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Happy Overload: Peanut Butter Crispy Nanaimo Bar from Savary Island Pie, West Vancouver, BC

If the subject of Canada comes up in conversation, chances are you're going to hear all about my deep and undying love for the Nanaimo Bar

If you don't know what a Nanaimo Bar is, then clearly you've been wasting your life up until today. It's a no-bake bar composed of three layers of pure pleasure: base of graham cracker crumb, cocoa, coconut and nuts all held together with butter, a middle layer of rich, buttercream custard, and a top layer of firm chocolate. They're messy, they're hella buttery, and they are pretty much the most delicious and decadent thing you could dream of eating.

And while I've embraced variations in the past, recently I came across one that stopped me in my tracks: the one at the Savary Island Pie Company (not a typo; pronounced the same as "savory" or, you know, since they're in Canada, "savoury") in West Vancouver.

What we thought was a Nanaimo Bar was actually referred to as a peanut bar--because you see, the bottom layer was not the chocolate crumb mixture, but instead it was like a peanut butter cereal treat.

It does bring up the important question: is it ok to mess with the perfect balance of a classic?

In this case, when you're doing a sort of scotcheroo-meets-Special K bar-meets-rice-krispie-treat-Nanaimo Bar-mashup, it's so, so very OK.

The crispy crunch of the base adds a wonderful texture contrast to all the soft creaminess on top, and the peanut butter offers a satisfyingly savory dimension to the flavor. 

All things considered? A successful riff on a sweet treat that I wouldn't dream of sharing with Mr. Spy (though he was quite satisfied with his raspberry rhubarb pie).

You can find this magic at the Savary Island Pie Company, 1533 West Marine Drive, West Vancouver, BC.

Savary Island Pie Company on Urbanspoon

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Reader Comments (6)

Do. Want. Now!
November 2 | Unregistered CommenterNick the Hat
i adore nanaimos in all their forms - these look revolutionary!
November 2 | Unregistered Commenteralicia
Oh. My. God! The Savary Island Cafe is one of my favourite restaurants/cafe/whatever you wish to call it. They have the best soup in Vancouver and the pie is amazing as well. I may have to try this nanaimo bar.
November 2 | Unregistered CommenterHannah
jesseeeee you were in vancouver!! where else did you go??

wish i had known early enough to make plans to meet you for a snackeroo.

Nanaimo Bars = THE BEST and messin' with it with rice krispies = GREAT IDEA (heehee)
November 4 | Unregistered Commenterlyndsay
I have my mother-in-law's 70 yr old recipe for Nanaimo bars! I'll share it if you would like. How about another Canadian fav, the butter tart. Plain, with raisins or pecans. Mine has chocolate chipe in them! Mmmmmm.

November 4 | Unregistered CommenterSylvie
Sylvie--could you send me your recipe? I am intrigued and it sounds great!
November 6 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

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