(Photo credit: Taras Natyshak/Facebook)
Canadians take snacking very seriously, and we’re proud of the food that’s all ours. There’s All Dressed chips, tire d’érable, and, of course, poutine. But we’ve never really had a claim to ketchup, which feels as American as a 4th of July barbecue. Until now.
One man’s viral Facebook post has made Canadian ketchup a point of national pride. Unlike Heinz, which closed its Leamington, ON plant in 2014 after over a century in the community, French’s — primarily known for its bright yellow mustard — is proudly made in Canada. In fact, they use those same Leamington tomatoes Heinz once cornered (and their mustard seeds come from Saskatchewan, too).
Update to the Canadian ketchup saga: Since social media sparked a patriotic conversation about supporting home-grown tomatoes, consumer demand for French’s Ketchup has pressured Loblaws into adding the brand of ketchup back onto its shelves after they announced it would be pulling the product.
If you’re feeling both hungry and patriotic, here are a few more northern brands that will delight your tastebuds and make you proud to be Canadian.
No Name Brand
Pure, simple perfection. No Name brand, owned by Loblaws (also of President’s Choice fame, whose white cheddar mac and cheese deserves an article unto itself) is a Canadian staple. From its no-nonsense naming conventions to its can’t-be-beat prices, No Name products are a little like Canada itself — understated, pleasant, and consistent. Tell us you don’t have one of their bright yellow packages stored somewhere in your pantry!
You’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of mustard pickles, but folks in Newfoundland and Labrador were steamed at an announcement this march that Smucker Foods of Canada Corporation will discontinue a popular brand of mustard pickles. Residents of The Rock have taken to social media to voice their displeasure and document the stockpiling of their beloved condiment.
Chapman’s Ice Cream
We’d be willing to bet you attended more than one birthday party that featured a cardboard box of Chapman’s ice cream. The family-owned business, founded by Penny and David Chapman in 1973 and currently run by their son Ashley, is still headquartered in Markdale, ON. That’s even after a 2009 fire that destroyed their factory, nearly halting business for good. Luckily, they were able to get back on track after the accident so there’s still plenty of Neopolitan to go around!
No doubt your parents put Fruit to Go fruit leathers in your lunch. The company has been making juice and fruit snacks in B.C.’s Okanagan valley since its foundation in 1946. This company was originally founded by the B.C. Fruit Grower’s Association as an alternative to throwing out their process-grade apples. Still based in Kelowna today, this year the company is celebrating its 70th anniversary of providing healthy choices for Canadians.
You might know this whisky from seeing a dusty bottle in your grandpa’s liquor cabinet, but Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye was named 2016’s World Whisky of the Year. While this classic liquor is no longer owned by a Canadian business (the company was purchased from Seagram by U.K.-based Diageo in 2000) the taste is still 100 per cent Canada. Solely produced on the shores of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, and later bottled in Amherstburg, Ontario, the (once) purple-bagged icon still brings Canada to mind with every sip.
Finally, we’d like to pour one out — a double-double that is — for Tim Hortons. Arguably the most Canadian of all our brands, Tim Hortons was purchased by Burger King in 2014 and has since expanded to the United States, Ireland and Saudi Arabia, to name a few. How’s that for heartbreak, eh?