These 8 Canadian Snacks Are So Different In The U.S. & Some Are Totally Unrecognizable
Canada and the U.S. may be neighbours, but our snacking habits are apparently quite different.
In fact, there are several Canadian snacks that transform from the food Canucks know and love to intriguing and sometimes unrecognizable versions once you cross the border.
From classic Canadian treats that have a totally different look, to the slight (but noticeable) differences between our fast food, here are eight Canadian snacks that you might be surprised to find out are quite different in Canada vs. the U.S.
Corn Pops cereal in Canada. Right: Corn Pops cereal in the U.S.
Kellogg's, Adrianadh | Dreamstime
The classic crunch and taste of Corn Pops that Canadians know and love is actually quite different south of the border.
While the U.S. also has Corn Pops, the American version both looks and tastes different than Canada's, featuring a different box design, and even cereal shape.
While Canada's Corn Pops are round, crunchy and sweet, the U.S. version is more of a flat disc shape, less crunchy and has been described as tasting more like corn.
Kraft Peanut Butter. Right: JIF Peanut Butter.
@kraftpeanutbutter_ca | Instagram, @jifbrand | Instagram
It's no secret that Canadians love peanut butter. One favoured brand is Kraft, the classic Canadian snack that comes in Teddy-bear ladden jars.
However, Canucks may be surprised to know that Kraft peanut butter isn't available in the U.S. Instead, Americans have peanut butter from brands like JIF, Skippy and Peter Pan.
That's not where the differences end, though. While obviously, different peanut butter brands are likely to differ in taste, when it comes down to it, peanut butter in Canada is not the same as peanut butter in the U.S.
In the U.S., there’s a standard of identity for peanut butter. Under this standard, for peanut butter to be actually called peanut butter, it has to contain at least 90 percent peanuts.
In Canada, no such standard of identity exists for peanut butter. This means that peanut butter manufacturers can put in as few (or as many) peanuts as they like with no obligation to disclose the percentage (unless the label states that it is 100% natural).
A Beavertail pastry. Right: An elephant ear pastry.
@beavertails | Instagram, Bhofack2 | Dreamstime
Beavertails are a classic Canadian snack that were born right here in the True North. But you might be surprised to know that the U.S. has its own unique version of the fried dough pastry.
In America, what's known as a Beavertail in Canada is called an "Elephant Ear." It's essentially the same thing, featuring a fried dough pastry that's flattened and covered in sugar.
The pastry is said to go back to 1864, invented by the Navajo tribe of the southwestern United States and originally called frybread.
While you can definitely get a Beavertail in parts of the U.S. (the company currently has four locations in the country), an American would be more likely to call this treat an Elephant Ear.
Cadbury Caramilk. Right: Cadbury Caramello.
Have you ever had a Caramilk chocolate? If you have, it was probably in Canada.
The treat, which is a candy bar featuring milk chocolate squares filled with caramel, can only be found in the True North, it turns out.
If you're looking for the chocolate in the U.S., you'd want to ask for a "Caramello." Sold by Hershey in the U.S., the bar is basically the same as the Caramilk chocolate Canadians know and love, just with a different name and look.
Still, if you ask a Canuck where you can buy a Caramello bar, you'll likely be met with some confusion!
A Big Mac from McDonald's Canada. Right: A Big Mac from McDonald's U.S.
@mcdonaldscanada | Instagram, McDonald's
Not all Big Macs are created equal. A burger from our southern neighbours may look like a Canadian Big Mac, but it contains some key differences.
For one thing, Canadian Big Macs are made with 100% Canadian beef. McDonald's in the U.S., on the other hand, uses different meat suppliers.
There may also be something to be said for the difference in the cheese used in each burger — the U.S. Big Mac uses a slice of "pasteurized process American cheese," while Canada's uses a "processed cheese slice," each with different ingredients.
How do these contribute to the taste? It's difficult to say for sure, but reviewers have said that the Canadian Big Mac comes out on top.
Mac 'n' Cheese
Kraft Dinner. Right: Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.
Rushtonheather | Dreamstime, David Tonelson | Dreamstime
Kraft Dinner is a Canadian staple. But did you know it's unique to Canada?
While Americans also have Kraft, it's notably not called "Kraft Dinner." Instead, it's branded as "Kraft Macaroni & Cheese."
While the look and name are certainly different, it's the ingredients that set them apart.
In the U.S., the "cheese" in Kraft mac 'n' cheese is listed as "cheese sauce mix," which is made from ingredients including whey, salt, milk, tapioca flour, and paprika and turmeric for colour.
In Canada however, the cheese sauce contains the same whey, salt and milk, plus cheddar cheese and butter.
The question is, how does this affect the flavour? Is Canada's KD cheesier, and therefore better? Hard to say.
Others have tried to get an answer, like BuzzFeed, which held a taste test between the two. Unhelpfully, Canadians seemed to choose Kraft Dinner while Americans stuck with their Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.
Nevertheless, Canadians can take some pride in the unique recipe behind this staple food.
Montreal bagels. Right: New York bagels.
@stviateurbagel | Instagram, @bosbagels | Instagram
While Canada is known for its Montreal bagels, it turns out they're quite different from what is possibly the most famous bagel in the U.S. — the New York bagel.
While the origins of both lie in traditions brought to North America by Jewish immigrants from Poland and other Eastern European countries, the two bagels have quite a few differences.
A Montreal bagel is classically a thinner bagel, with a doughy yet dense texture thanks to the process of poaching the bagels in honey water before baking them in an oven.
In contrast, New York-style bagels are submerged in boiling water before being baked. They're also "fatter" than Montreal bagels. with a rounder appearance and a smaller hole.
As for which is better? We wouldn't dare say.
Canadian Smarties. Right: U.S. Smarties.
@smarties_ca | Instagram, @smarties | Instagram
While Canada and the U.S. both have a candy called "Smarties," these treats are notably different in each country.
In Canada, Smarties are round, milk chocolate tablets covered in a shell of candy. They're a staple treat for any Canuck, especially at Halloween.
In the U.S., however, the candy known as Smarties is much different, more like what Canadians would call Rockets.
Called a "candy wafer roll," U.S. Smarties are disc-like sugar wafers in pastel colours. They're actually produced in Canada under the name Rockets.
Now you know!