by Jeremy Morrison
If you’ve ever visited Canada’s capital city Ottawa in Winter, the above scene no doubt made you smile. See, this picture represents a Canadian staple and a Winter season right-of-passage. One can not truly be Canadian less they have torn into the pastry known as the BeaverTail. Ottawa gets mighty cold in Winter, occasionally reaching temperatures recorded only there and on planets in the far reaches of the Galaxy. That saving inner-warmth came from skating the Rideau Canal toward the wee red hutch.
I remember my first time. Like many firsts, it began with a moment of stark terror. The horror stemming from a parent looking at me telling me we were going to eat BeaverTails. Dining on the rear appendage of Canada’s National animal was not atop the list of culinary pilgrimages I wished to embark on. Instead, I was presented with a fried, golden, cinnamon-covered pastry. It was better than any donut. Tastier than any cake. If this is what rodent tail tasted like – I was converted.
It’s rare now that I get chance to make the pilgrimage to Ottawa – but when I do, the BeaverTail is a must. It’s just as tasty now as it was then.
It was 1980 when the first stand opened in Ottawa’s Byward Market, and didn’t take long to catch on Nationally – eventually this authentic bite of Canadiana was available at Walt Disney World – in a little stone hutch in its native pavilion in Epcot.
Trapper Bob’s Authentic Canadian Pastries offered guests the chance to experience the Tails in the comfort of the Central Florida heat. It served more than the classic cinnamon and sugar dusted variety.
It became a go-to for thousands of guest every year. You can never go wrong with fried-dough and Canadian charm. Alas, Disney’s contract with BeaverTail (the pastry’s innovators trademarked the name) expired, and Trapper Bob’s post in Epcot was abandoned. Despite many online petitions, it never returned.
I had the good fortune to serve at Le Cellier for more than a year, and very rarely did a day pass where I was not asked what had happened to the BeaverTails. It’s hard to explain to guests that Trapper Bob was sent back to the Great White North, and we were left with a cart serving a not-so-Canadian classic…. popcorn. The only saving grace was the Fruitopia, PowerAde and Iced Tea were replaced with beer and ice-wines.
So, for the time we bid adieu to this lost Disney World nosh. Perhaps one day Trapper Bob will don his ‘Coon skin cap and head South again. Until then, I hear Ottawa is really nice this time of year. Just bring a jacket.
Jeremy is a Disneyphile from Toronto, Canada. In the last 15 years he has been a chef, food writer, and a Disney Cast Member. He is the co-creator of a television show, and his daughter, Teagan . He runs the start-up blog spinstheworld.com with his wife, Ashley.
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