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.