Québec Cuisine Lessons (Part Deux): La Cabane à Sucre

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La Cabane à Sucre, known in English as a “Sugar Shack” is a traditional end-of-winter, beginning of spring tradition in Québec. This is the season where the maple trees are tapped to make maple syrup. (Random trivia point: Québec is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup, more than all US production combined!). So the sugar shack meals starts with some bean soup, with bread and a lard-and-onion spread called “creton.” Then comes the omelette, bacon, sausage and “oreilles de crisse” – deep-fried cruncy pork fat. And if you are wondering how the maple syrup comes into all of this, you are supposed to pour maple syrup onto your eggs and pork fat. Believe it or not, it actually tastes pretty good.

And to make sure we get some vegetables in our diet, you get some cole slaw and you get to help yourself to some picked cucumbers, beets and onions. Also, be sure to save room for dessert – every imaginable combination and permutation of eggs, butter, cream, brown sugar and maple syrup.

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(Below) Maple Taffy (Tire à l’érable) Maple syrup is boiled and then poured on fresh snow to form maple taffy. You pick it up with a popsicle stick and enjoy!

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