Continental confusion: Gay milk and Canadian singles

Photo via Flickr by Loozrboy, who writes: “Fun fact: Here in Canada, we call whole milk ‘homo’, mostly without snickering. Mostly.” (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In the US, if you buy cow’s milk, you have a few options for the percentage of fat that gets left in: skim (0%), 1%, 2%, and what we call whole milk (3.25%). In Canada, though, “whole milk” refers to old-school non-homogenized milk, which separates into liquid and solid if left to sit. So how is 3.25% milk labeled when it’s sold up North? HOMO. Ya learn something new everyday, huh?

Stumbling across this factoid reminded me of something else I recently learned. Nowadays, “American cheese” in Canada seems to typically be called plain ol’ “singles,” but guess what it used to be called. Give up? Canadian cheese, or Canadian singles! For a highly entertaining piece from the wonderful (and sadly, recently deceased) David Rakoff, check out this interview from an early episode of This American Life, in which — among other things — the native Canadian recounts his initial encounter with the American version of this food abomination.


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