Snacks | Food

10 Weird Foods That Prove Canadians Have To Do Everything Differently

We like to think that we have a lot in common with our neighbors to the north, but the closer you look at them the more our little differences stand out. Like the way they pronounce the last letter of the alphabet as "zed," or how they don't use pennies.

But some of the most glaring differences between Canada and the United States are the foods we eat. It's not just small changes, like how they call DiGiorno pizza Delissio, Canada actually has lots of weird products that you can't get anywhere else.

We've made a list of the 10 biggest differences American snack-lovers will pick up on if they visit the Great White North. While we try to do our best to explain the appeal, we may never understand their love for bagged milk or "KD."

1. Donut Holes are Timbits

The tasty, bite-sized baked goods that you can get from your favorite doughnut shop go by a lot of different names, including Munchkins if you frequent Dunkin' Donuts. In Canada they're known simply as Timbits. But who exactly is Tim? If you live close enough to the border, you might know that Tim Hortons is Canada's go-to coffee and donuts shop, hence the nickname.

2. Maple syrup versus table syrup

Canucks are very defensive about their maple syrup, but mostly because we're in the dark about what we're actually pouring on our pancakes. Most shoppers - and restaurants - use table syrup (also called pancake syrup), which may be maple flavored but is actually just a mix of sugar and water. Maple syrup, meanwhile, is sap which is boiled with sugar, and it's better for your health.

3. Canadian Bacon

This one is a little complicated: in both countries "bacon" means the long, crispy strips we know and love. What we think of as "Canadian bacon" is just peameal, or smoked back bacon, comparable to a slice of smoked ham. Meanwhile, in Canada peameal bacon is usually rolled in cornmeal so it's crispier. Whatever way you slice it, bacon is delicious!

What Canadians call peameal bacon or Canadian bacon.Reddit

4. Jos Louis versus Ding Dongs

The Canadian Jos Louis with red velvet filling.Instagram

American kids grew up with the classic, cream-filled Hostess treat in their lunch bags, but our Canadian neighbors are more familiar with this treat that has red velvet filling. We won't weigh in on which one is best, since they're both pretty spectacular.

The Ding Dong snack cake.Boston Magazine

5. Bagged milk

Most people have heard that Canadians buy their milk in bags, but can only wonder why. It turns out once glass milk bottles went out of style, tricky rules involving the Metric system made it hard to switch to cartons, so in some parts of the country bagged milk became the solution. You snip a hole in the top and pour the milk from a plastic pitcher. The bags have stuck around because they reduce waste and plastic, but mainly because they're so popular.

Click to the next page to learn how ketchup chips became a Canadian classic!

6. Kinder Surprise

Americans who have been sneaking these candies across the border were overjoyed when it was finally announced they would be available in the states. They had been banned because the tiny toy inside each chocolate egg was considered a choking hazard. While Americans can now buy the Kinder Joy - which has the same taste and a prize, but doesn't come in the iconic egg - it's not the same as cracking open a good 'ol Kinder Surprise.

7. Ketchup Chips

In the wild and heady days of the 1970s, Lays experimented with a line of fruit-flavored chips north of the border. While the experiment was a flop, it lead to a tomato flavor that has become an unexpected hit with Canadians. Ketchup flavored chips are only just beginning to trickle down to the states, where the reception hasn't been so friendly. Maybe Canadian taste buds are a little warped.

8. American Smarties versus Canadian Smarties

Smarties are called Rockets in Canada.Organizing Junkie

We know Smarties as the tart, crunchy hard candies that come packed in a cellophane tube. But in Canada, these are called Rockets, and Smarties are a candy-coated chocolate treat similar to M&Ms. Another Canada-US candy split is the Milky Way, which is called a Mars Bar up north.

Canadian SmartiesCandy Funhouse

9. Poutine

Invented in Canada, this dish includes thick-cut french fries, cheese curds and gravy. Since Americans have discovered this decadent meal we've tried to reinvent it in some pretty questionable ways. Of course, it's more common to find fries topped with chili here.

10. Kraft Mac and Cheese

You probably know somebody who loves this simple meal that comes in a blue box, but it's beloved across Canada where it's simply called KD - Kraft Dinner. Strangely, some of the best flavors, including Jalapeno and Cheesy Buffalo, are only available in America. Connoisseurs who sample both will also notice the cheese sauce has been tweaked to suit each country's different taste buds.

Share this list if you've tried any of these Canadian foods!