Expat life comes with several challenges, and missing your comfort foods is a big part of that.
When most Americans think of Canadian food, they picture bacon and maple syrup. Yet that is only a small part of the story when it comes to Canadian cuisine (even if is a delicious part).
The thousands of Canadian expats in the U.S. may not live that far from away from their home country, but they'll find themselves missing several food products that are a bit difficult to find when south of the border.
We asked TransferWise customers and colleagues what they crave when Stateside and where to find these products in the good ‘ol USA. They might be saving a lot of money each time they send money home with TransferWise instead of their bank, but they can't help missing these five typical Canadian treats.
1. Lay’s Ketchup Chips
Most Americans are not aware of the existence of these ketchup flavored potato chips. But they are a core Canadian snack, a beloved and bizarre (well, in American eyes at least) blend of subtle sweetness and saltiness.
In the U.S. you can find their close cousin, spicy ketchup chips, at a few chain stores throughout the country, including Walgreens. But if you’re looking for the real deal, you’d be better off buying them online.
Another unhealthy staple of Canada, this dish is comprised in french fries generously coated in gravy and cheese curds. It originated in Montreal back in the 1950s, and there now are a number of so-called poutineries around Quebec.
Check out this guide for the best restaurants to find poutine throughout the States, some of which are run by Quebec expats who actually know how to get the recipe right.
3. Jos Louis Snack Cakes
A Quebec staple snack since the 1930s, this decadent dessert is comprised of two sponge cakes with a cream filling within a milk chocolate shell. Cravings for these Canadian cakes used to require a trip north of the border.
But since 2011, they have been sitting in some grocery store shelves alongside Twinkies and other packaged treats in the U.S. And if you fail to find them in a store, various online retailers such as Amazon offer them too.
4. Purple Garlic
Canadians don’t only miss fatty foods laden with salt or sugar. The unusual purple garlic is grown largely in British Columbia and Ontario, where the frigid wintry cold actual initiates its growth.
This slightly sweet garlic has an incredible full-bodied taste, and adds a creative touch to traditional recipes like garlic mashed potatoes. As it can be stored for up to six months, you can either buy it at a number of outlets online, including eBay, or look for the West Texas variant in some stores.
5. P.E.I. (Prince Edward Island) Mussels
The bulk of muscles farmed in the Canada come from the idyllic Prince Edward Island, which hosts an annual festival revolving around them. The tender and sweet shellfish tastes especially yummy when sauteed in white wine.
Luckily they are becoming easier to find in the seafood department of many stores, including Whole Foods. Once you do buy ‘em, visit the P.E.I. mussel website for recipes, including mussel bruschetta and marinated mussel salad.
TransferWise charges just 0.7% over $5,000 with no mark-up - that means you get a far better exchange rate.
What do we mean by a mark-up? Take a look:
But don’t worry, TransferWise is here to change this.
Have you moved to the U.S.? Don't get stung by the exchange rate when you send money home.
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