Coffee Crisp - Gastro Obscura
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Coffee Crisp

This candy rarely ventures beyond Canada's borders.

Canadians know and love Coffee Crisp. But if you’re not from Canada, and don’t make your way there, you may never have the opportunity to know or love this candy bar. The confection, which features coffee cream, vanilla wafers, and a chocolate-y coating, is available only in the Great White North.

Oddly, Coffee Crisp is not a Canadian creation. It was invented by a British company, Rowntree, which also gave us Kit Kats (originally known as “Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisps”). Ever since the company opened a factory in Toronto and began producing Coffee Crisps in 1939, the candy has largely been made exclusively for Canadian markets. But there have been a few experiments in export. In 2006, for example, Canadian expats and American fans rejoiced when, after six years of petitioning Nestle (which took over operations in 1988), Coffee Crisp made its way across the border. Alas, its shelf life in the United States came to an end in 2009.

Why did Nestle pull the product? There are many theories. It’s possible that Coffee Crisp just couldn’t compete with the already established heavy hitters in the American candy aisle. But some angry fans suggest that the company never gave the candy the promotion it needed to succeed in foreign territory. As Bruce McCall wrote in the New York Times, “I never saw an ad, and found only one seedy neighborhood hole-in-the-wall that even sold Coffee Crisps; the single box was all but hidden down on the bottom row of the candy display rack near the dust kittens and lottery-ticket stubs.” But Crisp lovers should fear not. There are ways to order the candy online.

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