If you want to make a friend for life with a Canadian who's living either south of the border or elsewhere in the world, find a way to get them a can or two (or a case) of Tim Horton's coffee.
If you get into extended conversations with Canadians, at some point you'll hear them wax poetic about their institutional fast food restaurant chain called Tim Horton's, founded by the legendary Toronto Maple Leafs hockey player of the same name.
'Timmy's' has grown from a single Hamilton, ON restaurant founded in 1964 that served just coffee and donuts to over 2800 restaurants in Canada with an ever expanding and delicious menu. I haven't had the pleasure of sampling their food or coffee yet, but my friends that have on their journeys to Canada count it among the signature moments of their trip.
Another slice of Canadiana is headed our way, and I'm not talking about NHL hockey. Just as McDonald's is synonymous with the United States, Tim Horton's holds the same status in Canada. Thanks to marketing agreements with Wendy's and Cold Stone Creameries, Tim Horton's now has set their sights on conquering the US market and giving Starbucks a run for their money.
In addition to trading its stock on the New York Stock Exchange, Timmy's now has opened up 500 restaurants concentrated mostly in the northeastern and Midwestern US.
And for my Canadian readers, you are probably already aware of the feature on Tim Horton's website that allows you to download a GPS map in your favorite format to make it easier for you to efficiently find the exact location of the nearest Timmy's restaurant wherever you go.
But to demonstrate just how much Canadians love their Timmy's coffee, this was a scene shot at Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan last year.
Your eyes are not deceiving you, this is a Tim Horton's trailer being unloaded off a C-17 transport plane so that Canadian Armed Forces troops deployed there can get a little taste of home.
There's also no truth to the rumor that attack beavers guarded the trailer just in case the C-17 crew tried to siphon off some of the product before it reached Afghanistan.
Yes, a Cannuck's love for Timmy's run deep, and we Americans will find out why in the next few years.