Originally published Feb. 19, 2010.
As you all know, Olympic athletes achieve greatness by training hard and adhering to a strict diet of McDonald's and beverages containing high fructose corn syrup. But that doesn't mean the Games are junk food free. Here are some Olympic-friendly goodies that tourists and armchair athletes alike can sink their teeth into.
Vancouver 2010 Olympic Syrup, 250 ml
Who hasn't tossed and turned all night wondering what Quatchi syrup tastes like. Sadly, one of life's cruel mysteries will continue to haunt the world's dreamers, because this little batch of goodness is merely maple syrup endorsed by the Olympics' favourite genetically modified snow beast. To its credit, however, the Vancouver 2010 Canada No. 1 Medium Maple Syrup is made by the good people at LB Maple Treat Inc. in Granby, Que. and not an assembly line of teenagers overseas. So what does it taste like? Victory? Sixth place? An experiment gone right for a change? More like maple syrup with a hint of synergy, sticky mouth feel and a bold but unobtrusive taste of cross-promotional marketing.
$19.95 at the Cross, 1198 Homer St.
Take the guilt out of scarfing down an entire 200-gram bar of dark Belgium chocolate by turning your gluttony into an expression of your love of art. Made by Vancouver's Dutch Girl Chocolates and designed by Kanatu Designs, Art Bars feature old school European poster art depicting winter sports refreshingly devoid of maple leaves, drunk Whistler snowboarding fans wrapped in the Canadian flag and desperate tourists taking pictures of fire through a chain link fence.
Red Mitten Sugar Cookies
$4.95 at the Cross
One unfortunate offshoot of Canada's ballsy "own the podium" campaign — besides the inevitable crushing disappointment of not owning the podium — is that it's turned normally humble and polite Canadians into whisky-howling, obnoxiously patriotic, failure-will-not-be-tolerated sports dads. So it's nice to see an Olympic-inspired bakery item that doesn't profess to be number one or even better than lowly Belarus. To that end, local baking company Nine Bunnies has cooked up an inoffensive way to celebrate with red mitten shaped sugar cookies with an equally inoffensive message written in icing: "Go!" Maybe their next batch will read "Pardon me" or "Sure, whatever you want, here are my keys."