Tasting Quebec

Gourmet delights

L'équipe de rédaction
Commentaires

Québec’s culinary heritage has been booming over the past few years-in fact, it’s shaping up to be a real gourmet revolution. This excitement toward local cuisine is driven by several internatio-nally celebrated Québec chefs, their stream of recipe books that are selling like hot cakes, the proliferation of renowned restaurants, the growing popularity of gourmet events, the myriad of food festivals, and the diversification of our own food culture. Above all, the success of Québec cuisine stems from its products’ quality and diversity.


The sugar shack: a springtime tradition

Eating a copious traditional meal in a warm and cozy atmosphere are part and parcel to this joyful tradition that has been going strong ever since the festive sugar shack—ideal for friendly gatherings—was created. And, while the maple syrup alone makes the excursion worthwhile, these establishments often offer fun activities, dancing to folk songs and educational guided tours of their facilities. Visitors learn the so very sweet-smelling process of making maple syrup, from the collection of sap to the final product we douse our pancakes, waffles, French toast and even our meats with, or that we add to many of our recipes. It’s a product we also export in great abundance (Québec accounts for 74% of the world’s maple syrup production), to the delight of Japanese and German citizens, who consider it an exotic delicacy! While the process of collecting and transporting maple sap has modernized since the Amerindians first tapped maple trees with their tomahawks, the transformation process itself has remained close to its roots. To convert the sap into syrup by evaporation, wooden shelters were eventually invented to protect the syrup and minimize the loss of heat associated with cooking in the open air. And this is how sugar shacks have come to dot the Québec landscape

 

Québec cheeses

Québec cheeses have become the envy of the world. The province alone produces over 500 varieties, from soft, to semi-soft, firm, blue-veined and fresh—all universally popular and delectable. Québec bries, camemberts and blues have no complex when it comes to their counterparts produced by our French cousins. Similarly, our parmesans, mozzarellas and ricottas confidently rival their Italian versions. On the English front, our cheddars are notable. Be they of cow, goat, sheep or buffalo milk, our cheeses never cease to impress.

 

Decadently Québec

To say Québecers love chocolate is putting it mildly. The province is home to over 120 chocolatiers, some of which offer guided tours of their facilities in order to share their beloved craft and creativity with a wider audience. History, origins, culture, manufacturing, moulding techniques… learn about all of this and more with the many workshops and other activities available to the public. The ChocoMotive - chocolate making Économusée in Montebello and the Confiserie Bromont - chocolate museum are among some 20 chocolatiers that offer this type of experience. What’s more, events like the Fête du chocolat de Bromont and Montréal’s Salon Je t’aime en chocolat exhibition are perfect for a fun- and sweet-filled family outing! Rediscover the feeling of being a kid in a candy store as you admire these tiny works of art. Decorated, painted, sculpted, sweet, salty, peppery or hot… delight in uncovering new flavours! Our artist-chocolatiers also draw on the bounty of local products and delicacies to surprise you—expect blueberries, red berries, cloudberries and maple butter, among many others!

 

Farm tourism and U-pick

Take the time to stop by a farm and you’ll meet real, down-to-earth Québecers with a long knowledge of the history and traditions of their region. Many agritourism farms welcome tourists curious to learn about agriculture and discover new products. Proud, enthusiastic and friendly growers await you, eager to share with you their know-how through activities, interpretations and tastings. Not only will they be happy to show you the fruits of their labours in the fields, orchards, vineyards, apiaries or sugar bushes, they’ll happily let you in on the myriad secrets of their trade.  For anyone keen on a full, immersive experience, why not treat yourself to a farm stay? What could be better than escaping the frenetic pace of city life and relaxing in the country... Whether you’re on your own, with that special someone, or the whole family, this experience is yours for the taking. Follow the Terroir et Saveurs du Québec signs and discover new culinary specialities on an adventure into the world of a Québec agricultural producer. The province’s country inns and B&Bs delight visitors with hearty breakfasts, expertly prepared using local products. Most country inns also offer gourmet dinners brimming with creativity inspired by terroir products!