In Quebec, sugaring-off season will begin shortly — a sign that winter will be over soon enough! It’s well-known that springtime every year is characterized by the collection of maple sap, a real goldmine for Quebec. It’s true, maple syrup is the only food product with which we dominate the market, representing 71% of its shares. The industry is comprised of close to 13,500 maple syrup producers and generates around 5,000 jobs.
Year after year, maple syrup is growing in popularity. Its syrup is a natural sugar, which is composed of over 50 beneficial compounds, namely one named “quebecol” in honour of its biggest global producer, Quebec.
Maple syrup is obviously an integral part of our culture and our recipes since it’s a product that is readily accessible to all those who live in the province. It is more than likely to find the famous red and blue can in each Quebec household’s cupboard but that isn’t the case in the rest of the world. Interest fact — we pay $0.01 per millilitre of maple syrup here, whereas that price drastically increases as soon as you change continents. Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s website reveals that Norwegians pay $0.09 per millilitre and that price can go up to $0.13 in France!
Since sugaring-off season will soon kick off in most sugar shacks all across Quebec, we wish to introduce you to Érablière Saint-Valentin, located in Saint-Valentin. On top of offering traditional —and delicious — sugar shack meals, this family business caters to weddings, anniversaries, Christmas parties, federation get-togethers and Saint-Valentin’s Festival.
Warning – the following content may induce hunger
Érablière Saint-Valentin also sells all the products they serve when you dine there. It’s your one-stop shop to buy sausages, bacon, crêpe mix, baked beans, cretons… And enjoy all of it from the comfort of your home! And what’s their speciality in all this? “Many people come for our maple laden grands-pères but I think it’s for our bacon!” says Karen Potvin, the owner’s daughter. “Sugar shacks that still have that item on their menu are rare so some people call just to ask if we serve them!”
Also, all their products are local, which is a sign of quality. For example, part of their vegetables come from the Garceau farm, in Lacolle, and some of their meat is from Boucherie Viau, in Hemmingford. The sugar shack practically uses all the same brands of products since when they first opened 40 years ago!
This year, you can start indulging in maple delicacies at Érablière Saint-Valentin as of February 26th. To highlight this occasion, we will be giving away a $100 Érablière gift card so that you may discover — or rediscover — the pleasures of a succulent sugar shack experience. Has there ever been a more pleasant Quebec tradition than this one?