The Mindful Merchant

Shop – Eat – Live – Mindfully

A BeaverTail is a Pastry January 25, 2010

Filed under: Canada,Ottawa,shop local,shopping,Uncategorized — MindfulMerchant @ 1:42 am


Killaoe_Sunrise[1] My family looks forward to February because in Ottawa it means Winterlude, lots of visitors, skating on the Rideau Canal and Beavertails (Queues de Castor). Have you ever had a Beavertail? For those of you who have not, it is a pastry not a sexist remark or an actual animals tail.  Outside of Ottawa they are sometimes called Elephant Ears, Flying Saucers or Whale Tails.


BeaverTails are flattened whole-wheat dough deep-fried in canola or soya oil and served piping hot with butter and different toppings. There is no point in knowing the Weight Watchers points involved (30?), but once in a while it is worth a splurge. Our favourite topping is cinnamon and sugar although the chocolate with banana slices or maple butter are also winning combinations.


Did you know a Hooker popularized the BeaverTail? Yes, Grant Hooker opened a small booth in the Byward Market in 1978 and 32 years later the BeaverTails family business is thriving and an Ottawa institution just like the Parliament Buildings. The Hookers still have a booth in the Market and also license tails to over 130 outlets in Canada and other countries too. According to their website they are now sold it Saudi Arabia too.




The ObamaTail is the newest addition created in honour of President Barack Obama’s first visit to Ottawa in February 2009. The ObamaTail is a maple syrup and chocolate drizzled “O” on top of cinnamon sprinkled pastry. The President made an unscheduled stop in the Byward Market just pick up souvenirs and BeaverTails. So far, I am unable to reach The White House for comment…but I am confident the President LOVED it.


BeaverTails go best with freezing temperatures and a skate on the Rideau Canal. Who am I kidding?  I eat them in the summer no problem and they are just as yummy. Like it or not, the BeaverTail has become a part of our cultural fabric. When you visit Ottawa I highly recommend you add “Eat a BeaverTail” to the list of things to do…it is a Canadian tradition. 



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14 Responses to “A BeaverTail is a Pastry”

  1. XUP Says:

    I’ve never had a beaver tail and I’ve been in Ottawa for 2 1/2 years. Can you imagine? I’m not a big fan of fried dough and sugar — they’re basically a flat donut, right? Anyway, I’m not sure if Obama would be flattered or not to have a beaver-tail named after him..maple syrup and chocolate, eh? We should invent beaver tails for other famous people. Does Harper have a beaver tail named after him? It would be made of white flour, be really puffy, flavourless and completely unpalatable

    • If you aren’t a donut/sweet fried dough person, I understand why you have not experienced one. I do not think Harper can have a BeaverTail named after him… people would buy them just to whip at his house.

  2. Alli Says:

    Wait a second, wholewheat dough? They are healthy!!, count me in! 😉 I happen to love them too!

  3. Finola Says:

    I have never had a beaver tail in the summer, but now you have encouraged me to try one this year. And now I’m sad that the canal is closed for now, because there is nothing better than a cold day canal beaver tail and hot chocolate. Killaloe Sunrise for me all the way!

  4. Lesley Says:

    O yah — the Beaver Tail .. yum-o.

  5. Chris Says:

    Mmmmmmm!!! BeaverTails….. Mind Wandering, dreaming of a warm doughy sweet covered treat on the Rideau. Yummy!
    AND, As Alli pointed out, they are GOOD FOR YOU!! WooHoo!!!

  6. Jen Says:

    I love them and can’t wait for another one soon…. I am just surprised and thankful that they are made with whole wheat dough. Now I’ll have one for myself instead of mooching off the kids and J. 🙂

  7. Yeah – get your own! You know, sharing ones BeaverTail is the sign of true friendship/kindness/love.

  8. Pauline Says:

    I hate winter but LOVE beavertails! My favorite is the Killaloe sunrise! 🙂

  9. Hugs! 🙂 Killaloe sunrise – a true classic.

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