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March 3, 2009 12:31 PM   Subscribe

I want to put together a Canada-themed birthday package for my friend in Switzerland. What should I include and where can I find it?

My friend is on sabbatical in Switzerland for a year from her teaching job in Waterloo, ON. I want to send her some things to remind her of home, but am in the US and not sure what would be appropriate that she can't get in Switzerland. Other than maple syrup, what should I include? And where can I find it? Online shopping is fine but bonus points for stores in the DC area. She doesn't follow hockey so Maple Leaf-related items are out.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér to Shopping (26 answers total)
Tim Horton's Coffee?
Poutine Sauce?
Beaver Tails? (might be too perishable)
posted by Grither at 12:35 PM on March 3, 2009

Best answer: Definitely Tim Horton's coffee. Ketchup or dill pickle chips? If she likes them, at least. I was going to suggest Smarties, but since she's in Switzerland she's probably got chocolate covered.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 12:43 PM on March 3, 2009

Best answer: OH MY GOD. You have to send some packets of Swiss Chalet sauce!
posted by Sys Rq at 12:47 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sys Rq - which one? Looks like there are gravy, marinade and dipping varieties.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 12:52 PM on March 3, 2009

Scotch Mints. Red River cereal. Also: Coffee Crisps. Extra ironic value, as they're made by Nestlé. (Albeit not originally.)
posted by holgate at 12:53 PM on March 3, 2009

Should be the dipping one.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:56 PM on March 3, 2009

Kraft Dinner. You could get a box of mac and cheese and relabel it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:02 PM on March 3, 2009

"Tim Hortons," he said as he peeled the plastic lid back from his still-warm timmies. "And a clean roll-up-the-rim cup in which she might drink said coffee."
posted by Brodiggitty at 1:10 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Butter Tarts!
posted by onshi at 1:15 PM on March 3, 2009

Shreddies and Coffee Crisp. And here is a Canada-Only products website.
posted by pixlboi at 1:17 PM on March 3, 2009

You can get (British) Shreddies in Switzerland. Americans don't know what they're missing.
posted by holgate at 1:29 PM on March 3, 2009

Kraft peanut butter.
A CD by a Canadian band you think she'd like.
A copy of Maclean's magazine.
posted by Kololo at 1:32 PM on March 3, 2009

A Rita McNeil C.D...although, not sure if you will have a friend anymore after sending that.
posted by scarello at 1:41 PM on March 3, 2009

Play some Sloan and whip up some poutin.
posted by lottie at 1:51 PM on March 3, 2009

Oh, and you could play Canadian "Celebrity Head"... Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Nardwuar, Celine Dion...
posted by lottie at 1:52 PM on March 3, 2009

I was just back in Canada from Europe and I brought back; peanut butter, rice crispies and marshmellows, shreddies, tim hortons coffee plus some extra cups, maple syrup baked beans, graham crackers, KD, baking soda and a couple of magazines.
posted by dripdripdrop at 2:09 PM on March 3, 2009

Where in Switzerland? If your friend is in Geneva, there's an American store near the train station (gare) that will provide most US/Canada stuff. I'd recommend things you can get in Canada, but not in the USA.

Ketchup and Dill Pickle potato chips.
Smarties (yes, the chocolate is different in Canada than in Swizterland)
Some versions of red licorice are different
posted by blue_beetle at 2:23 PM on March 3, 2009

Homemade cookies.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:24 PM on March 3, 2009

There aren't any Tim Hortons locations near Washington, as far as I know. And at least in the New York area, it's even difficult to get Canada-specific things like dill pickle/ketchup/all-dressed chips, MacLean's, Coffee Crisp, etc.

I've seen Aero, Smarties, and Kit Kat (all of them presumably British) around here, though.

And if she did follow hockey, Leafs gear would still be out.
posted by oaf at 3:32 PM on March 3, 2009

Poutine Sauce?

There is no such thing. Poutine is made from gravy. There's some sort of wretched abortion called poutine sauce that's sold in the USA.

Maple syrup, of course. And/or maple sugar, which may ship better.

A copy of the Globe and Mail (Saturday and/or Sunday edition).

The DVD series of Slings & Arrows.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:40 PM on March 3, 2009

When my husband goes home to Canada, these are the things he stocks up on. Some of them may be available in CH also:

Cadbury Crunchie Bars
Timmy's coffee
La Maudite
Sucre la creme (all the links are for recipes not products, but it's usually in the candy section of the grocery store)
Vachon Ah Caramel cakes

Yeah, my husband has a sweet tooth.

posted by workerant at 3:43 PM on March 3, 2009

Tim Hortons is garbage. Send some REAL fucking coffee from Vancouver's 49th Parallel.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 5:20 PM on March 3, 2009

Response by poster: My friend is near Geneva but she wouldn't venture out to an American store to buy Canadian things. Not to say she doesn't miss those things, just that she wouldn't think of it or want to spend the money on things like that. Hence the package from me. Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

And if she did follow hockey, Leafs gear would still be out.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 8:37 PM on March 3, 2009

Tim Hortons is garbage.

Hey! No Americans are allowed to post here!

What Timmy Ho's is, is really good bad coffee. Plus, it's a bit of a Canadian institution.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:40 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Some baking soda, if she's into baking and you have space. It's hard, but not impossible, to find in Europe and a lot of good classic recipes call for it (chocolate chip cookies!)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:00 AM on March 4, 2009

Corner Gas DVDs?
posted by peggynature at 5:43 PM on March 4, 2009

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