something. I guess it is, its got a very smooth texture here than in Hong Kong (thats the only place I've had tofu outside of CAnada).

                                                                                                                                                  Other things that I am proud of:

                                                                                                                                                  Maple Syrup
                                                                                                                                                  Ice Wine
                                                                                                                                                  Chinese food (compared to the U.S., haha, sorry you folks down South), or Asian food, for that matter
                                                                                                                                                  Street Meat (sausages, to be exact)
                                                                                                                                                  Peameal Bacon (do other countries even have peameal bacon? goodness, do even other cities OUTSIDE of Toronto have peameal bacon?)

                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jennjen18

                                                                                                                                                    I'll pit my Monterey Park against your Cambie Street any day!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                      Uh, as much as I like LA I might have to agree with jennjen. That said, LA whoops the ass of every other American city in the Chinese food dept.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: jennjen18

                                                                                                                                                      What is peameal bacon? Is it a lean smoked meat ('Canadian bacon) with a cornmeal coating? I've seen that on occasion in BC.


                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                        Canadian bacon isn't smoked. It's pork loin that is cured and then rolled in corn meal.


                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jennjen18

                                                                                                                                                        I'm so homesick reading about all this Canadian food! And you're right, everything on your list is better in Canada, especially the Asian food.

                                                                                                                                                        1. I had a craving for Quaker Corn Bran cereal the other day, then realized I couldn't find it in the States....

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                            Pathmark carries it. Some others, too.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                                                                              Really? I've only seen the oat version, which I don't like...
                                                                                                                                                              Thanks! You've just made my day

                                                                                                                                                          2. Ice cider

                                                                                                                                                            Snack cakes in Quebec (Vachon). Hostess and Little Debbie taste like cardboard compared to Vachon snack cakes.

                                                                                                                                                            Whippet cookies

                                                                                                                                                            I have to disagree about yogourt. There is almost no commercial yogourt here that is made from actual milk. Liberte is one exception. Because milk can only be imported into Canada in the form of milk solids, butter oil, etc. Dairies have been using cheaper American milk by-products instead of real milk. So now most Canadian yogourt is crap.

                                                                                                                                                            This also applies to ice cream. For example, Breyer's in Canada is not made with real cream.

                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                              I just saw this now (the thread continued well into my month at the cottage it appears!)
                                                                                                                                                              This is very interesting. I buy Astro original yoghurt and it lists "milk" as the first ingredient. Would that be actual milk from Canada? (sincere question). What ingredients should I be looking for? thanks.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                Breyer's isn't pure in the USA anymore either, it's not just Canada.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                  Since this thread had been bumped, I will just add that, since I wrote that post, the law in Quebec has changed and all yogourt is again made with real milk. I don't know what's going on in other provinces, though.

                                                                                                                                                                  As for ice cream, it's still, for the most part, made from milk by-products from the US or New-Zealand. There are, of course, exceptions, but almost all of them are "premium" brands.

                                                                                                                                                                2. In Cape Breton we had snow crab that never was frozen, the best mussels I ever had and the only shark I ever enjoyed. Nothing like really fresh seafood from cold waters.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Kit-Kat Chunky. The quality of the chocolate is much better then the American version. Our family ran across them in Britain a few years ago and was glad to find the Canadian candy just as good. Have done a test comparison back in the states, I won't eat the US version.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Unfortunately, big bad Nestle has taken over Rowntree Chocolates, which made Kit-Kat and Aero, among others. The quality of the chocolate has definitely declined since. Still preferable to American chocolate bars, but not as good as they used to be.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Wow - serious commendations for poutine! Canadians I know (including some from Quebec) consider it a joke. If you could coat a glob of it with corn meal and fry it you'd have heart attack on a stick. And you don't have to go to Canada - just get a KFC Famous Bowl, goes poutine one better! While we'er on it, Canadian humor is really on display at the Blue Cactus in Ottawa. Some friends took us there for "southwestern cuisine" - my frijoles were exactly like my Indiana mom's baked beans - white beans, tomato sauce, bown sugar and mustard. Lest you think I'm anti-Canadia, I applaud their general political demeanor, their stance on importing real cheese (why can't I get FRESH Casentino pecorino in the US?), and their healthcare system.

                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Hoosier Boy

                                                                                                                                                                          I just don't consider "heart attack on a stick" to be an insult :)

                                                                                                                                                                          There are lots of things we don't do well, like Mexican, Southwestern - actually pretty much any regional American. But is that so surprising?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                                                            I don't blame "you" for not being able to do proper Mexican food (although you could easily scare up some immigrants with culinary skills), but I just thought the Blue Cactus folks' take on it was pretty preposterous. I've had good meals in Ottawa, geat Italian in Toronto, a delightful dinner at Les Remparts in Montreal's Vieux Port, and even some wonderful mussels at the Andrew Macphail homestead near Orwell in PEI (followed by folk music and ice cream and fresh strawberries - with mosquito garnish - in a nearby historic village hall. And a good honest burger followed by a few cold Alexander Keith's IPAs and non-stop music at the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou on Cape Breton Island. And several memorable meals from Angelo at the Cooper's Cove Guest House (and cooking school) in Sooke, BC. We like Canada, we really do.

