Cultural Appropriation

There’s a product on sale at the coffee shop around the corner (the one run by the Italian gentleman, with the unbelievably good croissants, but only on weekends). It’s called Tim’s Mini Brownies.

It’s just… wrong. The box has a big red maple leaf on the front and advertises True Canadian Taste. On the bottom of the box it says Made in Berlin. No doubt. This bizarre product has got its cultural symbols all crossed.

The logo looks something like Tim Hortons but, okay, first of all Tim Hortons doesn’t serve brownies. Never has. Maybe they were thinking Timbits, or “donut holes”. These products extend from the donut food group in that they are deep-fried baked goods. Brownies are from the cake genus since they are baked in a pan.

There are mini brownies in Canada, yeah, but those are made by President’s Choice. That isn’t even a particularly Canadian invention. It’s just a brownie that’s small cooked in a mini muffin tin; a cross between regular brownies and mini-muffins. Tim’s mini brownies don’t look like PC mini brownies. They’re too spherical.

So you’ve got a product that looks like it’s Canadian but doesn’t actually exist in Canada. It’s a synthetic hybrid of a couple vaguely Canadian baked goods presented as an actual thing and it annoys the hell out of me.

It’s like going to a German themed bar to find waitresses in dirndls and all they’re serving is Bud Light in cans. And they don’t know what a Herrengedeck is. You order one and they serve you Kirin Ichiban and Grappa.

I mean, seriously.

I know other countries probably get the shaft when their culture is warped by appropriators but mini brownies don’t even exist as a Canadian stereotype.

You know what the number one Canadian stereotype I get asked about is? If we pour maple syrup on bacon. Look, people, sometimes it flows off the pancakes. It’s no big deal.

People also ask me if it’s cold in Canada. At least that stereotype is true for most of the country.

Anyway, here’s a YouTube vid about the quest to create the world’s biggest schnitzel.