The first week of August spells a long weekend for most Canadians. Many provinces will stop to observe their own local holiday, and we all know this means summer desserts! Perhaps it’s the Civic Holiday, Natal Day, or the most touching, Terry Fox Day. Regardless, you can be sure of the presence of some maple flavoured delights somewhere between unpacking the tent, changing into swimsuits, and carefully adding logs to the campfire.
If you’re celebrating on the West Coast, one treat that’s a must is the Nanaimo bar. While it can be enjoyed as it is, in bar form, we have seen a few mentions of… Nanaimo S’mores! How could anyone beat this summer dessert at the end of a big day of hiking, fishing, or kayaking? Just imagine that choc-coconut combination mixed with oozy custard and melted marshmallow. A campfire dessert guaranteed to bring a crowd to silence as everyone’s eyeballs roll to the back of their heads.
But perhaps you’re heading to Alberta on your way to some Heritage Day celebrations via Saskatchewan. If this is the case, one Prairie delight on offer for you is the flapper pie. Best pull the car over to eat this one, as the delicious custard pie and fluffy meringue can be a little messy without a fork!
If you’re nowhere near the Prairies this Civic Holiday, not to worry. You can thank your lucky stars Saskatoon berries are bountiful over most of the country. Delicious uses for these little blue friends include Saskatoon berry and rhubarb pie, Saskatoon berry cobbler, and Saskatoon berry clafouti. Of course, they can appear in cakes, slices, and ice creams, too. They’re only in season for a short while, though. So all should jump at any opportunity to enjoy this berry if presented with the opportunity.
A butter tart is always a good choice if you’re near Toronto this long weekend celebrating their holiday, Simcoe Day. The day is named after an anti-slavery Lieutenant-Governor, John Graves Simcoe. This quintessential Canadian tart is a source of cultural pride in Ontario, particularly at Muskoka Lakes and in Midland where they hold annual Butter Tart Festivals!
Maybe you’re in the Maritimes. Here, Natal Day means provincial birthday parties for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. A list of summer desserts around here would certainly be incomplete without the mention of ice cream. One prolific flavour that should come as no surprise is maple. We’re lucky enough to even sometimes find yummy mix-ins such as walnut, pecan, and even bacon. Just stop and take a moment to imagine that last flavour with pancakes… Another ice cream that is unique to Canada is the tiger tail flavour, which is generally bright orange with swishes of black – much like a tiger’s coat! While popular as a throwback type of flavour in Canada, it can be difficult to find in other parts of the world.
Wherever you find yourself celebrating this August long weekend, enjoy summer desserts while taking a moment to consider the young Terry Fox and the track he ran in 1980. If you’d like to make a donation to aid in essential cancer research conducted by The Terry Fox Foundation, click here.