                                                                                                                                                                            But poutine . . . ahhhh (or arrgghhhh!! ?), that's another matter.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Hoosier Boy

                                                                                                                                                                              We just don't have a lot of immigration from Mexico. The Mexicans that do come tend to be educated middle-class professionals, or agricultural workers on temporary visas.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. You folks are mean :-) I just left Canada 6 months ago (after living in BC for 6 years) and I soooooo miss it. Anyway...

                                                                                                                                                                          What's better:

                                                                                                                                                                          Mid-range Okanagan wines (vs mid-range California wines)
                                                                                                                                                                          Oreos (the filling is actually made with creme - image that)
                                                                                                                                                                          Alberta beef
                                                                                                                                                                          Poutine (of course)
                                                                                                                                                                          Chinese food in Richmond, BC
                                                                                                                                                                          Kraft Mac 'n Cheese (it's actually edible)
                                                                                                                                                                          PEI Blue Mussels
                                                                                                                                                                          Cadbury bars (burnt almond - yummy)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Sushi in Vancouver
                                                                                                                                                                            The fresh Halibut
                                                                                                                                                                            and everything ejmatl said :)

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: starlady

                                                                                                                                                                              Except we call it Kraft Dinner, not Kraft Mac 'n Cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: starlady

                                                                                                                                                                                starlady- you are completely right, I had the best sushi of my life in Vancouver

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Jelly Tots, Beep (Farmer's Dairy), Shreddies and Smarties......oh and Coffee Crisp.

                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ciaogal

                                                                                                                                                                                  where do you find jellytots? I haven't found them in ages. I would love to know.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alex8alot

                                                                                                                                                                                    not sure anymore...moved to the US in 1980...still craving them!

                                                                                                                                                                                    used to get them on



                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alex8alot

                                                                                                                                                                                      I've seen Jellytots at a couple of places here in Ottawa recently. I think they are imported from the U.K. now. They come in cardboard tubes rather than the small rectangular plastic packages that they used to come in. They are still good.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PaulV

                                                                                                                                                                                        thanks for letting me know about the packaging, I may have missed them!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Dark chocolate kit kats which cannot be purchased stateside. I get them by the case at the Richmond, BC Costco.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. everything is better in canada

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Nanaimo bars! I'm not even sure they're available in the US. Had my last Nanaimo bar in Victoria, BC in early 1994!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Someone previously mentioned partridgeberry jam. Is it available anywhere in the States?

                                                                                                                                                                                          "Partridgebery jam, partridgeberry jam, best damn food ever known to man" - by Buddywasisname and the Other Fellows.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Raisin bran muffins from MARS near the U. of Toronto.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Sweet gefilte fish from a kosher dairy restaurant, maybe on Bathurst?

                                                                                                                                                                                            What I remember as a fresh, soft, firmish cheese that was sold in dairy stores in pieces wrapped in waxed paper, that I think was called cottage cheese, but seemed more like American "cream cheese." Can anyone straighten me out on this?
                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, p.j.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: p.j.

                                                                                                                                                                                              p.j., you're right - it was called cottage cheese - "pressed cottage cheese," actually. In Montreal and Toronto, anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: p.j.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I also think it's what we Hebrew-Americans call Farmers' Cheese (like ciaogirl said). Used to get it on Kings Highway under the KH Brighton Train Station in Brooklyn - it was their specialty...in blueberry, raisin walnut and strawberry. Is that also available up by you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MoxieBoy

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sweet flavored Farmer's Cheese? No way. I don't think I would buy it anyway. Sounds like Americanized bagels in sweet flavors. UGH. I'll take savory any day: cream cheese with chives on an onion bagel. Yum.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also prefer straight cheese blintzes--not the kind with blueberry pie filling, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am just older and set in my ways, I guess. I'll put the fruit preserves on top of my blintzes. . . .like i did last night!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ciaogal

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks, ciogal.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I seem to remember it as being softer than what passes for farmer's cheese in the midwest of the US. My grandmother used to use pot cheese to make blintzes in New Jersey, 40 years ago. It used to come in tubs like cottage cheese, but was drier, as your cited article states. I have never seen pot cheese out here. Perhaps another product that has disappeared.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  take care, p.j.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. We always used to eat Farmer's cheese @ Passover and I remember my grandmother making her cheese blintzes.....she always asked my TO relatives to bring some when they were visiting the Maritimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ciaogal

                                                                                                                                                                                                    We use what is called Farmer's cheese (Friendship brand--the only one available) for our blintzes at Shavout. Yum. I will have to see if it is available for Passover--although I don't know how I would use it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks, p.j.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: p.j.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      you can get it (called "pressed cottage cheese") in most large grocery stores close to Bathurst Street in North Toronto, North York and Thornhill

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: ciaogal

                                                                                                                                                                                                      By the way, I once was invited into the Mitzvah Mobile parked on Queen Street by the old City Hall in Toronto and they had me put on Tfilin. For a Brooklyn boy (trapped in the body of a New Jersey resident), is Forest Hill still primo for Kanadian Kishka, Pastrami and other gems? Even here in Highland Park, NJ, on Raritan Avenue (rue de la pais) it's getting harder to get Cel-Ray, a good knish and well-trimmed brisket.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MoxieBoy

