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QUEBEC'S CUISINE

In Québec, people eat very well. The recipes are some fine blends of different unique influences! A strong base of French cooking enriched by the gastronomic knowledge of Native and other cultural communities has helped form modern Québec cuisine, in which there is a growing use of high-quality regional products.
In Québec you will discover some the new production of inspired chefs who have some of the best dining on the continent in store for you!

Québecers have always positioned a great deal of value on gastronomic pleasures. Have one of many samples of the culinary tradition-unique cooking in North America-and our exceptional local products, our beers, ciders and wines, our 100 or so varieties of cheese and our unique dishes. Lobster from the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, ranched game, apples, blueberries and the many maple products are but a few of the local delicacies in which we take great pride.

The Original Menu of Québec

Wherever you're going in Québec, you'll be delighted by our local specialties, each one of Québec's region has its unique taste & its appetizing flavor.

In the Montérégie where orchards make up 30% of the territory, a wide variety of ciders are manufactured that have been honored at international competitions.

In the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, alongside the St. Lawrence River, locals have mastered the art of smoking salmon, trout, sturgeon and eel in the style of their ancestors.

On the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, you can sample pot-en-pot, a tasty mixture of fish or seafood and potatoes baked in a crust.

The Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean is known for its tourtière (meat and pork pie) and soup aux gourganes (broad bean soup).

The cheeses produced in Charlevoix show off their own unique qualities.

In the Gaspésie, the salmon pie is like none other.

On the Côte-Nord, the majority of the dishes feature fish and shellfish from local waters, such as northern shrimp, snow crab and scallops.
In the Mauricie region, meat from locally raised bison and ostrich is a slenderness.

Enjoy the special wine of Québec

The beverage is one of the important foody things for all Québecers. In addition to the beer that's been brewed here for centuries, in recent years the production of cider and wine has given rise to cottage industries, the fruits of which are becoming increasingly popular and scooping up prizes at international competitions. Local nectars include aperitifs and liqueurs derived from maple sap and small fruits (the blackcurrant-based crème de cassis from Île d'Orléans is to die for), as well as mead (honey wine).

Originality, excellence and diversity are what make Québec's alcoholic beverages such a pleasure!

Beer

Québec's "national drink," the beer prepared here is recognized the world over. In the past decade and a half, microbreweries having been making a name for themselves with their fresh and tasty specialty mixes, and the diversity of products offered just keeps growing. Whether you prefer your beer red, white, dark, pale or black, you'll find something to quench your thirst! You can also savour in-house brews at establishments that serve up their own recipes.

Wine

Although young, Québec's wine industry is sparkling over! Thirty-odd vineyards sell some 400,000 bottles of wine a year, and some wines have received international prizes.

Actually, the history of wine in Québec goes way back. The first European explorers discovered wild vines on the territory.

Québec produces the naturally sweet ice wine, made from grapes that have frozen on the vine. In fact, Québec products have really stood out in this regard. A wine route links some thirty vineyards in different regions of Québec.

Cider

Québec's cottage industry produces more than 300,000 bottles of cider each year. Now here's a tradition whose history goes way back!

In recent years, the quality of our ciders has become mainly superior and the range of products available has expanded significantly.

Tasty offerings include cider produced by the champagne method and apple mistelle, fortified with alcohol. Québec also boasts a unique cider that's become a hit on the international markets: ice cider. Inspired by ice wine, this sweet drink is made from apples that have frozen and has a very high concentration of sugar.

Most of Québec's cider producers are in the Montérégie, which is why the region boasts the Cider Route tourist path!

Discovering Québec's cheeses

Québec's cheese is one of the things you should enjoy for sure.
While the popular cheddar and Oka cheeses have been manufactured for more than 110 years, an impressive selection of fine cheeses, using cow, goat and ewe's milk, is now produced in every region of Québec.
This recent cottage industry is creating a great attention of devotion thanks to the high quality of its products. Each year, new cheeses with unique flavours join the presented repertory, with some taking honours in various competitions.

In fact, Québec is fast becoming North America's premier cheese destination. Of course, our modest farms produce top-quality milk-which just happens to be the key ingredient of cheese!

Cheddar, a firm cheese, has been manufactured in Québec since 1895.

The different varieties of cheddar can be found regularly on most Québec families' tables, as well as overseas, where it is widely exported.

It is time for Sugar Shack

It's a seasonal habit in Québec in spring. As soon as the moon is right or the wind from the southwest blows a certain way, the maple syrup producers head into the sugar bush and begin tapping their trees. The buckets fill with a sweetish, watery liquid that will be boiled down to make the delicately flavoured syrup everyone loves.

Today, the whole family gathers in late March and early April at the sugar shack, where groaning tables are laden with the traditional "cabane à sucre" foods: pea soup, baked beans, maple-cured ham, "oreilles de crisse" (fried strips of salt pork), omelettes, and maple-sweetened desserts like sugar pie, crepes and "grands-pères" (dumplings poached in maple syrup). Then everyone goes outside for the traditional hot maple taffy, served on a bed of fresh snow and scooped up with wooden sticks.

Now there are about 400 maple syrup operations not far from Québec's major cities and all welcome visitors at sugaring off time. In addition to featuring lots of hearty food, the "cabane à sucre" recreates the spirit of earlier times with traditional music, dancing and merrymaking.



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Avril Betts
Avril Betts, EzineArticles.com Basic PLUS Author
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