Nova Scotia

Sweet new stamp celebrates iconic East Coast dessert

Canada Post has released a Sweet Canada stamp set featuring five sweet Canadian treats from around the country.

Blueberry grunt — 'grandma's awesome go-to comfort food' — is one of five desserts featured in stamp set

Blueberry grunt is one of five regional desserts featured in Canada Post's new Sweet Canada stamp set. (Canada Post)

Canada Post is serving up some new stamps featuring popular desserts from around the country.

Included in the Sweet Canada stamp set is blueberry grunt: a sticky-sweet, gooey concoction made up of wild blueberries and sugary dumplings — a popular treat in Atlantic Canada.

"It's just incredible. That's the best way to describe it," said Alain Bossé, a Nova Scotian culinary expert who is also known as The Kilted Chef.

"It's really grandma's awesome go-to comfort food."

The "grunt" part of the name comes from the sound the blueberries make while they cook.

Bossé said the way it's made is similar to chicken fricot — a traditional Acadian dish — where dumplings are dropped into the pot as the blueberries are simmering.

"You just cook your blueberries, get them to a nice simmer, and then you just add this beautiful dough on top of it, and then you cover it and let it steam, more or less," he said.

Other sweet treats in the new Canada Post stamp collection include the butter tart, a traditional Ontario confection, Saskatoon berry pie, Quebec's tarte au sucre (sugar pie) and the Nanaimo bar.

"Each stamp celebrates a regional dish, offering collectors and mailers a coast-to-coast dessert buffet," Canada Post said in a statement.

Besides blueberry grunt, the new stamp set also features Saskatoon berry pie, butter tarts, tarte au sucre (sugar pie) and Nanaimo bars. (Canada Post)

While Bossé admits he's more of a blueberry crisp guy, he said it's still hard to beat blueberry grunt, especially if it's been browned in the oven a bit and served up with a frosty scoop of ice cream.

The dish's exact origins are unclear, but he said it's a good "go-to" dessert in all four Atlantic provinces, partially because it was a fairly simple, tasty dessert to make in the region's older days.

The fact that blueberries are plentiful on the East Coast doesn't hurt, said Bossé.

"Wherever you go, they have a version of it," he said. 

"It is what we are in Atlantic Canada. We should be proud of the fact that nobody else in the world has these amazing, beautiful little morsels of goodness that grow wild all over the place."

He said he's glad to see the dessert on a stamp that will be able to make its way from coast to coast.

"Food is the way for us to explore nowadays," he said. "It's a nice change for a stamp … it's nice to start discovering some of our culinary culture across Canada."

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