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Discount Diva: Canada is open. What's your favorite Canadian treat?

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The nearest Swiss Chalet is across the border in Niagara Falls, Ont.

I recently crossed the border into Canada for the first time in almost a year and a half. It was a very special thing.

Grandparents were reunited with grandchildren. Cottage owners were reunited with their beachside retreats. And I was reunited with my sweet, sweet Caramilk candy bars.

I'm sure you aren't going to get a Covid test just so you can go to Canada and buy a Coffee Crisp. I wouldn't either. And I know you can buy a lot of Canadian foods stateside at places such as Vidler's in East Aurora and Hello Sweets in the City of Tonawanda.

Still, what better time to celebrate our favorite Canadian creations?

"Crossing the border takes work, a lot of preparation and may cost you. You can't expect to roll up and breeze through like you did in the old days," writes Samantha Christmann.

Swiss Chalet. It's no coincidence that the last two Swiss Chalet restaurants to close in the United States were in Depew and Amherst.

I didn't grow up on Swiss Chalet, but I can understand its legion of devoted followers. If you think people crossing the border for rotisserie chicken and Swiss Chalet sauce is silly, just try to tell me you wouldn't travel to Ontario to visit Your Host or some other extinct restaurant you've built fond memories around.

Kinder Surprise Eggs. If you watch YouTube with your kid, you're aware that videos about Kinder Eggs have literally billions of views. Kids love to watch people break open the chocolate eggs and reveal the surprise toy inside.

A different version has become available on this side of the border but they're much different, thanks to a Food and Drug Administration rule from the 1930s. The rule – that foods cannot contain "non-nutritive" substances – was meant to keep things like antifreeze out of the food chain. But it also keeps the inner surprise capsule out of the center of Kinder's hollow, chocolate eggs. American Kinder Joy eggs are split into two sealed halves. Just not the same.

If you buy real Kinder Surprise eggs for your kids, be sure they enjoy them in Canada. Shipping, selling or carrying them to this side of the border is illegal. You can be fined.

"Hey! What are you eating? Nothing! Nothing!" Commercials for the bubble-filled Aero chocolate bar used to air in the Buffalo market. You can find the candy bars at some specialty stores, including Bella Mia Chocolate Shop, 1096 Hertel Ave.

Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale. This brewery was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1820. The real Alexander Keith was a Scottish immigrant, mayor of Halifax and Grand Master mason of Nova Scotia. Anheuser-Busch InBev started distributing the beer in the states in 2011.

All Dressed chips. Widely available in Canada, they are described as tasting like a combination of barbecue, ketchup, salt and vinegar, and sour cream and onion chips all mashed into one.

Allen's Apple Juice has been a favorite among Canadians -- and border-crossing Americans -- for 80 years.

BeaverTails. Imagine a slab of fried dough shaped like a beaver's tail and slathered with everything from icing and Oreos to hazelnut spread and bananas. You can find them on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, Ont.

Bisto. Some Americans swear this gravy substitute -- brown granules that are added to hot water -- is better than the real thing.

Buckley's cough syrup. This cold medicine is famous for its "awful taste." It is made with balsam, menthol, camphor and pine needle oil.

Caramilk. Our Caramello bars are patterned after these caramel-filled chocolate bars, which Cadbury first sold in Canada in the 1960s.

Humpty Dumpty Dill Pickle Chips. Rebranded after the company was acquired by Old Dutch, the company is also know for its "sour cream & clam" flavored chips. Locally, you can find dill pickle-flavored potato chips made by the Snyder company of Pennsylvania.

Coffee Crisp. This is hands down Americans' most beloved Canadian candy bar. Sometimes you can find it at specialty shops here, such as Bella Mia Chocolate Shop on Hertel Avenue and Smokin' Joe's grocery store in Sanborn.

Coffee Time. Patrons of this coffee and doughnut franchise chain say it's superior to Tim Hortons.

Kraft Philadelphia Dips. These dips are for chips and veggies. They come in such flavors as onion, dill pickle, herb & spice, jalapeno, herb & garlic, garlic and ranch.

Cadbury Flake. Created in 1920, the flaky candy bar is made of thinly folded milk chocolate. It was carried by some specialty stores here, but a dispute between Hershey (which owns Cadbury's U.S. rights) and the British Cadbury's wholesaler, have........

© The Buffalo News

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