                                                                                                                                                                                                        You're best to go north of Toronto to Thornhill, and a place called Centre Street Deli, to get those items. Also, Pancer's on Bathurst, north of Wilson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Bacon (peameal variety), maple syrup (Grade A, extra light), mussels (PEI), cheese (love that Canadian cheddar!), poutine, Nanaimo bars (need the real thing from BC, not a wannabe from somewhere else), summer blueberries from cottage country in Ontario province.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Moose Turd Pie - outstanding!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jbyoga

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think that was invented by Utah Phillips when he was doing rail gang cook duty in the "Mormon Muddy Wash". Not outstanding but.... "It's good, though."

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Price is better in Canada. You pay 2/3 of the price you pay in the US for the same /similar things....

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Are you serious? I've found the opposite to be the case, particularly for items manufactured by U.S. based companies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. KFC's name is more elegant in French Canada, where it has to be called PFK (Poulet Frit Kentucky). Even France's language police didn't come down that hard on le Colonel Sahndair.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gary Soup

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Company names dont need to be translated: we have all the starbucks , Boston pizza , red lobster , second cup you can dream of. KFC decide to use a french version of their name in Québec all by themselfs. They tough it made business sense

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. There is so much cross cultural crossover that unique foods are hard to find in Canada, except locally.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Is Mennonite summer sausage better in Ontario or Pa.?
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Island cream cheese from Victoria is fairly unique.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fin du Monde strong ale is an experience to be tried at east once.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fresh Maritime oysters from cool waters, and even canned clams (Arctic Surf) can't be duplicated further south.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              How about bannock? Is it avalaible in 'the States'? Itsurely is underappreciated in Canada.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm too lazy to sift through all 162 replies, but has horsemeat, er, "cheval" been mentioned? That's certainly something Canada has but not the US. I even couldn't resist the "cheval tartar" at Frites Alors! (after a couple of beers, of course).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gary Soup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had forgotten about horsemeat. I had it for the first time when I lived in Montreal about 30 years ago. Not sure it's better in Canada, however, because I doubt it's even available here in the US. America's dirty little secret is that Europe gets a very large percentage of its horse meat from.....guess where??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Once had horse sashimi in Japan - an acquired taste to be sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gary Soup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Alberta has a large horsemeat industry, almost entirely for export, almost entirely to Japan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OOOOOOOOOOO you totally just reminded me about Unibroue beers. YUM now ihave to go buy a bottle (yes just a bottle they come in 650mls) Fin du Monde yum. ALthough I was disappointed when Sleemans bought them but they haven't changed too much which is good. I remember a couple years ago I was pouring Blanche de CHambly for the Indy 500 party. Great party :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alex8alot

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I haven't seen bannock on any bakeshelves, but it has been a staple in a few native Canadian restaurants, along with squash soups and pemmican. You can get bannock at pow wows during summer in Canada and (I'm guessing) the western states.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The pan fried, soda leavened cake varies from Scotland to the plains, and down to the southwest. The Canadian variety would be oat cakes, or wheat cakes, with berries added, such as Saskatoon or blueberry. Should be easy to make at home, but the time is ripe for a few enterprising bakeries to start offering it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Old-fashioned Jewish breads, like rye, kimmel (seeded rye), pumpernickel and challah are known to be better in Canada. I speak for Montreal and Toronto, but my gut tells me this is a nationwide phenomenon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. BC apple cider, alcoholic, although they do make a non-alcoholic version for supermarkets. Can you get this anywhere outside BC? Eastern Canada? States? When I first came here in 1974, there was just plain BC Apple Cider. Now there are many versions -- Granny Smith, Apple-Lime, many more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mickie44

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nope OURS alllll OURS! :P We don't export the good stuff :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: starlady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow. Is someone missing out on a great business opportunity or does it not travel well? After I visited here in '74 and returned to my then home in Miami, I had to get my SIL to send me some. Now that I'm living here, I only drink it occasionally on a hot summer day but I had to have it then!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. devonshire cream and icewine (both from the niagara region)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bengaliwife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Poutine is french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. It's a Québec thing that caught on across Canada. I think it's available in a lot of fast food chains now (not very good though) and New York Fries has done criminal things to gravy and calls that mess poutine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's awesome though. Anytime I go skiing, I MUST have poutine for lunch from the lodge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mrbunsrocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know damn well what poutine is, and grew up in an area where I've been exposed to it almost since it was "invented". No matter who makes it it's crap, IMHO. It's criminal to ruin both cheese curd and the good frites they make in PQ at the same time.no matter what heated sauce you pour on top of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gary Soup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I respectfully disagree. While I admit that cheese curds and frites on their own are wonderful, there are many other dishes out there composed of individually wonderful ingredients that come together to be something that's also equally wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It doesn't ruin frites and cheese curds....it's just a different way of enjoying them. I'm not trying to imply that it's healthy (as clearly, it is not), but I think you're getting a little worked up about this for little/no reason. I was responding to the poster who asked a fairly innocent question........

