To the naked eye, there's not much difference between Canadians and Americans. But oh, how wrong that eye would be! The differences are many, and best seen in the details.
Take junk food, for example. You might think that everything that can be done in the world of candy, cakes and potato chips has already been done in the United States. Not so!
First of all, when faced with a Canadian potato chip aisle you'll notice a few novel flavors, like Dill Pickle and Ketchup, alongside the traditional Salt & Vinegar and Barbecue. Not satisfied with the standard choices, however, some clever Canadians decided to invent the King of the Potato Chip: the All-Dressed! The result is an irresistible blend of ketchup, vinegar, onion, garlic and a whole lot more. It's a truly Canadian flavor that's got some Americans hooked. There's even a petition on the internet to bring All-Dressed chips to the US.
Don't laugh... this might actually work! In July 2006, after years of being petitioned, Nestle decided to sell what many Canadians consider the "greatest candy bar ever" in the United States: yes folks, Coffee Crisp is now available State-side, and not just in areas near the border. Rumor has it they are right here in New York City! Now for those of you not fortunate enough to have tasted a Coffee Crisp, picture this: You unwrap the bright yellow paper and take your first bite. Your teeth break through a thin milk chocolate shell before finding layers of light, crispy wafers with the faint but unmistakable flavor of coffee. As they say in Canada: "a nice light snack." How do you like your coffee?
Staying on the sweeter end of the scale, Canada is also home to the famous Jos. Louis, a name that's guaranteed to grab the attention of any true-blooded Canadian. They may not agree on how the name is pronounced (Joe Louie? Joss Lewis? Joe Lewis?) but it's hard to argue with the popularity of this little chocolate cake with the creamy filling.
Personally, I am partial to Joe's more delicate sister, the half-lune... (That's another great thing about Canada -- it's bilingual, which makes it much more fun to read the packages!) Same creamy filling, but this time the brilliant Vachon brothers enveloped it in a moist, tasty, melt-in-your-mouth vanilla cake. For days when you're not in the mood for chocolate. Wednesdays, perhaps.
Another north-of-the-border treat is Dad's Oatmeal Cookies. These crisp and crunchy cookies strike a perfect balance between salt and sugar and are a healthier snack for when you have a sweet tooth. At least... they SEEM healthier.
But health food is not what this post is about, so put those thoughts out of your mind, and start booking your flight to Canada, eh?