Canadians, particularly Vancouver Islanders, are extremely familiar and very proud of the iconic Nanaimo Bar.
The creamy, chocolatey bar has long been a West Coast favourite and something coveted by locals.
So anyone who attempts to acknowledge and give recognition to the tasty treat can expect that Canadians will chime in with something to say — whether that is to brag, to give praise, or to voice an opinion.
The New York Times is once again wading into a unique brand of Canadian ‘backlash’ around Nanaimo Bars after making a recent post on Instagram that featured an image of the dessert.
“Canadians, this one’s for you,” read the post on a cooking-specific account of the global mass media company.
View this post on Instagram
As good-willed and appreciative as the post was seemingly meant to be, the recipe and resulting image didn’t measure up to the Canadian standard, creating quite the stir in the comments.
“The bottom layer is far too thick. The custard layer needs to be much thicker. You should have checked with a Canadian first!” one commenter wrote.
“I’m so excited to read all the comments about how inauthentic this is,” said another poster.
The biggest flaw with the post, according to commenters, seemed to be the ratio.
Comments ranged from “the layer ratio looks off… bottom layer is too thick, yellow layer not thick enough…” and “these are usually excellent, but the proportions look like they’re way off here, @nytcooking”
Others were more blunt with their thoughts.
“These are not classic Nanaimo bars,” said one person.
Of course, many still responded in an authentically Canadian fashion.
“The proportions are wrong but I’m sure these pseudo-Nanaimo bars are okay,” noted a user, while another emphasized some appreciation for the effort. “@nytcooking must be feeling the heat about layer ratios… Thanks for thinking of us though?”
And of course, there always is Canadian pride.
“Never been more proud 🇨🇦 the perfect dessert!”
This isn’t the first time that the ratios of Nanaimo Bars have been under the microscope either. Canada Post felt the heat from West Coast dessert critics after releasing a ‘sweet’ stamp of the treat back in 2019 — a stamp that featured an “imposter” square with a disproportionate base-to-filling ratio.
The New York Times is also all too familiar with criticism on the subject, having been corrected by B.C.-born actor Seth Rogen nearly two years ago.
Rogen responded to an article written by the media outlet which said the “no-bake, layered bar cookie” was from Canada. Rogen made sure to offer a correction, explaining in a tweet: “It’s actually from Nanaimo, which is a town on Vancouver Island, which is where the ferry arrives when you leave Vancouver.”
Let’s be square, anyone considering offering up recognition to the legendary Vancouver Island treat might want to consider doing some research — or they can expect their just desserts.