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toronto trip, what delicacies should i bring back?

so far we have ice wine and maple syrup on our list. but what else? i cant believe i cant think of anything else.

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    1. Yeah, we need to know where you're going back to. If it's Montreal, no need to get back bacon, but if it's Greece, you might want to pick some up.

      1. not to mention certain chocolate bars... ; )

        1. to virginia. sorry about that.

          3 Replies
          1. re: violet

            All of the chocolate bars that aren't available in the States. Cadbury Flakes, Aero Bars, Wunderbars, Coffee Crisp, Crispy Crunch...

            I would have said maple sugar candies, but I imagine you would be able to get those pretty easily in Virginia.

            Happy chowing!

            1. re: TorontoJo

              Mr. Big bars. As Tony would say, "They're gggggreat!!"

              Also Smarties. Check out this post
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              DT

            2. re: violet

              Violet;
              Cadbury Flakes, Aero Bars, Wunderbars?,Coffee Crisp, Crispy Crunch
              Many of these are not actually "CHOCALATE" bars. To be considered a chocalate bar there must be a certain measurable amount of chocolate contained within the bar, otherwise it will be labelled as a 'CANDY' bar.
              Just thought you might like to know that.before recommending.
              A Neilson's Jersey Milk is a REAL CHOCOLATE bar.

            3. i think you're just the right person to check out this old thread
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              it's the what's better in canada thread. you might find it an entertaining if not resourceful read before you head on over. although it covers all of canada rather than just toronto so you may have to search within that thread for toronto/ontario based goodies.

              this might be sacrilege to some, but do try some of the red ice wine. apparently it's a ridiculous hit over in japan selling at over $200 a bottle for what you get here at maybe $50. it often has lots of strawberry notes. there's also a chocolate and chili one if you're curious... i'd have to send you out to niagara on the lake to get that though.

              1. If you're going to buy maple syrup (or maple in any form), don't get it from Ontario. Or even Quebec for that matter. The maple produced in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia's just so much better, and you can have it mailed to you.

                If you do buy it in Ontario, don't get it from a Toronto store or a tourist shop; buy it directly from a producer outside of town. Producers usually store some syrup early in the season -- when it's best -- and sell it directly from their operations. If not, they can tell you where to get it. Supermarkets and even specialty shops usually sell lower-grade syrup.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ltdan

                  There is one spot in the North Market at the St Lawrence Market on Saturdays that sells syrup for actually quite a good price. I think it is about $15 for a glass litre of syrup. Seeing as how I know that my inlaws sell theirs for $14 per litre I am pretty sure this price isn't bad. Now I would strongly recommend to steer clear of the touristy spot that is downstairs in the south market!

                  One thing I am always asked for from friends not in the city is the "Indian Candy" from Caviar Direct (oddly across from the scary tourist spot)... It is Maple Syrup smoked salmon. If you get them to pack it I would imagine that it should be OK, they ship stuff fairly frequently so I would imagine they should be pretty good at it by now!

                2. Someone told me that you can't get butter tarts in the US. If thats true you have to bring those back.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SallyCinnamon

                    I've never seen butter tarts in the US. (Some southern states have chess pie/tarts, which are similar but not the same.) I got some good leads when I asked, a year ago, where to get the best butter tarts in Toronto:

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                    I got a dozen butter tarts from the Hot Oven (on the way to the airport), and brought them to work the next day. Everyone loved them.

                    Anne

                  2. Montreal bagels, available at Rabba or Bruno's, as well as a number of other places.

                    And Creemore lager, available at the Beer Store or LCBO.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ognir

                      This question has come up whenever my friends visit from the U.S. - can you take booze across the border without racking up huge charges?

                      I wanted them to take some Canadian beer and icewine/brandy mix (from Kittling Ridge, really a fantastic drink), but they weren't sure it was doable.

                    2. Chocolate from Soma in the Distillery District. Not that you can't get good chocolate in Virginia, but it's just really good and worth a visit if you're into chocolate. The hot chocolate mixture would make a good souvenir. The Mill St. Brewery across the street is very good, although bringing back beer with the current airline restrictions is inconvenient.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: PaulV

                        I had some Soma chocolate as part of a dessert at a Toronto restaurant during my recent stay, and while I didn't make it to the shop, I have to concur. Incredibly good chocolate!

                      2. Mangosteens, fresh Mangosteens. The foreign grown ones are banned in the US. The ones from Puerto Rico or Hawaii are either hard to find or terribly expensive and frozen are no substitute. I have friends who drive from NYC to Toronto for Mangosteens.

                        1. You may want to check the recent thread on Customs regulations for what you can/cannot bring back to US (fruit??):
                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
                          You may want to check out some prize-winning Canadian cheeses while you're here (or take back, see thread):
                          http://dairygoodness.ca/en/Consumers/...
                          Recommend Cdn. product(s)Druide - cinnamon...: http://www.druide.ca/catalog/product_...