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mrbunsrocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know why, but there seems to have been a slew of poutine-triggered outbursts lately...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyways, the key with poutine is to eat it right away. Unlike other comfort foods (such as mac'n cheese or pizza), poutine is not good the next day. It has about 15 minutes before transforming into a congealed mass of salt and grease.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mrbunsrocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I apologize for directing my outburst to you. I did indeed mistakenly think your earlier comment was to my flippant post (about "Canadian Nachos") rather than to Bengali wife, and went overboard in my clarification.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No apologies for my sentiments about poutine, however. Rediscovering that Montrealers haven't lost the art of making real French fries (which seems to have happened everywhere else more than one McDonald's can be found) and eating squeaky-fresh Quebec and New York State cheese curd from hand are two little pleasures that make my annual swing East to visit my mother tolerable. To have the two foods thrown together and turned into a soggy mess by inundation with chicken gravy is something I do not like to encounter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But at least poutine challenges the likes of Martin Picard to elevate it.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Bengaliwife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    French fries, with cheese curds and gravy...should be fresh curds, NOT grated cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I didn't see any mention of Ceasars!!! Bloody Mary's just aren't the same...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pants

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good one, pants! Last time I visited my mom in Florida, there was a Canadian contingent there who had insisted their favourite restaurant bring in Clamato for Caesars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mickie44

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sweet! I love ceasars! And Clameye's occasionally. Mostly for hangovers :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: pants

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wha? There's no caesar's in the States? Weirdness!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mrbunsrocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nope, no clamato juice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My wife is an American and she now loves them.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They do have clamato juice in the states, at least they had it in California where I grew up. I remember seeing it in stores and wondering why on earth anyone would drink that! But I never heard of caesars being a drink until I moved to Canada.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: melsky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, it was invented in California. There's a drink called an Acapulco Twister which is similar, but uses rum instead of vodka.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gary Soup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I tried making a ceaser with rum instead of vodka once (I ran out of vodka but am a rum drinker so had lots of it) It didn't really taste that great. After that I have stuck to vodka. Although virgin ceasers are really good too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: melsky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My wife and family are in the south. She'd never heard of Clamato or Caesars until she met me.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: melsky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  was looking thru an old gourmet mag from the late 80's tracking a recipe and fell off my chair when i saw a huge clamato ad on the inside back cover (maybe it was the top-gun hairstyles). they tried to market clamato in u.s. at one time, guess it never caught on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We have clamato juice in New York. I don't understand it, but it does exist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Coffee Crisp bars are available in the US. We tried offering them in our vending machines and reception was lukewarm. I thought it was a pretty good/big bar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. -naniamo bars, i agree. dear lord they are soooo good. they even sell em at tim hortons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -peameal....sooo good.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -liberte yogurt from quebec. although ive heard fage is amazing, thes comes in awesome falvours like coconut, apple pie, lemon, marizpan and orange, mango, plum and almond, and they arent chemical flavours, but real chunks of fruit(boy yogurt in the US bothers me).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -poutine. squeaky goodness.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -maple sugar candies in the shape of maple leafs which i see here most.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -beaver tales (hard to find in the states but i remember seeing funnel cake quite frequently).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -ceasars. i hate how cheap alcohol is in the states though. and how its available in convience stores, im jealous.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -i find more cadbury chocolate, as mentioned, which means cream eggs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -cultures. they fuel my smoothie addiction. nothing can compare, and trust me, ive tried to find a smothie as good in america. no can do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cupcakez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wow i didn't know i could get booze at a convenience store-- but what is up with canada and cocktails? when i was in toronto it was absolute hell explaining to folks that i wanted a mixed drink, not a 1-oz shot glass filled just up to the line with vodka and a fizzy glass on the side. not much of a martini drinker, but we tried that out one night, thinking that at least we'd only need one. dh went about ballistic when we paid $14 apiece for 2-oz martinis that looked absolutely ridiculous in the glass! if you're a non-beer drinker in canada, you might as well order tea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It really depends on where you go. Trendy bars everywhere, even Canada, serve mixed drinks. No such luck in many pubs and dives, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      well because we're both 12+ years bar/restaurant/finedining/catering/hospitality/whathaveyou people we went all over the map in toronto (especially one memorable evening). one very trendy club was outfitted with a strange tron-type liquor gun which the bartender affixed to each liquor bottle in turn in order to pour its contents into a dixie cup. i was a bartender for 10 years and never knew this technology existed. jiggers were omnipresent. we did find 2 bars we liked, and a pub we probably only liked for its name, most likely. the high end places seemed to be as bad as the local watering holes (like the 2 oz martini joint).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i'm not saying that it was impossible to get a mixed drink, just that everyone was very concerned with serving exactly, precisely one ounce of liquor for a set price, doubling both quantities if asked for a martini or a double (but paying no regard to making a mixed cocktail correctly), and that it was wicked expensive to try to go out on the town to a few places if you didn't strictly drink beer. thought i was seconding cupcakez' position on this, but i confess i don't know-- just my own experience in toronto. in my experience the art of the cocktail is most refined and most bastardized right here in the u.s. of a., and i don't expect to find a great cocktail in hyderabad or sofia when i go. i thought clubbing in toronto would be similar to nyc, chicago, l.a., but no matter where we went it was people sitting around with a sleeman's in hand, and we were looked at askance when we tried to order cocktails.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Crumpets! I have yet to find decent crumpets in the US. The packaged ones are mediocre at best and not as good as the packaged ones in Canada. However, I really miss the fresh crumpets that are available in some Canadian restaurants and "tea shoppes".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Trader Joe's has great crumpet's...they are a staple in our house w/ sweet cream butter and T.J.'s ginger spread

