When you’re away from home, what Canadian foods do you miss most? Toque’s friend Mary recently moved to Italy. After her arrival, she fired off an e-mail to friends back home soliciting familiar food items – from Canadian Cheddar cheese to Quebecois maple syrup. How about you, what does your palate pine for when you’re abroad?

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  1. Lynn Heinrich commented:

    Ok the first one isn’t a food but when I leave Canada and well really even BC I miss my Apple Cider. The second food I miss when I leave Canada is the all mighty Ceasar. Come on, we all know it’s practically a meal if it has celery or a spicy bean garnish.

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  2. Liz Tompkins commented:

    Muffins! The healthier type with whole wheat flour, lots of grains and maybe some seeds. It seems the only place I can find them is in Canada. Sure there are lots of great things to have with your morning coffee in other parts of the world but for me, I always miss a good toothsome muffin!

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  3. Jody commented:

    When I lived in Japan in my 20’s I would’ve given anything for a proper caesar salad. When I was in the UK in my 30’s it was guacamole, Now I miss the different grains like quinoa and spelt that are becoming mainstream here, but hard to get ahold of overseas.

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  4. David Tetrault commented:

    The food we miss the most is home-made. Home-made muffins, cookies, burgers on the deck. We find that eating in restaurants every day during holidays abroad can get tiresome. You can only eat so many baguettes or paninis (actually, we can eat a lot of paninis!).

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  5. Mary commented:

    I lived in Africa for 17 years and we never, ever, ever found a steak that came close to the infamous AAA Alberta beef. I missed that. Whenever someone would come to visit us from Canada, however, we would of course ask them to bring proper maple syrup. And kudos to Lynn who hit the nail on the head with the Caesar….quintessentially Canadian and never properly replicated outside of our borders. 🙂

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  6. Trish commented:

    Swiss Chalet Festive Special. I don’t even care much for the scoop of gummy dressing, but the entire dinner, delivered to our door when my Mom just “Had Enough” of the busyness of the Holidays, speaks to me of security and snuggles and Christmas and Canada.

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    • Toque commented:

      In university, when the money was especially scarce, my friend Leslie and I would scrounge together change and head to Swiss Chalet for the Festive Special (hey, free Toblerone bar!!). The restaurant was always full of sweet grey-haired ladies who we would chat with. This was no gourmet experience but the ladies were wonderful and any hot cooked meal was a treat. Once a year Leslie and I get together and hit the Swiss Chalet to re-live the simple pleasures of university days.

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  7. Michael Allemeier commented:

    I love my traveling time – the excitment of new places, experiences and meeting new people is great. At home we start the day with Highwood Crossing granola.I love it with yogurt and start most days with this – good luck finding it in Italy or other places.

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  8. Susan Mate commented:

    Griddled mac & cheese from Jo Jo’s Chariot of Smoke food truck. Not sure I can leave the country for more than one week at a time – oh yes, and CBC and Rick Mercer. p.s. love the site!

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  9. Catherine Ford commented:

    Alberta beef — is there anything better? We never, ever eat beef in Europe, unless it’s beef curry in England. And beware the “mystery meat” served in Moscow hotels. I never did find out what it was. And why is peanut butter such a staple in Canada and the U.S., but nobody — and that includes Ben and Jerry, Haagen Daz, et al — can make peanut butter ice cream? Not vanilla ice cream with Reese’s Pieces or chunks of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but peanut butter incorporated into the ice cream itself? I think I know the reason why: when one (alone in the kitchen at midnight, of course) takes out the vanilla ice cream and the jar of peanut butter and mixes the two together, the resulting smooth concoction has all the appearance of baby poo. This, of course, would never deter the real aficianado.

    But the number one item I miss on our annual trip to Maui — and on every trip to the United States — is Christie’s Sesame Seed Rice Thins. Oh, there is something on Safeway shelves “called” rice thins, but they are a pale imitation of the real thing. (Somewhat Plato-like in that there is a real box of Rice Thins, in this case existing in Calgary on the same store’s shelves, but all else is mere imitation.)

    And, by the way, even though the packaging is identical in the U.S., am I the only person to notices how much sweeter Raisin Bran is in the States than in Canada? Just asking . . .

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