A "cabane à sucre" (sugar shack) experience in and around Montréal
Once again we find ourselves at the tail end of a long and arduous winter that is still not ready to take its leave. The only light at the end of this icy tunnel comes in the shape – and taste! – of sticky sweet maple treats that we are ready to welcome with open arms.
Traditional cabanes à sucre (sugar shacks) are found in the country, amidst the forests of maple trees, although pop-up urban cabanes have been providing maple-laden meals to city dwellers. Come spring, syrup seekers congregate in country cabins, sit at long communal tables and eat simple sugar shack food that help whisk the winter blues away and welcome spring. If you are looking for such a spot in and around Montréal, below are a few of our favourite sugar shacks.
Un Chef à l’érable with Laurent Godbout
Chef Laurent Godbout has made quite a name for himself in Montréal and on the international culinary scene. He brings his creative spirit to an urban “rustic chic” cabane à sucre at the Scena in Montréal’s Old Port. For $60 per person, a fantastic multi-course meal will be served. The menu includes such dishes as maple flavoured pogos, a cabbage torte with bacon and mushrooms, the traditional tourtière, a giant puff pastry with maple whipped cream, pineapple poutine and of course, the classic maple taffy. This is one meal you won’t want to miss!
Promenade Wellington’s Panache et bois rond
Wellington Street transforms into an urban sugar shack with 15 of Verdun’s favourite restaurants participating in the festivities by contributing a special dish to the maple-inspired menu. Mark your calendars!
Attelier Archibal with chef Laurent Godbout
About an hour’s drive from Montréal, in the quaint town of Granby, chef Laurent Godbout and Attelier Archibald team up to bring you a traditional yet inventive cabane à sucre. Chef Godbout adds his own creative twist to some sugar shack favourites. The menu reads like a maple-drizzled dream and includes items such as a maple-wood smoked trout, slow braised ham, pork confit tourtière and an apple pouding-chômeur.
Cuisiniers sans frontières
For the fifth consecutive year, Cuisiniers sans frontières, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring culinary education to people in areas of poverty, is joining Montreal’s prestigious Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) to bring you their take on the cabane à sucre experience. A decadent meal will be served and all proceeds will go to a wonderful cause.
Sucrerie de la Montagne
Sucrerie de la Montagne is open year round. Horse-drawn sleigh and wagon rides, old-fashioned maple-making facilities, musical entertainment, maple taffy on snow and an all‑you‑can‑eat outstanding menu of traditional cabane à sucre dishes await you. It’s as authentic as they come! If you want to know more about this sugar shack, read our article here.
La Tablée des Pionniers
Celebrity chef Louis-François Marcotte teams up with La Tablée des Pionniers founders to bring you his take on traditional yet gastronomic Québec cabane à sucre fare. The menu, made of locally sourced ingredients, includes dishes such as braised bacon, bread pudding and traditional split pea soup, as well as housemade sausage and smoked meat. This family-run sugar shack is located in Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré near Mont-Tremblant, about an hour and a half north of Montreal.
Labonté de la pomme
For a sugaring off experience with a fresh twist, Labonté de la pomme offers the first Apple Shack in Québec, featuring local products and baked treats prepared in a wood-fired oven. This family-run orchard in Oka, about a 45-minute drive from Montréal, offers lots of family activities year-round and a General Store where you can pick up gourmet gifts. The Apple Shack is open for sugaring-off time in March and April, a Mother’s Day Brunch during apple blossom season and for gourmet brunches and dinners from mid-August to the end of October.
We all know that the best part of any cabane à sucre menu is the tire d’érable or maple taffy. If you fancy a taste of that hot maple syrup swirled in snow, head over to the Jean-Talon Market, Atwater Market or Mont Royal metro station. Maple stands abound at these locations starting in early March and until late April. A maple BBQ is in the works for the two largest public markets: on March 28th at the Jean-Talon Market and on March 29th at the Atwater Market. Bonus points for Montreal’s public markets: you can buy maple syrup and products directly from the producers!
Mayssam Samaha, blogger
Mayssam Samaha is a food and travel writer and blogger. She travels the world in search of the next culinary discovery. From Iceland to South Africa, she’s already visited over 30 countries and there’s nothing she enjoys more than wandering around a farmers’ market in a foreign city.
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