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ciaogal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I live on the east coast where TJs are few and far between. There is one about 45 minutes away so if I'm in the area I'll pick up some of their crumpets. Maybe I'll also buy some Two Buck Chuck to wash them down with! LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. this is not a better or worse situation, but Canada sells milk in bags, and as far as i know the US doesnt. One of my American friends was totally discused by this!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jen2202

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Canada's got nothing on China.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gary Soup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          is that beer in a bag??? how the heck do you drink it? thru a hole in the bottom of the bag?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jen2202


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here in the US, milk was tested out in the 1/2 gallon bag, but it wasn't any cheaper than the jug. Likewise people was turned off paying a $1.00 or so for the plastic frame thingie to pour it, along with the big mess it made when the bag busted or leaked. Come to think about it, I believe it was first a US product or at least the local reports stated it so, back in the mid to late 80's. (Something about Perdue University comes into mind ???)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here we still have the huge bladder of milk, (I think it is 5 gallons) but it is mostly for restaurant service or maybe for some school lunch programs.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jen2202

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When I lived in Toronto I saw milk in a bag all the time (and for an ex-American, was tickled at this), but now that I live in Calgary, I never see milk in a bag anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is of course negated by the fact that in Alberta we actually HAVE real, honest to goodness mounties (as in RCMP). Visitors have no idea that those mounties you see in Ottawa are just for show- there is no RCMP in Ontario.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John Manzo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I beg to differ about the RCMP. They are a presence throughout Canada, as a federal policing agency across the country, and they act as the provincial police force in every province and territory other than Quebec and Ontario, which have their own provinicial police forces (QPP/OPP).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Mounties' presence in Ontario, then, is less visible than in the ROC; nevertheless, the Mounties in Ottawa ARE real - they are the federal police force in the nation's capital.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I remember Milk in a bag...we had to have a special pitcher that the bag fit into....which we had to purchase from the dairy......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. -----

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I gotta say I do like many of the Canadian beers. I still recall several Moose Head parties in my early 20's... :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RShea78

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Years ago, I was visiting a friend of mine in Chicago, and went to a bar with some of his colleagues. I was introduced to a drink they called a Moose P*cker: half Moose Head, half Strong Bow, by the pint. I'd never seen that in Canada, but, lordy, it felt like home. After five, it didn't feel, at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Sausage!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sausage in the US can be just...gross. I always make a point of eating at least one breakfast with sausage when I visit Vancouver, BC. It always reminds me of the british bangers I had when visiting my relatives in the UK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MMMMMMMMMM!!!! Delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Spruce beer. It's a non-alcoholic soft drink, kind of like quaffing bubbly Pine-Sol but in a good way, if that makes any sense. Couldn't get enough of it when I was on vacation up there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bachslunch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think it's an acquired taste. Biere d'epinette is not everyone's cup of tea. :-) I recall trying it once, years ago. Once was enough! I think it's still widely available in Quebec.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Spruce beer is still widely available in QC. The best description of it is delicious carbonated turpentine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My grandmother from the Point St. Charles area of Montreal (think uber poor working class Irish/French ghetto) insisted that in order to be properly enjoyed you had to add a dash of salt to spruce beer immediately upon opening the bottle. This would make the stuff foam a little and would, actually, bring out more savoury tones to the beverage (as opposed to just sweetness).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Most grocery stores have a store-brand version including (the ones I know about) Loblaws/President's Choice and IGA/Our Compliments. Crush also makes a mean biere d'epinette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There are also several smaller manufacturers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would kill, kill, kill to be able to get it here in Toronto (especially given that Loblaws and IGA are everywhere in this province!) So far no luck. An attempt to contact breuvagesmarco.com about shipping it to me has returned no reply.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I will have to make do with driving literally DOZENS of cases back with me after every trip to Montreal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: elkerette

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I seem to remember a casse-croute on either Notre-Dame or St-Jacques St. in The Point with a huge "Biere d'Epinette" sign out front. Do you know which one I'm talking about? Is it still there?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I do know which one you are talking about... it's nearby to the Bell Centre and is called Restaurant Bertrand. I believe it is indeed still there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here is a blog posting about the place (not mine) from 2002 which describes the spruce beer there in more detail:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I never actually made it inside unfortunately (it's in one of those areas you have to either live in or plan a special trip to)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: elkerette

