With the arrival of Spring, the official start of sugar shack season comes to the forefront of people’s minds. A visit to a sugar farm is much more than just a friendly place to indulge in the many joys of maple syrup. It’s also the storehouse of a rich tradition going back millennia.
Of course this year with the ongoing pandemic , reinvention of this beloved activity has led to “cook it yourself meals” with varying levels of complexity.
Gen’s Delights is happy to present three establishments with vastly different flair: ( Traditional, Western and Cajun experience) that allow you to enjoy the maple experience from the comfort of your home :
Ma cabane a la maison
“Ma cabane à la maison,” meaning “my sugar shack at home,” is the result of a shared dream.
Stéphanie Laurin, Chair of the Association of Québec Sugar Shacks and co-owner of Chalet des érables, explains the original idea was simple but bold: get maple lovers and sugar bushes across the province to join forces and help save a rich part of Quebec heritage that was hit hard by the pandemic.
For the first time ever, almost 70 sugar shacks of Québec are united in a common outreach project. Together they’re breathing new life into the sugaring-off tradition with fantastic takeout and delivery menus that can be easily ordered online at www.macabanealamaison.com and picked up at your local METRO mon epicier or directly at your choice sugar bush!
I absolutely loved visiting Sucrerie de la Montagne in person since numerous log cabins (available for overnight stays) are scattered around the grounds and the main lobby and gift shop has several themed decorations and maple products that gives a warm authentic vibe to the site. You also have a strong chance of crossing the Father / son duo Pierre and Stefan Faucher, who dressed in their flannel shirts and ceinture flechee will greet you with a warm smile and maybe give you a tour of the boiler room or a short demonstration of the traditional wooden spoons!
All items in the box were frozen and came either wrapped in plastic wrappers or in resealable plastic containers : The contents of the box were sufficient for at least four hefty platters and could even be stretched over 2 meals ( 1 brunch and one dinner.). I loved how clear bilingual instructions, a coloring page of a maple leaf and a link to a virtual 2 hour show were included with the purchase. The menu offers a good variety of meat and includes traditional sugar shacks favorites such as the ham, omelet and sugar pie !
To add a touch of green, we decided to slice some tomatoes and cucumber as well as cook the ham with caramelized onions .
Contents of the box:
Pea soup ( 1 liter ) 1 loaf of bread Ham (600 gr) Meatpie (8 inches) Meatballs ( 1 liter) Sausages (8 sausages) Back bacon (600 gr) Baked beans (1 liter) Omelet (1 liter) Pancake (1 liter) Sugar pie (1 whole pie 8 inches) 540 ml of maple syrup with the recipe to make your own maple taffy.
To thank all the faithful sugar shackers and treat them to an authentic experience complete with upbeat music and a show, Boucane en direct has rustled up an old-time jamboree with local artists Daniel Boucher, 2Frères, Yves Lambert, and Guylaine Tanguay. The 2 hour virtual show was filmed in the main dining room of Sucrerie de la Montagne, but you can enjoy it at home with the unique link that is included in all order confirmations .
To check out the menu offerings of all participating sugar shacks please visit:
Pickup at the DIX30 location on the South Shore of Montreal was relatively easy. You have to go to the backdoor of the restaurant to pick up your order that is handed over in a large paper bag. All food items were frozen and packed in various containers including plastic bags, and easy to heat tin containers.
The meal and food portions comes frozen, neatly packed and very easy to heat in the oven. Some food items such as the smoked baked beans must be submerged in boiling water for 3 minutes. A sheet with cooking instructions , equipment to use and useful tips is included in the carryout bag.
Portion wise, the meal is intended for two diners. However it is possible to order for four.
I loved the smoked maple salmon , the frittata topped with maple cured ham as well as the blueberry pancakes topped with pulled pork and drenched with maple butter .
Two bottles of #prosecco and orange juice are offered to complete your brunch . On Saturdays you can also receive a complimentary brownie, YUM !
Located in the heart of Old Montreal, La Scena and their parent Avec Plaisir Traiteurs, since 2013, has been bringing their annual sugar season event « Un Chef à l’érable » to Montrealers with finesse and incomparable know-how.
This year their guest chef: Wadensky Fontaine , Invites you to travel around the globe with a traditional sugar shack menu with Cajun and Creole twist !
With each order, clients are provided with a recap menu , an illustrated sheet with cooking instructions and a QR code linking to an easy to follow YouTube video, where Maple Chef 2021 edition Wadensky Fontaine and pastry chef Timothy Abelard, share step-by-step training tips for each service and their inspirations!
Pea, bacon and vegetable soup Jerky style maple glazed smoked herring Puffed rice, cranberries, pink peppercorn and white chocolate cornbread to share
Beer and maple flavoured rolled pork flank Smashed potatoes, bacon with corn and peppers Homemade gravy with pork jus and bacon Buttered carrots Baked beans and chipotle Anna potato gratin and buttered peas Pickled vegetables ‘Oreille de crises’ and maple syrup
Maple macaroons and praline hearted meringue Maple mousse and Jamaican pepper in a sphere Yuzu milk chocolate and boreal herbs sauce, maple custard with oat and buckwheat crumble Maple sugar
I loved unboxing the contents since each item was beautifully wrapped with ribbons and numbered according to the service they are to be used for.
The decadent Third course encourages you to be an artist as you are provided a clear sheet to create your own chocolate / maple , granola and yuzu creation !
Chef à l’érable, edition 2021 From 11th of March to 31st of April
Your box can be delivered locally or picked up in the old port of Montreal .