Our Top 10 Canadian Candies & Chocolate Bars article will serve as a helpful guide for those looking to experience the wonderful taste of Canadian sweets. Among chocoholics, instead of dreaming of an attractive genie, they dream about candy bars that always rise to the occasion as a tasty treat. While Americans have their favorites, so do Canadians. I should know since I happen to be a Canadian. I also know some of the globally famous chocolate bars have different recipes according to location. This also applies to a variety of popular candies and soft drinks. In Canada, most of the sweets use sugar while in the US it’s corn syrup. Because of these differences, the taste can be really different.
I learned this the hard way in 1996 when I was on a bus tour, traveling from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. As soon as the bus crossed the border into American territory, I was among a handful of passengers who rushed off the bus and straight for the vending machines. I remember the purchase well. It was a can of Pepsi Cola and a Kit Kat. One bite into the Kit Kat and I instantly tasted the difference. When I took the first sip of the Pepsi I almost spat it out because I wasn’t expecting such a drastic difference.
Speaking as a proud Canadian, let me share ten of my nation’s top candies and chocolate bars: In fact, it was so tough to pick just ten, we added two more to create a list of twelve.
# 12 – Mackintosh’s Toffee
We open up our Top 10 Canadian Candies & Chocolate Bars artciel with a heavily loved legendary candy from the UK and Canada. This candyt has been around for over 100 years. Mackintosh’s candies are one of the most loved candies to even come out of the UK. However, there is also a Canadian version of this to die for treat. As you will see and read about within this entire article, the Canadian candy and chocolate manufacturers know how to do it right. This is the perfect candy to start out this list with and we know that anyone who has ever tasted this incredible sweet tasting toffee would most certainly agree with us. Like most of these items on this list, you can’t buy this in your local convenience store or pharmacy in the United States.
#11 – Bounty
Inside the coating of chocolate, Bounty’s chocolate bars are loaded with sweet coconut. Currently manufactured as a Mars product, the introduction of Bounty began in 1951 in Canada and the United Kingdom. Until the mid-1990s, this was also available in the US. For chocoholics, the sweetness of the coconut inside offers a perfect flavor combination that keeps them coming back for more.
#10 – Eat-More
As a name, Eat-More earned this after a resident in Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island won a contest held by the Canadian-based company, Lowney Company. Already a popular product as of the late 1920s, no official name was given to it until 1930. The original Canadian recipe calls for chocolate, dark toffee, and peanuts as the core ingredients. In 1987, Hershey Canada purchased Lowney and made the mistake of attempting to replace the dark toffee with caramel in 1995 as a flavor alternative. This met with disapproval and Hershey quickly reverted back to the original recipe and has stuck with it ever since.
There are still alternate versions of Eat-More, but nothing beats the original recipe of this Canadian classic. Knowing this candy bar as well as I do, my fondest memory of it was actually a classic commercial I watched for the first time in 1983. It was enough for me to try Eat-More for the first time. If you’re looking to rush through a candy bar, Eat-More is not it. It’s designed as a slow chewing experience, not a fast one.
#9 – Aero
Made from solid chocolate, Aero is a Nestle product that’s made in its chocolate factory in Toronto, Canada. It’s thick but also lights at the same time, thanks to the bubbles that stretch across the full length of this bar. For chocoholics, this is the closest thing to heaven it gets. The highlight of this candy bar is the bubbles that stretch across the entire length of this milk chocolate dream. Obey the commercials that suggest after popping a bite in your mouth let the bubbles melt. Trust me, it’s worth it! Also from Nestle is a thicker version of this chocolate bar known as Mirage. However, Aero wins as a major fan favorite because it’s so wonderfully light as a candy product. This is a great chocolate bar for people with a sweet tooth that want to keep it simple.
#8 – Maltesers
Made by Mars Canada in Markham, Ontario, the Canadian version of Maltesers has a unique recipe not found anywhere else in the world. This is also one of the oldest products coming from Mars UK as of 1937. Although Maltesers is a product sold all over the world, the Canadian recipe has a distinct flavor that differs from what’s made in the UK. It’s also the Canadian version of this product that made its way to convenience stores located in the US as of 2017. What makes the Canadian Maltesers so special? The list of ingredients is long but it’s what creates the little chocolate balls that hold a crispy malted honeycomb inside.
Deemed as energy balls, the marketing campaign of Maltesers once upon a time focused on women who were watching their figure. Maltesers have become a Canadian classic, as have some of its televised commercials that promoted the product. In 2002, a boyfriend impressed his girlfriend by feeding her a Malteser with a straw. In 2003, a pregnant woman and her friend were entertained by a Malteser that danced off her stomach.
#7 – Crispy Crunch
At fourteen years old, Harold Oswin won a Canadian-based contest that was held by Neilson. That win allowed him to create a chocolate bar known as Crispy Crunch, which was first made available to Canadian consumers in 1930. This is one of Canada’s oldest chocolate bars. It also remains on top as a Canadian favorite. Fans of Butterfinger may find a similarity between it and Canada’s Crispy Crunch. For a brief time in the 1990s, Pro Set sold Crispy Crunch until the company itself went bankrupt. Nobody in the US bothered to continue its production, despite the fact this was a popular brand at that time. Crispy Crunch is sold only in Canada and a handful of European nations. Among Canadians, this is a chocolatier favorite over the infamous Butterfinger.