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That IS the place! I used to drive south on Mountain St., turning left on Notre Dame, on my way to work in Old Montreal every morning. I'd always stare at it while waiting for the light to change, but never had the inclination to drop in at 8:30 a.m.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe I'll drag the husband and kids there for steamies and frites on our next trip to Montreal, in April. :-))

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: elkerette

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The full name of the establishment is called Restaurant Emile Bertrand. Caution, since the write-up of their spruce beer in the Blork Blog, they have moved just across the street after many decades at their original location.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: elkerette

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            did she salt regular beer too? the old-timers i used to serve used to swear by salting their beers, and get mad if you didn't serve them a shaker before or at the same time as their pint. i haven't seen this outside of the older generation in minnesota.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As far as I know, my grandmother never drank regular beer at all. She also never wore pants of any sort, just skirts and dresses but that's a WHOLE other story...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              She put salt in everything though, so I am sure if she did drink beer, it would involve at least a few twist of a salt mill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We grandkids memorized the periodic symbol for sodium, NA for Nannie (which is what we called her)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To get back on topic, salt in regular beer just sounds disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: elkerette

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOL!!! weird, huh. just checking to see the radius of salt-in-beerness. maybe just here, if we're lucky!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oh, but to ambrose-- i've served some red roosters here in msp too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. This is such a long thread now that I don't know if this has been mentioned.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is tomato juice and beer a Canada thing? When I was growing up in western Canada, I can remember beer parlors (the men only side, if you please) that would serve tomato juice/beer in about a 1/1 ratio. When I moved to the US some 25+ years ago, people here thought I was crazy when I mentioned this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I finally found a guy who said "Oh sure, I remember that. We called them Red Roosters". I never found anyone else here who ever had this blend, unless they made it at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ambrose

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Clamato and Beer = Clameye
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          and yup I always see peeps order a beer with a sidecar of clamato and once you have drunk half the beer you pour in the sidecar :) Excellent after a long game of softball on a hot saturday afternoon. Get the alcohol content and some vitamins. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: starlady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Clamato juice very hard to find here. No one knows what a Caesar drink is either :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: missmojito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think it depends where in the usa you are. one can certainly get clamato (and a bloody caesar) in new york city and las vegas (i've had it both places). and while some things are certainly better (or available) in canada (cheese curds!), it seems silly to be generalizing to the entire country (either for canada or the usa).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. OK here is my list:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Smarties ( and I don't want to hear about M&M)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Crunchies ( you just got to taste!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Coffee Crisp,Croissants and breads in general
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          St-Viateur bagels
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Smoked meats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Butter ( much richer then any other butter ever!!!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Laura Secord butterscotch "suckers"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Laura Secord easter eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          fiddle heads, wild garlic( ail des bois)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oka cheese and lots of other cheeses
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cretons ( can't live without them)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Smoked meat goes without saying
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          biere d'epinette ( spruce beer)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And those are just from the top of my head.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As an expatriate to Florida every time I go to Montreal all of these cravings need to be addressed ASAP

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcbinfla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I must disagree on a couple of items. I've lived in Toronto and now in NYC -- more and better cheeses are available here (except curds), more and better smoked/cured meats here, bagels are better here, breads too. I will agree that cereals, butter and milks were better in Toronto. Oh, and we get fiddleheads here and wild garlic and ramps and all that too. Oka is sold at fairway. But i do miss those candy bars and vinegar on the tables everywhere for fries. Oh, and cheese curds (just had to mention those again).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Canada is a lettered country:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            P-Meal bacon




