Canadian DYK: Molasses was first imported to Canada around 200 years ago

This Caribbean ingredient has become a staple of Canadian cooking

Each part of Canada has a different dish associated with molasses. If you're in Newfoundland, a plate of toutons wouldn't be complete without it, in Nova Scotia and P.E.I., it is the namesake ingredient in their brown bread, and in New Brunswick, baked beans just wouldn't be the same without this syrup. 

But how exactly did this sugar cane juice make its way into Canada to become such an iconic part of our baking and cooking? The north-south trading route introduced Atlantic Canadians to goods from the Caribbean, where molasses are made, and it became a hot commodity in the U.S. and Canada by the early 1700s. 

Later, in the 1870s, L.G. Crosby started his own grocery business in Yarmouth, N.S., where he traded fish and lumber for fine molasses from the West Indies, which we now know as Crosby’s molasses. In 1897, Crosby's relocated to Saint John, New Brunswick where Crosby's is still located to this day.