Friday, November 6, 2009

Sometimes you learn things from the strangest of places

Last night after dinner, the Americans in the house who are part of our dinner club were treated to a Canadian specialty that we'd never had before: Laura Secord chocolates. They're apparently quite famous in Canada, but can't be found (or at least not commonly) in the US. Though the chocolate I had was delicious - some kind of tasty raspberry liqueur-type thing - it seems somewhat obvious why you don't get them in the States.

See, Laura Secord was a Canadian hero during the War of 1812. (As my sister and I were reflecting last night, we hardly learned anything about that war in our history classes! Maybe because it wasn't all glorious for the US.) She's particularly remembered for a Paul Revere-like journey to warn the British about a planned American attack. Her actions, as you can read in the above link, led directly to a decisive defeat of the Americans by the British forces at the Battle of Beaver Dams. (Incidentally, is there a more Canadian-sounding name than that? Heh.) This, in turn, helped lead to the end of the war itself.

It just seemed very odd to be eating chocolates from a company named after a famous Canadian who was anti-American. Now, I still don't know much about the War of 1812 - though I think I'll read up a bit on it now - but even so, it was an interesting experience. A reminder that though we are quite similar, Canada and the US are in fact separate countries with quite distinct histories.

ETA: Interestingly, Wikipedia makes no mention of Laura Secord or that battle in its entire article on the War of 1812.