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And for the Canadians who come to Florida, C-Cs pizza buffet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. And the number one thing that's better in Canada than in the US .... drum roll please ....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jean Talon Market. Google it for those not familiar (Canadian spelling eh?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RhondaB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                RhondaB, as much as I love Jean Talon Market (I'm a former Montrealer, now living in Toronto), there are many farmers' markets in the U.S. that put our Montreal markets to shame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not in my neighborhood. I'd be interested in knowing where.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gary Soup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Quality wise, how does the Stockton Farmers' Market compare to the Jean-Talon Market? Stockton Farmers' Market recently made "The Saveur 100" list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BLM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've never been to the Stockton Farmers' Market, and it's not one that you even hear about here in San Francisco (it's outside of the geographic boundaries for the SF Chowhound board, for one thing).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In general, the California farmers markets, for reasons of climate, have a wider variety of produce to play with, but the ones I am familiar with (three major SF ones) don't come anywhere near to Jean-Talon in attractiveness of product or display. It may be a false impression, but the Gallic orderliness of the displays at J-T seem to suggest a greater love and respect by producers for their product. I can't say a lot about flavor, because I never really buy much at J-T because I'm always just passing through town (but oh, those bluets!). I grew up not far from Quebec in an area with a similar climate and soils and I have to say I've always found California produce to be on the bland-tasting side, however beautiful, compared to what I grew up with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The array of permanent ancillary retail establishments surrounding Jean-Talon also puts our Ferry Plaza FM, with its handful of overly precious and over-priced food boutiques in the Ferry Building, to shame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Have you been to Jean Talon Market, since they added the new extension 2-3 years ago? So much more good stuff now. Don't know how it compares to the best farmers' markets in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BLM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I haven't actually, BLM. I wasn't even aware that the market had been extended. Thanks for filling me in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Can't believe no-one has mentioned Rye Bread. Although, it's not so much a Canadian thing as specifically a Winnipeg thing. Two bakeries in particular, City Bread and KUB make rye bread that people take home to other cities by the case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: IMEC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have lived in Canada (Vancouver) for 18+ years and for the last 8+ years in the the US (Bay Area) and I visit BC on regular basis 4-6 times a year and let me be perfectly honest that there is absolutely NOTHING (food wise) that is any better or more readily available in Canada that I can not get in the US....and most of the time if I buy it in the US it will be cheaper and fresher....and if you want to talk about wine.....let's not even go there....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: IMEC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Actually, I think it is a Canadian thing. The rye bread and kimmel (aka seeded rye) here in Toronto and also in Montreal are fabulous, much better than what's available in the U.S.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My sister has lived in the U.S. for 11 years, and she still schleps kimmel bread (and Montreal-style bagels) home with her when she's visiting. And nine of those years were spent in NYC, which should have good rye, but doesn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm with pollo (above). And about that rye bread? Have you had real jewish rye in new york? it's outta this world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Russian organic rye bread (Derevensky) carried by My Market Bakery in Kensington Market is the real deal. It is the closest to the rye bread I grew up with in Montreal. Dense, coarse, and filling. A slice toasted or not with sweet butter is almost a meal in itself. Ingredients: organic whole rye flour, white flour hard unbleached, sourdough, salt, yeast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: FlavoursGal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          THere is a bakery here in Toronto called Dimpflmeir's that makes a huge selection of German breads. I have an 83-year-old friend in Maryland who says that their rye bread is the best she has ever tasted outside of Germany--and we take her a loaf any time we go down to visit. You can buy it in the States, but it isn't as fresh and it costs a lot of money compared to the huge, un-cut loaves that you can buy at the bakery itself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Butter !! I am from Canada but live in the US now and I cannot find a good tasting butter. I don't eat fast food often but the KFC here in terrible.... it is actually pretty good in Canada. ummm what else....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Oh... how could i forget this...potato chips ! There is no selction here.... there are awesome potato chips in Canada.. Dill Pickle, Roast Chicken, Curry, Ketchup, BBQ Ringalos, Cheesies ( real cheese flavor), hickory sticks, Sour Cream & Bacon. I miss the selection of chocolate vars as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: missmojito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ok Here is my list of things you cannot get in the US and should be able to because well, they are damn good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sub Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            All Dressed Chips
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aero Bars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sour Cream N Bacon Chips
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ketchup Chips
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Coffee crisp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anything european. I have to order online any kind of hungarian meats I want. There is just nothing here. Canada is much more culturally diverse than the united states so there is much more to choose from there.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I miss the Chinese food which is way different here in the US. The chicken balls, man, how I miss those, and I also miss soft noodle with beef. Skinny noodeles in canada, big fat yukky ones in the u.s. The sweet and sour sauce is nasty here, runny and not sweet enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Trying to find Greek souvlaki, good luck, it is like goat meet here, weird stuff. Idian food, ie Roti, what we consider Roti is different from here, they consider it a stand alone chipatte. Sad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            U.S. has the worst selection of chips, it cheese this and ranch that, crap crap crap, we need more stuff here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Plumb butter jam, miss that alot.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Miss the fresh baked breads etc that you can get at any grocery store, not pre-packaged, but in bins so you can select the amount you want.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hungarian salami
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There is so much more, but I need to think about it for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I FORGOT> Swiss Chalet food, including the sauce. And also Diana bbq sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buffytabor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You haven't been to Swiss Chalet lately have you??


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not not since Last summer. My family members do ship the sauce to me tho. I miss my 1/4 chicken all white meat, fries on the side and sauce, yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buffytabor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The quality has gone down so much from when I was a kid.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In fact, after the last couple of visits, Mrs. Sippi and I call is Swish Calet. It's that swishing noise you hear an hour or so after eating it.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: buffytabor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                you can buy the Swiss Chalet sauce in grocerey stores. In dry formula... still tastes the smae. I always bring some back to US with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. As an ex-pat Quebecois two things immediately come to mind: maple syrup (the good stuff is kept at home, the lower grades are exported by the truck-load); poutine (often imitated but rarely duplicated).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mrbozo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What do you mean by lower grades? As I understand it, maple syrup is graded by color, A being the lighter, B, C etc darker. A can be found everywhere in fancy bottles and cans. But the darker stuff is more flavorful. To get that, I either have to shop at Trade Joes or buy it in bulk from a health food store.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Think of the syrup in terms of olive oil production. The "first" pressing/draw is the most desirable, and it goes down from there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Canadian slurpees are FAR better than those of their US counterparts. I had a slurpee in vegas that was all air, even the weight of the slurpee is far different. If you google it there's all kinds of discussions about this, funny! Also, Oreos taste different from Western Canada compared to those I tried in Florida- it must be changes they have to make to reflect our dry climate here. Right now I'm trying to find a place in Calgary that stocks Humpty Dumpty ringaros, they're from New Brunswick area...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: shesfeline

