Today, July 1, is Canada Day in my home country; in fact it is the 150th Canada Day. I have been living in Ireland now for two and half years, but I will always be proud of my Canadian up bringing. Last year at this time I gave you my very first Track of the Day here on The Arcade. It definitely had a Canadian flavour to it.
This year I have decided to give you a list of some of the things I miss the most about my home country. It was hard to narrow things down, but I believe I have come up with a good list. In no particular order, here is what I miss the most from Canada.
Probably one of the first things I began to miss was Tim Hortons. Personally, I am not the biggest coffee drinker in the world, but I did enjoy Timmies from time to time. Coffee aside, I frequented Tim Hortons because of their strong donut game. Not only do they have great donuts like Boston Cream, Apple Friter and Dutchie… but they have what are called Timbits.
Timbits are what some might call donut holes, bite sized donuts in differing glazes, flavours and dips. Flavors include, but are not limited to, chocolate glazed, dutchie, honey dip, sour cream glazed, blueberry, pumpkin spice, toasted coconut, and apple fritter. These usually come in packs of 20 and are about $2 Canadian… roughly €1.35. While there are some really great donut places around Dublin, none have matched Tim Hortons in my personal opinion.
Hockey Night in Canada
Canada is definitely known as one of the most formidable countries in the world when it comes to the sport of ice hockey. One of the major sports leagues in North America is the NHL, and as a Canadian I am one of millions of fans. In Canada, the longest running program showcasing the NHL is Hockey Night in Canada.
Originally began as a radio broadcast in 1931, it has become a staple on Saturday nights to watch the nationally televised game. Growing up watching the NHL on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) network has some fond memories. I can still watch the NHL here in Ireland, but I miss the Hockey Night in Canada program.
One of the main reasons I miss the show is because during the first intermission there was a segment called ‘Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry’. Don Cherry is a former coach in the NHL and is somewhat of a Canadian icon. He is famous for his outlandish suits and his co-host Ron MacLean. Ron comes from the background of playing as youth and being a referee. Both are great analysts and I miss watching these two during the season and playoffs.
First of all, let me tell you what poutine is, just in case you’re sitting there, wondering “What the heck is that”? Poutine is a dish that originated in the Canadian province of Quebec. It’s a French speaking province where it can be difficult to find people who actually speak English. The dish itself is basically french fries (chips) covered in cheese curds and gravy.
The next thought in your mind is probably, “What are cheese curds”? Cheese curds are basically solid pieces of curdled milk. I know it sounds a bit gross, but imagine explaining to a Canadian what exactly black pudding is. I have made what I call poutine here in Ireland, but sadly it is without cheese curds. I substitute cheese curds with shredded cheese, mozzarella works best but cheddar suits just fine too. It’s just not the same, and so traditional poutine is definitely something I miss.
Coffee Crisp is a chocolate bar by Nestle that is pretty much only made in Canada. I have seen it sell in some of the northern States in the US, but generally this is a Canadian made chocolate bar. Don’t get me wrong, there are some wonderful chocolate bars here in Ireland that Canada does not have. They are also good chocolate bars, but Coffee Crisp just has that taste that hasn’t been matched.
I miss this a little less than some other things thanks to some friends. In May of 2016 and 2017, I had a friend visit from Canada who brought me some Coffee Crisp to help feed my craving. It is nice to have such friends, but sadly the bars don’t last too long. Within a couple of months of receiving the treats, they are usually gone and I miss them again.
This last one is not quite traditionally Canadian in nature. However, it is something I definitely miss about not living in Canada. A&W Restaurants have been around in North America since 1923 and in Canada since 1956. Basically there has been an A&W restaurant close to me for much of my life. I remember my parents bringing us there when I was a child as a special treat.
They are family burger restaurant and even name a number of their burgers as such. There is the Baby Burger, Teen Burger, Mama Burger, Papa Burger and the Grandpa Burger. All are varying degrees of sizes and condiments. Their most famous burgers are the Teen Burger and my personal favourite the Mozza Burger. I haven’t had a Mozza Burger in so long, but just thinking about it definitely makes my mouth water.
The other thing I sort of miss about A&W, I no longer have to miss as much. That is their special seasoning that they use on their burgers, and several customers use on their fries. It is a special blend of seasoning that I have never matched. Since I enjoy using it so much, I have had friends ship me some on occasion and I even picked up a few the last time I visited.
Final Canadian Thoughts
On this 150th celebration of my home country of Canada, I do miss some of the comforts of home. I do love living here in Ireland and am glad that I have found new foods, places and sweets to enjoy. I will always hold my Canadian heritage in my heart, and will never feel I have to defend myself because of it. I look forward to the next trip home, but until then, I will reminisce about all those memories of my past.
What do you miss when you are away from home? Have you ever been to Canada? Do you know about any of the things I miss living abroad? Let us know in the comments below.