Friday, June 5, 2009

Eat me!: Maple Twist cones

In less than three months, I will be just a bus ride away from one of Canada's hottest food spots -- Montréal!

For nine whole months (from September to May), I'll be working as a "Language Assistant" in a region that's apparently just south of the city.

It will be a time of exploring the culinary delights of York, Waterloo, and Toronto during my breaks -- MJ and Tiff, you'd better start preparing lists of places to eat at!

For the most part, however, I'll probably be stuffing my face in Montréal, with the best crème brûlée (from Au Pain Doré), smoked meat sandwiches (from Schwartz's and La Roi du Smoked Meat -- how's that for franglais?), poutine with barbecue sauce (this variant is fabulous!), sugar pie, Montreal-style bagels, tourtière, maple syrup pie, and much, much more.

For an authentically quebecois treat that you don't have to travel to the East Coast to experience, head to Anny's Dairy Bar (722 6th Street) in New Westminster to try out the restaurant's maple twist cone.

Think rich, creamy soft-serve made with real cream (not ice milk!), swirled with 100% real Canadian maple butter (see above).

The owner, Anny Faucher (pictured below) apparently brings in all the cone's ingredients from Quebec, including the ice cream, as well as fresh maple butter from her family's own sugar shacks.

Anny owns the BC patent for the "maple injector" (invented by her former boss at a Quebec ice cream shop, to inject a swirl of real maple butter into a soft serve ice cream cone to create "La Crème Glacée à L'érable").

This means that Anny's is the only place that serves this treat in the Lower Mainland.

Ninety-nine percent of Anny's customers come for the Maple Twist. "Because it's good. And it's unique."
I tried the cone last Saturday, and personally don't quite understand the hype.

I thought that the parts with maple butter were quite tasty, but considering that 90+% of the ice cream was just plain vanilla, I was rather disappointed.

Maybe I'm just not used to eating really rich ice cream -- the texture may have taken away from the taste -- but I didn't really find the vanilla to be flavourful enough. I spent more time probing for maple butter than actually really getting to enjoy the treat.

I should, however, mention that I have a ginormous sweet tooth and actually prefer less rich and creamy foods, so if your tastes lean more toward high-fat, low-sugar desserts, this may be just the treat for you!

This reviewer appears to agree that the cone could use more maple butter, while this Yelper loved it as it was.

The only way to find out which way your tastebuds swing is to try it!

As the sign hanging above Anny's -- which lured me into the shop in the first place -- indicates (as does an article run by the Vancouver Sun last year), Maple Twist cones are only available in New Westminster.

If you're planning on trying it and can suppress your ice cream urges for just a few more days, I should have a list of other New Westminster must-trys up by then: Having just started volunteering for the Tourism New Westminster's Visitor Centre as a "Visitor Centre Counsellor" (the "counselling" meaning giving advice about the city), I've been scouring the city restaurants and shops, and there's actually a lot of great food finds available -- if you know where to look.

Anny's also has a selection of French-Canadian fare -- one reviewer mentioned it has "the best Montreal (authentic) smoked meat sandwiches", "delicious poutine with homemade thick-cut french fries and real cheese curds ... directly imported from the province of Quebec" [see example of real poutine from Quebec, courtesy of Google, below], and "fresh, homemade cheeseburgers". The review is two years old, but two New Westminster residents have told me that the food really is quite amazing. They have "Quebec"-style hot dogs as well (it's all in the toppings), and apparently even the pastrami Anny uses in her sandwiches has been brought in from Quebec.

With La Zizanie closed, I'd suggest giving Anny's a try if my potential future posts on Quebec food start inciting cravings for delicious French-Canadian food. There are a number of other French-Canadian restaurants dotting the Lower Mainland, but I have yet to hear of any that are particularly amazing.

If you end up getting the Maple Twist cone or have already tried it, be sure to give us your take!
Also, drop me a line if you know of any other "secret spot" in New West -- just last night, a friend told me that she'd heard that the city could very well be home to the most authentic Mexican restaurant in the Lower Mainland. If that ends up being true, I'll definitely be writing more on that later.

À bientôt!


  1. omg, that looks sooooo reminds me of when mcd's used to have their oh so awesome icecream twist..sigh, that's just a memory now..u can only get those on cruises!! i'm going to try this out this weekend if i get a chance, so thanks!

  2. What?! They don't do twist cones at McDonald's anymore? I'm going to have look into that -- I used to love those.

    If you like soft serve, and like the taste of green tea, you HAVE to go to Aberdeen Centre in Richmond to one of the Japanese booths (I don't know the name offhand, but it's at the very end of the booths at the right-hand side) in the food court -- they have matcha soft serve that looks like the kind they had in the Japan airport. It's sooooo delicious -- thick, creamy, and just the right amount of matcha -- no artifical stuff here. Mmmm...

    If you order a combo at that stand during the weekday, it comes with a miniature cup of matcha ice cream (which is a good way to sample it), or you can buy a bigger version on its own in a cone, or mixed with red bean and green tea in a cup. I highly recommend that stand. :)

    By the way, do I know you? Please leave a name I'd know you by, because I always love knowing who's reading and commenting. ;)