I recall when my husband Pierre immigrated here (Canada) in 2005 from Europe, he was fascinated by the Canadian obsession with Tim Hortons. He would without fail, cry out, “Quelle horreur!” every time we’d pass one. He couldn’t understand why Canadians would line up 24/7 for a large water-downed coffee and deep-fried, saccharin-drenched, yeast-leavened rings known as the donut.
Coming from Belgium he is definitely a food snob. Delicious and perfect Croissants and eclairs can be found on every street corner in Brussels. Here in Toronto, there are only a small handful of authentic Patiserrie/boulanger. Sure I get it. Tim Hortons looks and tastes nothing like Herman van Dender or Pierre Herme, but Tim Hortons is not bad. It’s consistent and for me it’s “comfort pastries” and an iconic Canadian experience.
In fact my love for “pastries” started probably in kindergarten when my mother bought me my first chocolate walnut cruller at Mister Donut (now Dunkin Donuts). I still remember that donut to this day. I was standing in line twirling around in my brown floral dress feeling like Liesel from The Sound of Music, when my mom passed me what I thought looked like feces. Of course being 4 years old I immediately said no. That’s when my dad firmly told me to at least try. The donut was bliss. The glaze, the crunch, and the soft chocolate dough whirled around in my mouth like a beautiful symphony.