Nanaimo Bar

Welcome to the Dictionary of Island Terms. Its purpose is to pin down the patois of Vancouver Island by recording its toponyms, nicknames, slang terms, personalities and places. Explore the ever-growing A-Z here.

Nanaimo Bar | Dessert, Confection | A tri-layered, extra sweet treat that starts with a crumbed cookie/wafer bottom, continues with a bright custard and finishes with a cap of chocolate. There are countless variations but those three elements are the signature of its construction. Nanaimo Bars are said to have originated in the City of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in the early 1950s, though strikingly similar recipes from elsewhere – including the East Coast and the United Kingdom – pre-date the popularized Island origin.

Notes: Not to be confused with The Nanaimo Bar, an actual bar that serves up booze and live music on the city’s bustling Front Street.

Usage: “With all due respect to Diana Krall, Nanaimo Bars are the greatest thing to have ever come out of the City of Nanaimo.”

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