We took to the streets to get tourists' verdicts on these new Nanaimo bars

Sep 9 2022, 8:00 pm

Any Canadian with a sweet tooth is familiar with what is arguably our country’s most quintessential dessert — the glorious Nanaimo bar.

This no-bake treat means business, traditionally consisting of three distinct layers: a chocolate-coconut graham cracker base, a custard buttercream middle, and chocolate ganache to top it off. How many different ways can we say “chef’s kiss?”

So it’s pretty exciting that this uber classic confectionary has been modernized by the new brand Northern Bars, who, (as we can attest to ourselves), make ridiculously tasty Nanaimo Bars right here in BC.

With Nanaimo bars being such a beloved classic treat in our country, we got to wondering if tourists are aware of these little squares of heaven. So, we took to the streets of Vancouver and asked travellers from outside of Canada if they’d ever heard of a Nanaimo bar, and if they’d like to try one. Let’s just say, no one was disappointed.

Elina Fabia & Sara Oskerwalder

With suitcases in tow and on the hunt for a cute cafe to have their morning coffee, Elina and Sara saw the bright yellow boxes in our hands and were more than happy to give Northern Bars a try.

From Switzerland, neither of the pair had ever heard of a Nanaimo bar before — but they left happy in the knowledge of this delightful Canadian treat.

“Wow, what is in these?!” says Sara. As we went through the ingredients, they were pleasantly surprised by the presence of coconut and graham crackers. What’s better than a quality sweet with your coffee in the morning?

Brooke McHose

After being in Vancouver for a couple of nights, Brooke McHose from Iowa had not yet heard of a Nanaimo bar — what a shame. Good thing we were there to indulge her, and she was definitely happy about it, too.

“This reminds me so much of a brookie, you know, those brownie/cookie bars,” Brooke tells Daily Hive. “It’s not too sweet and has a perfect balance of creaminess and texture.” She also said the smaller bite-size of these Northern Bars was perfect for her, and that she’s usually “not a fan of coconut,” but loved it in these.

Brooke even took a picture of the box and made a note to pick up some Northern Bars as a souvenir for friends and family. Consider this American converted to the Nanaimo-bar side.

Corbin Wood

Young Corbin Wood from Texas rolled past us with his family (who all also had never heard of Nanaimo bars) and simply couldn’t turn down the opportunity to be photographed. While he posed for us, his sister — who was a tad more camera shy — tasted a Northern Bar and declared that indeed, they are delicious. And after a thorough photo shoot, Corbin too chomped into a square and said that even though he doesn’t usually like sweets, the Northern Bars were “super good.” We agree, Corbin.

Blake Kingsberg

Visiting Vancouver from Northwest Indiana, just outside of Chicago, Bill Kingsberg and his buddies were just hanging out gazing out at the cruise ships when we approached them to taste test a Northern Bars Nanaimo bar. They quickly and happily obliged.

“The chocolate isn’t overpowering, you can still taste all the different flavours going on,” says Blake. He too had never heard of a Nanaimo bar, but after that first bite, his face said it’s now something he’ll never forget.

Bill Bunt

Our fifth and final subject was the only person we chatted with who had heard of Nanaimo bars — funnily enough, he was a Canadian. Bill Blunt actually makes his own bars but was extremely impressed by Northern Bars’ creations. “These would make a good gift,” says Bill. “They’re not too sweet, and overall really high quality.”

All we needed to convince people who had never heard of a Nanaimo bar of what they were missing was to let them try one for themselves.

And with Northern Bars’ modern take on the classically Canadian treat, stunning packaging, and thoroughly developed recipe, these bars are seriously irresistible. We mean it — we couldn’t even leave them in the office unattended without a box “going missing.”

To locate where Northern Bars are sold near you, click here. To learn more about Northern Bars and order them online, visit northernbars.ca.

Daily Hive

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