Monday, August 29, 2011

Canadian versus American Foods

When this post goes online I will be at home in Prince Edward Island enjoying a mini family reunion with my aunt, uncle, and cousins from the US. Their visit got me thinking about the different foods that are available on either side of the border. 

My cousins grew up outside of Boston but were both born in Canada and came back every summer to go to camp in Nova Scotia and to visit my family and our grandparents. As a result, they were exposed to all of the goodies that Canada has to offer. Every time we went to visit on family day at camp I remember bringing them Coffee Crisp bars. When I went to visit the family a couple of years ago I asked my cousin what I could bring her from the North and her response was "All Dressed chips, Fudgee-Os, Bick's Onion Relish, and Coffee Crisp". I happily obliged. 

Basically an Oreo with chocolate filling and a better cookie

They didn't have the onion when I was taking the picture but this one is my favorite.

A variety of "Canadian" chocolate bars
As I was strolling through the grocery store I started thinking about other things I didn't think were available in the US. 

I've read about Americans bringing an extra suitcase to fill up with cereal.

My favorite peanut butter and a Canadian staple
There are also a few foods that are a bit different on either side of the border.

Kraft Dinner becomes plain old Macaroni and Cheese.

Top: Canadian Smarties are candy coated chocolate Bottom: American Smarties (Rockets in Canada)

The distinct differences between available foods has always sort of amazed me. I know there are different regulations regarding labeling and manufacturing requirements but I've never quite understood why there isn't more crossover. I guess the different markets probably have something to do with it. There are even differences from one end of this country to the other. 

Stay tuned for my next post. I went down to Watertown, NY with my brother over the weekend and tried to inventory as many "American" foods as I could. 

Is there anything that you seek out when you cross the border (in either direction)?


  1. Very regional- but Polar Seltzer. Only available in New England.

  2. For the record - American Kit Kat does not taste the same as the Canadian version. I bought some on our last trip and was expecting the nice, creamy chocolate...unfortunately it tasted sugary and gross. I believe it's made by Mars brands not Nestle. I will never again buy an American Kit Kat!

  3. We once carried carried 48 O Henry bars to Melbourne, Australia upon the request of an ex-pat Canadian. She said she would hide them from the rest of her family so she could enjoy a guilty pleasure alone once in a while.

  4. Robina, that's hilarious. My cousin said the exact opposite just before I read your comment. She can't stand Canadian Kit Kat and thinks the American version is far superior.


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