Sugar Shack, Cabane à Sucre
As winter is almost coming to an end; snow is melting, milder weather and lots of sun, it only means one thing for us Quebecois- Sugar Shack or Cabane à Sucre!
If you traveled to the Northeast in the spring and didn’t visit a Sugar Shack- shame on you! As the leading region for Maple Syrup, spring is the time of the year where the Maples trees in Quebec slowly begin to unfreeze. This means that the the sap of the tree is ready to be used to produce maple syrup. So how’s it made anyway? Warm days and freezing nights are the perfect combination in order for the sap to start flowing. Trees are tapped and once the sap is ready, buckets are placed on the trees to collect the leaking sap. It takes about 40 liters of sap to be boiled down to 1 liter of maple syrup.
So you’re probably wondering what we do at the Sugar Shack anyway? The answer is simple. Eat, more eating, and EAT some more! Traditional dishes include eggs with maple syrup, baked beans, pea soup, maple cured ham, fried strips of salty pork (best known as oreille de crisse) and maple sweetened dessert- anything from sugar pies to crepes. The best part of it all however is the part where you eat the maple syrup straight off the now. Warm maple syrup is spread on a thin layer of clean snow. Then you wait for the syrup to be hardened- about one minute. Once the syrup is hard, you take a popsicle stick and roll the maple syrup around the stick. One word: DELICIOUS!