Where to get your maple fix
Well before the arrival of the first settlers, the Indigenous people of what is now Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States gathered maple sap to transform into syrup.
Legend has it that one spring a red squirrel was drinking from a nick it had created by gnawing into a maple branch. Below, a man watched the scene and asked himself why the little creature chose to ignore a spring of fresh water running nearby. The man then made his own notch in the tree and saw that water ran from it. He thus discovered a remedy for scurvy, from which his people suffered in the spring.
Nowadays, Québec is responsible for more than 75 per cent of world maple syrup production. The belle provinceboasts many magnificent stands of maple and the Laurentians are no exception. Let’s take a look at where you can obtain some of the wonderful sweet stuff in this beautiful area.
La Tablée des Pionniers – Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré
La Tablée des Pionniers is a gastronomic sugar shack that offers a gourmet family experience in rustic surroundings. For more than half a century, this sugar shack was highly successful under the auspices of the Millette family.
Then in 2014, celebrated chef Louis-François Marcotte, author of ten or so cookbooks and well known for his TV show “Signé M”, took over the running of the mythical establishment. He is supported and partnered by the Lacroix family, which for four generations has tended their apple orchards, producing apples and cider at the Verger Lacroix while specializing in agro-tourism.
At this restaurant you’ll find traditional dishes reinvented by the chef and made with products of the terroir. Reservations are required. latableedespionniers.com
La Cabane à Tuque – Mont-Tremblant
This eco-vegan restaurant provides an alternative to the traditional sugar shack fare. The cosy locale hosts 35 persons, welcoming guests until the end of April in a warm, ecological home whose construction incorporates hemp fibre. Here you can enjoy, family-style and as a group, fully vegan dishes cooked on-site using healthy, organic ingredients acquired locally. It’s worth noting that the maple sap is gathered in the traditional manner, “that is, with buckets and…arms,” we’re told. Reservations strongly recommended. Lacabaneatuque.com
La Cabane à sucre de la Montagne – Tremblant
At the base of the Station Mont Tremblant (Resort) pedestrian village you’ll find a charming little cabin offering an amazing range of maple products. The owners of the Cabane à sucre de la Montagne are experts in the field. As the most recent in a multi-generational line of producers of maple products, they have inherited the accumulated wisdom. In recent years they have perfected their art, developing several new products derived from maple syrup. Delicious maple syrup, butter, jelly, caramel, candy, taffy and more. cabaneasucretremblant.com
Érablière du Berger – Lac Tremblant Nord
Lastly, as you travel towards Hôtel du Lac up the west side of lac Tremblant, you’ll find the Érablière du Berger. It offers a wide variety of maple products made entirely from the syrup gathered and processed by the owners of this maple operation.
They even sell maple vinegar. You can also reserve a visit to the maple bush and syrup operation and learn the art of sugar maple cultivation as well as discovering legends and stories related to maple syrup. Erabliereduberger.com
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Happy sugaring off season!
Guillaume Vincent249 Posts
Rédacteur et journaliste de profession, Guillaume Vincent a fait ses armes au sein de l’agence QMI. Il s’est joint au Tremblant Express en 2014. Promu en 2017, il y assume depuis le rôle de rédacteur en chef et directeur de la publication. / A writer and photojournalist by profession, Guillaume Vincent won his stripes in the QMI agency. He joined Tremblant Express in 2014. Promoted in 2017, he has been editor-in-chief and co-publisher since then.