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On hearing that the chain is expanding into Whistler, we feel compelled to ask.
With an Olympics just around the corner, I’m reminded that I’m a sucker for that sorta manufactured Canadiana which we all traffic in. I’ll not only occasionally weep watching a Heritage minute, I unabashedly submit that Justin McElroy’s exhaustive review of the rah rah genre is the best piece of comic writing produced in the country in the last five years.
And celebrating our oddball food? I’m doubly in. Give me an essay on the merits of a Big Turk ,the Wig Wag or the problematically-named Cuban Lunch and I’ll read it as if it were Proust. (But not a Cherry Blossom—never a Cherry Blossom). I’ll try any cocktail made with either Wink or Tahiti Treat. I’ll even happily let my Ontario friends (all 1 of them) rattle on about Harvey’s and allot extra time to my Quebecois friends and St. Hubert. I even had a legitimate laugh at this recent Rick Mercer video.
So this isn’t one of those stories about being an old crank—it’s a legitimate query on something that’s long puzzled me. Who actually likes BeaverTails? I can understand how you might try an outlet or two that reside in our nation’s big tourist attractions. Maybe a small cart outside Fly Over Canada, a small shop near the CN Tower a bigger spot by Niagara Falls.
But this recent article in Daily Hive speaking of the chain’s big plans for expansion overwhelmed me with questions. How are there 140 locations of BeaverTails? And how are there outposts in Japan, France, Mexico and the Middle East? There’s also one at Dollywood in Tennessee, which is the only one that actually sorta makes sense.
I understand the appeal of fried dough. That’s why the world loves doughnuts, Canadians love Tim’s, Vancouverites love Lee’s and Kate Winslet loves Honey’s. But how does stretching it out and then topping it with all sorts of extra sweet stuff like off-brand Nutella and icing sugar (that’s the Hazel Amour) or cheesecake spread (whatever the hell that is) or Skor bits and then caramel sauce (that’s the Avalanche) make it better?
Just reading these ingredients I’m filled with two complementary thoughts: How did we invent this, and how did the U.S. not invent it. Well, three thoughts, actually, if you include “Is there such a thing as sudden onset Type 2 Diabetes?” I cringe to think of the citizens of France seeing a concoction of vanilla icing, crushed Oreos and chocolate sauce (the coco-vanil) and thinking “C’est Canada.”
There’s also the aspect of size: sure, the first three bites of a BeaverTail are good. But even if you get one fresh out the fryer, they’re freezing by the time you get to bite four—that is, if you want to continue. They’re impossible to consume (in entirety) while warm, and significantly worse while cool. For a handheld “snack” that’s surely meant to be eaten in the Canadian outdoors, it can’t retain heat at all.
And please don’t take this as a slight on beavers (even though those little bastards are not our friends). Let me know—is there something I’m missing? Is there a combination I’ve yet to try that will change my mind? (Please don’t say The Avalanche, please don’t say The Avalanche…)