#6 – Mr. Big
In size, Mr. Big is the largest chocolate bar coming from Cadbury’s factory in Canada. A Mr. Big is about twice as big as a regular candy bar with a measurement of eight inches long. What makes this chocolate-coated treat so special is the layers of vanilla wafter inside that features a mix of caramel, peanuts, and rice crisp inside. This was the candy bar Shaquille O’Neal promoted in 1995. Originally owned by Nestle and licensed by William Neilson. Neilson belonged to Cadbury, who eventually bought Mr. Big as a brand. Since the 1960s, Mr. Big’s presence in Canada has been as huge as the bar itself. It’s also rather popular among the European locations that carry it. There are a few stores in the United States that also sell these candy bars.
#5 – Smarties
From York, England, Rowntree introduced a product known as Smarties. They were made as candy-coated chocolates that looked like rounded beans. They were actually called this back in 1882 before it was forced to change as this was a chocolate product that had nothing to do with beans. When this came to Canada in 1937, Smarties had candied outer shells thicker than what was produced in the UK. Since Nestle’s acquisition of Rowntree in 1988, Smarties are made in its chocolate factory in Toronto, Ontario.
Inside a box of Smarties is a colorful collection of candy-coated chocolate bites that seem to be incredibly fun to eat. Once upon a time, there was a famous Canadian advertising campaign that asked the consumer if they save the red Smarties for last as they eat this popular candy. My answer to that one was no. I saved the blue ones for last. In the 1990s, my idea of rebelling against the ad was to eat the red ones first.
#4 – Wunderbar
Personally speaking, Wunderbar is my ultimate go-to favorite. I buy this one more often than any other kind. Aside from vividly remembering an old television commercial that reminded me of “Rock You” from Helix, what I found awesome about this chocolate bar was the wonderful combination of caramel, peanut butter, and rice crisps. All of this is luxuriously coated with Cadbury’s chocolate from its Canadian factory in Toronto, Ontario. Even Danial Tovrov of the International Business Times commented Wunderwar was “the greatest candy bar ever created.” As far as he was concerned, it was a good reason to come to Canada. Speaking as a fan of this product myself, it sells out faster than most other chocolate bars found in Canadian convenience stores.
There is one gas station I frequent whenever I commute between home and work that often has this product sold out. In a way, I suppose that’s a good thing because I like it so much that if it’s not there, I sometimes refrain from buying anything else in the form of a chocolate bar. Again, that’s only sometimes. In the United States, a variant of Wunderbar goes by the name of Starbar.
#3 – Big Turk
Starting in 1974, Big Turk was a chocolate bar that had Turkish Delight encased inside a thin layer of chocolate made by Nestle. This quickly became an addictive favorite among Canadians and visiting Americans. As a chocolate bar, it has considerably less fat content, which apparently is a good thing among chocoholics who claim to be watching their weight. When I traveled across Canada with a friend, whenever we hit a gas station to fuel up, it was Big Turk or nothing for her. I honestly didn’t know what the big deal was so I decided to try one. Now I understand.
When a friend from Queens, USA came to visit me for the first time in 1989, I introduced him to a Big Turk chocolate bar. He bought a whole box of this chocolatey treat to bring back with him. When I picked him up from the airport in 1992 when he came to Canada again, he already made his Big Turk raid at its convenience store. He also admitted at that time he would have bought more than a handful of them if the people in front of him didn’t do the same. They were all Americans. Before he went back to the US, he bought two boxes to bring back with him. He even mailed three more boxes to himself. Even today, Big Turk sells out faster than most of the other candy bars carried by Canadian retailers.
#2 – Caramilk
In 1968, there was a certain Englishman who lived in Canada. He created an incredible candy bar with a mysterious recipe that had its interior loaded with creamy caramel. Since then, Cadbury’s Caramilk quickly became one of the nation’s most popular chocolate bars. For years, it presented standout advertising campaigns, promoting the “Caramel Secret” as chocolatiers were trying to figure out how to perfect the formula used that held the golden caramel inside the solid chocolate shell. It remains a guarded secret at the Gladstone Chocolate Factory in Toronto, Ontario. Now a global favorite, Caramilk earned its place as one of the first choices consumers make when there’s a craving to satisfy that sweet tooth.
#1 – Coffee Crisp
In 1938, Canadians were introduced to layers of chocolatey goodness in the form of a chocolate bar known today as Coffee Crisp. Originally, this came from the UK as Rowntree’s Wafter Crisp. The combination of chocolate, coffee, and vanilla are layered beautifully on top of each other, then coated with milky chocolate. At one point, there were fruity variants but the coffee-flavored Coffee Crisp reigned supreme. As of 1988, Nestle obtained the rights to the infamous Coffee Crisp from Rowntree and has it massively produced from its chocolate factory in Toronto, Ontario.
In 2006, Nestle responded to a USA petition to bring Coffee Crisp to American consumers in their nation. Three years later, Nestle’s decision to limit the availability of Coffee Crisp now has only the closest American communities to the Canadian border carry the product. On a personal note, Coffee Crisp is among my personal favorites as well. I like the fact it’s sweet but not overdone. This is a chocolate bar that has an addictive personality, as well as a loyal fan following that won’t touch any other candy bar than this one. I’m not one of those but my father was among many Coffee Crisp fans who felt no other bar deserved such loyalty.
Top 10 Canadian Candies & Chocolate Bars article published on BigCityReview.com© 2023
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