                          1. Red Icewine is great but it's more like $80 a bottle.
                            Peameal bacon.
                            Here's a couple of interesting links:
                            http://canadiandelicacies.com/
                            http://canadianfavourites.com/index.html

                            DT

                            1. There is almost nothing that is unique to Toronto foodwise. Maple syrup is maple syrup, whether it comes from the Grest White North or from Vermont. Ice wine is a riduculously overpriced gimmick. If you insist on buying it, get it at Duty Free on the way out, where it will at least be a bit cheaper. Better yet, buy real German Icewine.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: wordsworth

                                When I flew out of Toronto three weeks ago, the duty free shop at the airport was closed (due to restrictions on liquids in carry-ons); has that changed?

                                1. re: susancinsf

                                  In terminal 2, the main duty free shop and the little off shoot one - before US customs - was open. The little duty free kiosk after security was closed when we went through on Labor Day.

                                  1. re: TOgirl

                                    they're only keeping one duty free open in each terminal is what i heard, so you'd have to do a bit of asking around to figure out where they are.

                                2. re: wordsworth

                                  I am sorry, but maple syrup comes from more than one species of maple. There are high-test Silver Maples, beside Rock Maple, Acer sacchrum. I grow, and disseminate several improved clones. Other maples also yield sugary sap of varied degrees brix, which is not equivalent to sugar or sucrose content. The soil or rocky substrate on which the trees grow, the local climate, the climate fluctuations year to year and in longer cycles, all distinctly affect sap flow, quality and dissolved solids. Most importantly, collection methods and sap evaporation strongly influence syrup taste and quality. To say syrup is syrup would be the equivalent of saying, all California wine taste alike or all Finger Lakes wine do, growing as they in an even smaller area! If apples growing in just one semi-dwarf tree taste distinctly different, what can be said about syrup from Ohio, Vermont, Connecticut, NY State, and the many regions of Canada?

                                  I live in the heart of maple sugar country in NY and am continually surprised by how different honeys and maple syrups, all bearing labels like " organic raw clover honey", " organic raw wildflower honey" or "grade A/ grade B/ pure maple syrup", taste from producer to producer!!!!!!!!

                                  1. re: GTM

                                    You do realize you are responding to an eight year old post by someone who hasn't posted here for 6 years?

                                    1. re: bytepusher

                                      Perhaps GTM does realize it, or perhaps not. Either way, it's a great comment and needed to be said: maple syrup has infinite variety, and if you find a good one - whether in Canada or the US - cherish it and buy all you can!

                                      And now that this thread has been bumped, I'd like to add my new favorite thing to bring home (to Minnesota) from Canada - specifically, from Toronto: Kozlik's mustard. I'm addicted to Dijon by Anton, and have loved every other variety that I've tried. This mustard is WONDERFUL! I've been known to simply eat it from the jar by the spoonful.

                                      I envy all you Torontonians who can buy Kozlik's mustard any time you want. Me, I have to plan a trip or beg my relatives to bring me some when they visit. Luckily for my (and their) sanity, D. by A. is available from Sur La Table mail order.

                                      1. re: AnneInMpls

                                        Thanks - an excellent comment and suggestion. My favourite is the crunchy mustard which adds texture.

                                        And, of course, this thread is a potentially valuable thread for all future visitors. It's not just the OP.

                                        My father-in-law made Maple syrup for 70 years, before failing health made him stop (he started at 10 years-old, with his father). He could tell the type of tree used, just by smelling the syrup (at least, that's what he claimed) and dismissed the 'softwood' maples as .... (censored!).

                                          1. re: Davwud

                                            I like the Dijon by Anton, and the Maple Dijon (edit: although both are non crunchy)

                                            Does anyone have recs for gifts to bring from Toronto to France, Switzerland and Germany, besides maple syrup? I'm not sure our mustard or chocolates will be a big treat for people who have access to great mustards and chocolates.

                                      2. re: GTM

                                        So what do you think about maple syrup in Toronto?

                                    2. just had some american friends here in august and they were amazed at potato chip flavours: ketchup, black pepper and sea salt. it's a simple pleasure.

                                      1. Kraft Peanut Butter. It's different in the US - sweetened (more). I just came back from DC where an ex-pat requested some 'real' Kraft Peanut Butter.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: thenurse

                                          Supposedly our ketchup and oreos are better too. I think our diet pepsi tastes better than theirs.

                                          DT

                                        2. Friends of ours from South Africa always request maple syrup hard candies- shaped like maple leafs. They tell me they're "delicious"- I'm not much of a hard candy girl myself- but a whole gang of folks over there love them. An Aussie pal living in Florida says she misses a lot of the President's Choice products from Loblaws (not available in the US)- the Decadent Chocolate Chip cookies being on the hit list....

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: cookbook

                                            Yes, they're the best mass produced CCC's IMHO

                                            DT

                                            1. re: Davwud

                                              I have to agree- not bad for mass produced at all. Altho when I'm inspired I make my own with semi-sweet choc. chunks and some blended oatmeal! YUM!

                                          2. Yummy Canadian things I miss living in LA...

                                            - Most things mentioned above
                                            - Hickory Sticks
                                            - Jamaican beef patties (have to drive 90 kms return for one)
                                            - Curry beef buns from Chinese bakeries
                                            - Twizzlers - have same brand here but completely different
                                            - Vachon cakes

                                            Didn't crave many of these things when I lived in TO, but move away....