Notes from the Nanaimo bar trail

  • Lenore Lauri Newman University of the Fraser Valley
Keywords: Nanaimo bar, Canadian cuisine, culinary history, fakelore


Archival work suggests that the Nanaimo bar is based on a recipe for unbaked chocolate cake published in the Vancouver Sun in 1947 and republished in 1948. The bar itself was likely developed by a member or members of the Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary, and the first known recipe was published in 1952 in that group’s cookbook. The mystery of the bar’s origins is explored, the bar's place within the tradition of 'dainties' is noted, and its current role within Nanaimo’s efforts at place making is documented.

How to Cite
Newman, L. (2014). Notes from the Nanaimo bar trail. Canadian Food Studies / La Revue Canadienne Des études Sur L’alimentation, 1(1), 10-19.