Edmonton

Nanaimo bar fans going postal over 'impostor' square depicted on new stamp

A new Canada Post stamp featuring the Nanaimo bar isn’t getting a stamp of approval from bakers and dessert lovers.

'It's not a very accurate depiction and most people in Nanaimo know that'

The Nanaimo bar is one of five Canadian desserts featured in a new stamp set being released by Canada Post. (Canada Post)

A new Canada Post stamp featuring the Nanaimo bar isn't getting a stamp of approval from bakers and dessert lovers.

The stamp, released earlier this month, features the West Coast confection in full colour.

It's one of five Canadian delicacies — alongside butter tarts, sugar pie, Saskatoon berry pie and blueberry grunt — getting the honour.

But the image of the iconic B.C. delicacy has been hard to swallow for some in the business of baking and eating sweets.

'Is it a cheesecake?'

Apparently, the ratio of custard filling to crumbly base depicted in Canada Post's image is all wrong.

The yellow filling is overly voluminous, while the crumbly base layer is too thin.  

To get to the bottom of the tasty controversy, CBC Radio show Edmonton AM reached out to an expert.

Jeff Nachtigall, owner of Sugared and Spiced Bakery, has been baking and eating the bars for years.

"I was so excited to hear there was a set of dessert stamps. The Nanaimo bar especially got my attention," Nachtigall said in an interview Tuesday with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

"I, with a great excitement, opened this package of ten stamps and discovered an impostor."

The structural integrity of the "alleged" bar is highly questionable, Nachtigall said. He wonders whether the illustration depicts a different dessert entirely.

"The base and the custard filling should be about seven-eighths of the bar combined with a not-too-thin layer of chocolate on top, but this Canada Post imposter has more than half of the bar represented by filling.

"I don't know what this is. Is it a cheesecake?"

'Strong views'

As evidence of the wonky dimensions, Nachtigall  attempted to bake a bar according to Canada Post's proportions. The results were not pretty.

In a statement, Canada Post said it wanted to "best represent the many adaptations and variations of each recipe that occur as professional bakers, chefs and those who love baking at home prepare them for customers friends and family."

"For the Nanaimo bar, we have depicted the layers of chocolatey coconut crust, rich custard and chocolate topping."

The statement goes on to say that the Crown corporation understands there are some strong views on the layer proportions, but there are many variations of the bars across the country.

"That factored in to our image decisions."

Besides the Nanaimo bar, the set of stamps includes Saskatoon berry pie, butter tarts, tarte au sucre (sugar pie) and blueberry grunt. (Canada Post)

Leonard Krog, mayor of Nanaimo, said his constituents have been going a little postal over the controversy.

"Unfortunately, no one apparently consulted with anyone here in Nanaimo," Krog said.

"We should never look a gift horse in the mouth and one hesitates to be critical.

"I'm a great supporter of the postal service and Canada Post, but it's not a very accurate depiction and most people in Nanaimo know that."

An Edmonton AM expose on the Nanaimo Bar controversy! What are the proper proportions?! 4:23

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