When in Canada, try the Nanaimo bar

Something occurred to me the other day when I was visiting with friends who had just moved here from the states: When someone from another country visits my family and I in Canada, our first step isn’t to take them to the local sites or order them a double double or sit them down with the a copy of Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw. No, the first thing we do is hand them a plate … of freshly baked Nanaimo Bars. Nana-what, you ask?

Nanaimo Bars are a sweet treat that originated in Nanaimo, a gorgeous city on the west coast of Canada on Vancouver Island. According to folklore, they got their start as a pick-me-up; they were baked with love and sent to weary miners from family members as a way to brighten their day. Now, hundreds of years later, these three-layer treats are still brightening days across the country–maybe even across North America–but especially here in the west.

I don’t know how to describe them except for this: It’s a fudge brownie topped off with white creamy custardy icing topped off with a layer of thick chocolate. They’re a little rich, but divinely delicious. You can make them yourself, but I recommend trying them on a visit up north (or down south for you Alaskans.)