A friend brought these nummy numo Nanaimo Bars as her contribution to a dinner party we had recently. I’d never heard of them. In an attempt to pronounce them I kept saying NanoNano which is what Robin Williams used to say in the sitcom “Mork & Mindy” back in the late 70s and early 80s. My pronunciation got funnier as the night went on (and more wine was poured and consumed).
So, first things first. Here’s an audio clip of how you pronounce Nanaimo.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s find out more about these delicious bars. The first printed copy of a recipe appeared around 1953. There’s a lot of controversy about who is the originator of the recipe with unconfirmed references dating back to the 1930s.
As with many desserts, there can be multiple names it is known by. In the 1930s these Nanaimo bars were known as chocolate fridge cakes. Later on they were also referred to as Mabel bars. Well now that would be an easier name to pronounce, don’t you agree? Other names these bars were titled was Mabel’s Squares, and in modern recipes they are known as chocolate squares.
What does appear to be consistent is that the roots of this bar are from Canada. It is referred to as “Canada’s Favorite Confection” by a National Post survey. If you are curious about more of the origins and popularity of this bar, you can find information at Wikipedia. More interesting history about these bars can also be found at the Food Network.
Enough talk about these Nanaimo bars, here’s what they look like. They are tough to cut and look a little messy but that doesn’t interfere with the flavor. Oh noooo.
And they are nummy numo! Since I did not make them, I only have a recipe to pass along. Here is the recipe from Kraft Canada which includes an instructional video. NANAIMO BARS. Good luck! And thanks ML for introducing this delicious Canadian dessert to us!