This week was the first anniversary of the official declaration that the coronavirus was a global pandemic. But a number of Canada Letter readers have recently emailed about a very different issue: the correct layer proportions of Nanaimo bars.
Instagram post from The Times’s Cooking account of an example of Canada’s favorite no-bake squares. “Canadians, this one’s for you,” it read.
But many Canadians were quick to point out that it had way too thick of a base layer — a mixture of butter, cocoa powder, nuts, shredded coconut, graham cracker crumbs and lots of butter. The yellow middle layer — lots more butter, more sugar, Bird’s custard powder and heavy cream — was mingy, the critics said. And instead of being as smooth as an ice rink, the melted top layer sported a ripple pattern.
told the CBC “If you’re going to do something different, you can call it a Nanaimo-esque bar, or in the style of a Nanaimo bar.”
The Instagram post linked to the account of Sara Bonisteel, an editor in Cooking, and a photo of a more generally accepted style of Nanaimo bar. (For the record: She did not make the squares of contention.)
Almost two years ago, Sara wrote a terrific article about the pride of British Columbia’s kitchens, and she also posted a recipe, a process that involved having a caterer in British Columbia ship sample bars to New York for analysis and inspection.