Investigative Report: Ice cream scoop of stuffing makes any meal a festive special - The Beaverton

Investigative Report: Ice cream scoop of stuffing makes any meal a festive special

TORONTO – After evaluating hundreds of fast food and casual dining restaurants across Canada, an in-depth investigation revealed that the key to a successful festive special is offering an ice-cream scoop of stuffing with the meal or combo.

Swiss Chalet started the festive special trend 32 years ago when it offered an ice-cream scoop of stuffing, a tablespoon of canned cranberry sauce, and a Toblerone bar along with its quarter chicken dinner. Due to nut allergies that ruin everything good in the world, in the year 2000, Lindor Lindt truffles replaced the decadent Toblerone. This bare minimum change to its most popular dish was enough to convince Canadians that they were celebrating the holidays. 

Other chains wanted to capitalize on Swiss Chalet’s success by adding an ice-cream scoop of various sides to create a festive special. For instance, Wendy’s attempted a festive special that included an ice-cream scoop of green bean casserole that failed miserably. It became clear that the key was the stuffing when Subway offered a scoop on its cold-cut combo as a festive special and it became a run-away success. 

A recent food court trip found many restaurants feature innovative ways of incorporating stuffing to popular dishes. Sushi-Q offers a Festive Dragon Roll topped with stuffing, Cinnabon includes a frosted scoop of stuffing in its CinnaPacks , and Teriyaki Experience adds a scoop of stuffing to its Ramen bowls. Despite these innovative offers, some dining establishments, like Baskin Robbins who now offer a waffle cone of just stuffing, are just phoning it in.

Restaurants Canada is happy that restaurateurs have finally discovered the secret to success over the holiday season. “Our members are part of a very competitive industry,” remarked Chris Barkley, director of marketing. “Offering a successful festive special can make or break a restaurant, such as adding green food colouring to all your beer on St. Patrick’s Day or throwing in some Cadbury Eggs into your sandwiches on Easter. The ice-cream scoop of stuffing resonates with the majority of Canadians looking to enjoy the mouth feel of the holidays.”

Food blogger, Justine Chambers, is unsure why a scoop of stuffing is the key to making a meal festive. “My personal opinion is that eating stuffing throughout the holidays takes away from what is special about the meal on Christmas,” explained Chambers. “I admit to sometimes just eating a package of Stove Top for dinner when I’m looking for something more substantial than microwave popcorn but that’s not the same thing.”

In a surprising twist, the investigation revealed that in Quebec, St. Hubert created a successful festive special with an ice-cream scoop of tourtière, while the rest of Canada struggled to identify what is even in a tourtière.