.....eat a deep-fried doughnut-like confection originally known as a BeaverTail but yesterday, dubbed the ObamaTail (decorated with an "O" made of Nutella.)
Folks in Ottawa seemed especially excited when U.S. President Barack Obama detoured away from Parliament Hill during an official visit, to stop by the historic Byward Market, pick up some treats for his kids -- and an ObamaTail for himself. (photo from Reuters.)
The political symbolism of the new U.S. president chosing Canada for his first official foreign visit is hugely important to Canada, which relies on the U.S. as its largest trading partner and closest defence ally.
Many Canadians were quietly amused by the contrast between the more gregarious, relaxed, confident Obama and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is often criticized for being cold, distant and mistrustful of everyone around him -- particularly ordinary Canadians, but also the media, his cabinet ministers, federal bureaucrats, etc.
During the one-day visit, there were serious talks between the politicians on everything from climate change to trade issues to the war in Afghanistan. But many Canadians will likely best remember Obama's declaration: "I love this country!"
The official itinerary for the president's brief stop in Canada's capital didn't include a walkabout or really any face time with the public. But at the last minute, when his motorcade was supposed to be headed back to the airport, Obama suddenly detoured to the popular shopping area.
There, he stopped at a French bakery to pick up Maple Leaf-shaped cookies for his daughters (the Maple Leaf is a symbol of Canada and can be seen on the Canadian flag.) He also visited a souvenir shop where he bought a key chain decorated with a moose for one of his daughters and a scarf for his wife, and then stopped at the BeaverTails kiosk for an ObamaTail. (BeaverTails are so called because the pastry is flattened to resemble an industrious beaver's wide, flat tail.)
Then, having charmed everyone around him -- even the hard-to-please Harper -- Obama was gone. Or, as the Ottawa Citizen described it, in a cute play on the title of a popular book about grammar: Eats treats and leaves!