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Has anyone mentioned pasta? So many U.S. varietes are white and starchy, compared to the Canadian ones (Lancia, Italpasta, etc.) that are more like the Italian bands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh yes, if you look around, you can still get 2 lbs. of pasta (907 grams) for $1.00 or less.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kraft Dinner. This is quite different, being considered food for adults here, not kiddie food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, fast food. Give me a Harvey's hamburger (with my choice of toppings, not all that guck mixed together) over McDonald's or Burger King any day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ekammin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Harvey's RULES! their onion rings.....<drool>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Kraft Peanut Butter. It tastes so different here in Canada - better. In my experience, US brands have way more sugar = less peanutty taste.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: thenurse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Some of my favourites:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Canadian Heniz ketchup (sweeter!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Coffee Crisp bars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Crunchie bars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Aero bars (especially the mint ones)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tim Horton's

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There are a lot of people here that are familiar with both Canada and the States: having recently moved back to Canada after having been in the US for about 25 years, I'm having some troubles re-adjusting to Canadian groceries--but I'm going to start a new thread for that--please join me if you can help!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Karieann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, one more I forgot--Imperial Cheese in the red plastic container!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Karieann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, yes, cheese. A good Canadian cheddar, such as Balderson's, is one of the world's great cheeses. Too many American cheddars (the Cabot brand being, in general, a happy exception) taste like Crayola crayons (I think, I've never tried one).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Since this just got a bump.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And forgive me if this was already posted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But I send a care package of various things to Buttertart. An expat Canadian in the US. Anyway, I've sent her Tenderflake lard. She said it's better than anything you can get in the store in the US. Well sure enough a month later, Chris Kimbal was lamenting the sad state of grocery store bought lard in the US.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So, lard. At least mass produced stuff bought in the mega mart.


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is! It's much smoother than US lard, which has a slightly grainy quality. It also has MUCH less porky smell. It makes my pastry finally worth eating. DT is a prince for helping me out with this (and with Monarch cake and pastry flour, and old cheese, and Koszlik's grainy mustard, and the occasional Crunchie)...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder why. The pig fat should be just pig fat. The processing must be the difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It is non-hydrogenated, pure lard. When i was a kid I think the label specified leaf lard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Leaf lard is the highest form of lard -- at least for baking it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I bought some lard from Flying Pig. They sell rendered leaf lard and original (unrendered) leaf lard. I have also seen unrendered leaf lard in Reading Market (kind of like farmer market).


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No, I am not recommending you to buy from them -- just sharing. Yes, almost all American lard packages found in the supermarkets are hydrogenated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Maple Leaf dropped hydrogenated processing of their lard at least 5 years ago. I suspect they have an enormous amount of choice for making TenderFlake, so it easy for them to make a consistent product. Some brand names can't be beat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've noticed that the "non-hydrogenated" label on the tenderflake lard has been dropped? Anyone know anything about this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've had the Flying Pig one and I prefer TenderFlake. It's milder in taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. No where on earth can beat the availability and price of Jumbo size ( 7 lb+ ) East coast Hard shell Lobsters!! Looks like every Oriental super markets are carrying them these days!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Just back from a week in the US... Wow..been awhile, but used to LOVE grocery shopping in the US and bring things home we don't have, like different cereal, crackers, soup....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Everything now that is packaged tastes soo sweet and gross. What does the US put into all their food? No wonder obesity rates are thru the roof if all food are loaded with sugar! I had to dump all I brought home..just too sweet to eat!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The only benefit is that US diet coke and entenmens coffee cheese cake are soo good and I'll deal with the weird US dietary regiments..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: burlgurl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Particularly disappointing are Kashi products - it would be nice to have something close to good Euro muesli available in mass market groceries in, say, Lincoln, Nebraska, but Kashi's slogan needs to be amended: "Seven grains on a mission . . . with a sh-- load of sugar".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Trader Joe's does have a nice crunchy unsalted peanut butter. Ingredients: peanuts. None of the chemical nightmares of Jif and its ilk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I haven't shopped enough for groceries in Canada to know if the national brands of soup are like ours, evidently made in Salt Lake City with water from the nearby nearly supersaturated lake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh? Mass market beer generally sucks everywhere. Anything Bud or Millers or Coors (or Coors' fake "import" Killian's Red) or PBR, etc. is lawn mowing swill at best. But Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas IPA, Abita's Jockamo IPA, oh so many more, are fine, fione beers, not wimpy "making love in a canoe" like Coors or Corona or anythoing light or in a blue can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Hoosier Boy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know there are many fine beers in the States, but beer chauvinism is strong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think it used to be that way. With the Craft Beer scene exploding everywhere there's plenty of great beer to go around.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I neglected to mention how much I liked Alexander Keith's IPA. And it won't leave you a broken man on a Halifax pier like Garnet's Homemade Beer will.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Hoosier Boy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nice reference! The first time I heard "Garnet's Homemade Beer" -- at a workshop at the Philly Folk Festival, IIRC -- I almost bust a gut laughing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And +1 on Alexander Keith's IPA.