La belle province produces over 70% of the world’s maple syrup. Discover maple magic in all its Québécois glory.
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Maple syrup might just be the sweetest thing about Quebec. La belle province produces a whopping 71% of the world’s supply, with 65 million pounds of this liquid gold stored in a Fort Knox-like “strategic reserve.” The highlight of syrup production is the sugaring off, when the sap runs. It’s celebrated with gusto every March through April in rural sugar shacks, where families have been pulling hot maple taffy off a snow bar with a Popsicle stick for generations. Here are 10 ways to indulge your maple sweet tooth in Quebec.
1. Does it get more Canadian than Sortilege—rye whisky blended with maple syrup? Mais non! It stars in maple mojitos at Montréal’s W Hotel and recipes like glazed chestnuts with green beans. Sortilege comes in a variety of forms: Domaine Acer’s Val Ambre is a maple wine, while Domaine Pinnacle’s Cabot Trail is a maple cream liquor that should make Bailey’s blush with envy.
2. Beloved Montréal ice cream maker Le glacier Bilboquet’s seasonal Maple Taffy is laced with maple syrup and chunks of maple toffee.
3. Outside Montréal, Sucrerie de la Montagne is a classic forest sugar shack— cabane à sucre—dishing out Québécois fiddle tunes alongside traditional fare slathered with or cooked in maple syrup.
4. Rustic-chic urban sugar shacks are a new Montréal trend. The springtime eateries pop up for eight weeks, often with top chefs at the helm creating classic Québécois dishes with a contemporary twist.
5. Renegade chef Martin Picard took Quebec winter cuisine to new gastronomic heights with his Montréal restaurant, Au Pied de Cochon. Then he did the same thing with an old-timey sugar shack menu. A months-long waitlist proves he’s on to something.
6. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ) chose 100 Maple Masters—from chefs to chocolatiers and even butchers—to incorporate maple syrup into delectable new recipes.
7. Since arriving in Canada, French chocolatier Yves Bonneau has created delectable bonbons featuring maple syrup with chocolate, nougatine, caramel and pears.
8. The popular all-day breakfast chain Eggspectation has a year-round “Sugar Shack” special that includes mounds of fluffy scrambled eggs, ham, baked beans, fried potatoes and sweet crepes with enough maple syrup to drown your entire plate.
9. Sofitel Montréal’s Restaurant Le Renoir serves maple syrup with both its foie gras terrine and signature grilled octopus.
10. Even the Benedictine monks at the St. Benoit-du-Lac Abbey on Lake Memphremagog are in on the magic of maple, creating heavenly maple butter and maple toffee sold in the abbey boutique.
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