5 Tasty Snacks I Bought Grocery Shopping In The US That You Can't Get In Canada
Canadian snacks don't have anything on these treats!
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
When I decided to take the train from Vancouver to Portland, I had one thing on my mind: American snacks. Sure, the Vancouver food scene is reputed for its deliciousness and variety, but sometimes you just can't beat a Twinkie.
Across the border, they've got bountiful grocery stores that residents of The Great White North can only dream of: Trader Joe's, the Pacific Northwest's Fred Meyer and, of course, Target (RIP its failed Canadian run).
A grocery fiend with a snack habit, I found myself racing into the sliding doors of these great American institutions shortly upon arrival in the land of Aardvark sauce. Here are the treasures I most enjoyed.
Everything bagel seasoning
Trader Joe's is a dangerous place for a person like me, a sucker for good packaging. If you like everything bagels, boy do I have some good news for you: you can make anything taste like an everything bagel with this handy-dandy seasoning mix.
Pro tip: put it on your popcorn. Don't question it, just live.
Cacio e Pepe Puffs
Trader Joe's Cacio e Pepe Puffs
As an Italian, I feel like something should offend me about a pasta-flavoured, gluten-free chip. But I...loved it? The flavour is subtle and cheesy. It's lighter than your average puff and tastes somehow more sophisticated.
If you find yourself in Trader Joe's mulling over this purchase on your next US vacation, my advice would be to go for it. In the words of Canadian athlete Wayne Gretzky, "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.”
I couldn't not include this blast-from-the-past snack.
Long ago, when life was simple and Little Debbie products were available north of the border, getting a box of Cosmic Brownies wasn't a problem for Canadians.
Those days are over, and now the only way you can get them is to order a pack for over $60 on Amazon or cross the border yourself. Biting into one of these fudgy treats is a nostalgic experience, one that inspires the biter to abandon any and all dietary health goals for good.
PF Chang's frozen meals
Behold: the frozen meal that made me consider packing it with a bunch of ice packs and bringing it back home on the train. Don't worry, I'm not actually going to do it. But the temptation is there.
P.F. Chang's is an Asian fusion restaurant chain in America that I could rave about in an article of its own. I'm a big fan.
There are few words to accurately describe the feelings of rapture I experienced in Fred Meyer's freezer aisles upon discovering frozen P.F. Chang's Lo Mein. It's not as good as the real deal, but it comes pretty damn close.
Spicy pineapple bites
Trader Joe's chile-spiced pineapple.
God bless the Trader Joe's employee who gave me a free sample of this sweet-and-spicy treat. If it weren't for him, I'd never have purchased it. I'm not even usually one for pineapple, but these dried fruits are coated in a chile seasoning that'll put some pep in your step.
I'm just going to say it: it's the perfect snack.