Traditional Canadian desserts offer more than a scrumptious end to a meal; behind many sweet treats is lore about Canada’s history, such as a pie made from the berries that once helped Indigenous communities survive long prairie winters to the tarte au sucre that reminded colonists in New France of their former homeland.
The five colourful stamps issued yesterday by Canada Post depict traditional made-in-Canada desserts with additional collectibles inspired by old-fashioned recipe cards. Each stamp celebrates a regional dish, offering collectors and mailers a coast-to-coast dessert buffet.
The menu includes:
- the sugar pie;
- the butter tart;
- Saskatoon berry pie;
- the Nanaimo bar; and
- blueberry grunt.
Tarte au sucre (sugar pie), with its European origins, which was adopted by settlers in New France and is an indispensable offering of Quebec pâtisseries.
The butter tart, first referenced in a turn-of-the-20th-century Barrie, Ont., cookbook, is now at the heart of tours and baking contests throughout the province.
Saskatoon berry pie, which is filled with the regional berries that were a staple for Indigenous people and early settlers. Their name in the Cree language, misâskwatômina, also inspired the name of this prairie city.
The creamy custard-filled refrigerated bar, with irresistible chocolate layers, which first appeared as a “Nanaimo bar” in Nanaimo, B.C. cookbooks in the mid-20th century.
Blueberry grunt, which combines dumplings and the abundant blueberries of Canada’s east coast. The delightful “grunt” in the name captures the sound berries make as they simmer around the dough.
The Permanent domestic-rate stamps were designed by Subplot, of Vancouver, illustrated by Mary Ellen Johnson and printed by the Canadian Bank Note Co. The issue is available in booklets of 10 stamps; souvenir sheets; and souvenir sheet official first-day covers cancelled in two of the desserts’ namesake cities, Nanaimo and Saskatoon.