I discovered Grandma Ste-Catherine Halloween kisses on a road trip to Quebec last year.
We were with Carole and Andy, friends from Calgary, staying at a cottage in the Laurentians. While in town shopping for groceries, we spied Grandma Ste-Catherine kisses.
Now, if you’ve ever trick or treated on Hallowe’en, you know what a Hallowe’en kiss is. Gooey, taffy-like candy and done right, made with molasses. In my old neighbourhood, Halloween kisses were popular. They came in orange, black and yellow wrappers. They were cheap. And they were shelled out by the handful. Here’s the deal: Grandma Ste-Catherine kisses are different. They’re better, WAY better.
Bigger, softer and good. Very good. Too good. The four of us went through an entire bag in a week. At Christmas, Glenn and I looked for a bag to send Carol and Andy thinking they’d get a good giggle. We never found the kisses
Julie’s tweet for our favourite souvenir food was my motivation to find out the story behind the kisses. My online / telephone journey took me across Canada from Vancouver all the way east to the city of Saint John, New Brunswick and the home of the Grandma Molasses company. Turns out it Grandma Molasses doesn’t make Grandma Ste-Catherine kisses but it does supply the molasses.
Molasses is made from 100% sugar cane juice and has been a staple in North America for over 200 years. According to Grandma Molasses, it used to arrive in Saint John by ship in ‘puncheons’ (big wooden barrels) and was sold in bulk at local general stores. That got me to wondering if my dad’s habit of serving us toast topped with molasses on winter mornings didn’t come from his New Brunswick roots. Original Foods , a Quebec company, makes Grandma Ste-Catherine kisses. So my next call was to Original Foods, based in Montreal. Two calls later I found out that you can’t buy Grandma Ste-Catherine kisses in Vancouver (Sorry Julie!). but Metro and Walmart sell them in stores in the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario.