The Beaver Tail: Taking a Bite Out of an Ottawa, Canada Food Tradition by Sheri B Doyle
In the January cold of Ottawa, Canada, the river freezes, the air freezes and the locals come out in droves to skate, walk and sled along the river. Dressed in special winter gear, the temperatures drop to -14 degrees on average. We, too, took to the icy river for winter fun. Along the way our group spotted a wood shack in the middle of the river with picnic tables and tons of people gathered around. Steam rose from their plates and cups beckoning us to come over and try something hot.
Everyone was eating "beaver tails." While we didn’t know what they were, the smell was heavenly. Once we made it through the line we were given our option of what toppings to have on our beaver tail. Butter and garlic, cinnamon and sugar, maple syrup or powdered sugar are put onto the fried wheat dough and served with a fork and knife. Mouths watering we chose maple syrup as our topping to share.
After waiting a few minutes for the beaver tails to arrive, we all took bites. Not being a fan of fried food, I was a bit apprehensive until I tasted it. Warm and doughy, not greasy at all, it melted in our mouths. The Canadian maple syrup added just the right sweet to the hot pastry. This iconic food was so delicious we quickly devoured it and each went back and ordered a different topping. In the end it was decided the garlic butter was the best.
The amazing pastry is iconic in Ottawa. Besides being delicious, it was the perfect thing to warm us on a freezing cold winters day. If you find yourself in Ottawa you must try a beaver tail. You won’t be sorry.
Photo: BeaverTails.com and BeaverTails Twitter, one of the most popular places to get a BEAVERTAILS®