Springtime in Quebec means it’s now maple syrup season!
Maple syrup here is a serious deal. A few years ago, there was a heist at the Quebec Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve … I know, you don’t believe me. It happened in 2012 and you can read about by following the link!
Springtime means Maple Syrup Festivals!
This is about 2 minutes from our front door … close down the streets, have a festival
If you really want the full maple syrup experience (and really, who doesn’t?), you want to get outside of the city and go to one of the many cabane à sucre located through out Quebec.
Growing up in Ontario, we had “sugar shacks”, which is the translation in words only. You’d go, you’d see how they make maple syrup now and how it was done in the ‘olden days’, then you’d buy some maple candy, possibly get pancakes, go for a hay ride on a horse drawn cart and go home.
Quebec it’s a full experience, with a huge traditional meal (followed by dancing in the discotheque … yea, it’s about as amazing as you’d imagine!)
Of course, you’ll be greeted by the image of thousands of buckets tapping thousands of trees … the old wagon wheel thrown in there for atmosphere?
But it’s inside the cabane that you’ll find all the treats!
First of all, most cabanes are designed so it will feel like a home meal. Big long tables, communal seating.
Now, let’s look at the food you can expect … other than maple syrup
There’s usually ham (glazed in maple syrup), eggs (with maple syrup), baked beans with pork (and maple syrup), sausages (cooked in maple syrup), a myriad of maple based desserts, pea soup (the one non-maple infiltrated food) and the traditional treat oreilles de crisse!
Now, if you understand French, you may be a bit concerned about eating Christ’s ears … don’t worry, these are just pork jowls that are deep fried until super crispy, and then you drizzle maple syrup on them. Yes … a wonderful crunchy, salty, sweet treat that only Quebec would figure out!
The final treat of the night is tire sur neige or tire sur neige d’erable or tire de neige … any way you call this, it’s just this … you take hot maple syrup and pour it on snow …
Then, you let it cool for about 30 seconds, place a stick on the cooling maple syrup, and start to roll it up.
Pure maple taffy on a stick …
you want this …
So good, you may want to steal millions of dollars worth of maple syrup from the strategic reserve … see, now it all makes more sense!
Springtime in Quebec! Bon Apetit!