Monday, August 16, 2010

Cheese Curds, Red Wine and Creton oh my!

I was recently on a summer holiday in Quebec. We were staying in Saint – Ferreol les Neiges, which is  30 minutes outside Quebec City, near Mont Saint – Anne. The area is a great place for outdoor adventure and fabulous food finds. . Surrounded by the beautiful rolling Laurentians and St. Lawrence River, the landscape is dotted with breathtaking canyons, waterfalls, walking trails and bubbling creeks. Thank goodness for the beckoning of the outdoors, all the walking and exploring was needed to balance out all the rich and delicious French food.

Jean-Larosse Waterfalls

Located at the base of Mont-Sainte-Anne these falls are composed of 3 wonderous cascading waterfalls (12, 19 and 41 metres high). To get there you simply follow the well maintained trail and then descend down the 400 steps to the bottom (and yes back up when you are done).


A traditional Quebecois food, traditionally eaten at breakfast on toast with either mustard or sometimes jam. Recipes may vary but typically contain ground pork, milk, onions and spices including cloves and sometimes cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg. I'm hooked on this delicious find!

Cheese Curds-Poutine
You can’t visit Quebec without having cheese curds. If you have never had cheese curds, the texture is unlike any other cheese. Chewy and soft, the texture is something that your either going to love or hate. Sold in most local marches and fromagerie, bags of these delicious morsels are sold at room temperature. While delicious on their own, the ultimate way to enjoy these curds is of course in another must have food  - Poutine.  This poutine was made at Cap Tourmente, 100 different varieties of poutine were available.  While my children opted for the traditional  cheese curds, gravy and fresh cut fries, I went for poutine with goose meat and sweet green peas.

Cap Tourmente is a national wildlife area, known as a critical habitat for the Greater Snow Goose during migration.  Flocks of tens of thousands of these birds stop to feed on the bullrushes in the spring and fall.

I’ile d’Orleans
Located 15 minutes from Quebec city, I'ile d'Orleans is a food lovers paradise.    This fertile land produces different crops that are harvested between March and October.  Market gardeners, winemakers, apple growers and poultry, lamb and duck farmers along with choclatiers and cheese makers create delicious local products that are hard for any foodie to resist.  While the island  has many great places to stop and have a meal, you can sample the wares of the purveryors.  In 2006 the farmers participated in writing a cookbook "Les Producteurs toques de L'ile d'Orleans (Farmers in Chef Hats).  The cookbook was so well recieved that it won the World Best Local Cookery Book!

Our summer trip was rounded out with Whale watching in Tadoussac, Zipling at the Canyon Mont-Sainte-Anne and Horse Back Riding.  All adventures for which we were well fed with great local cheese, home cooked meals with friends and of course fabulous red wine!  I can gaurantee this will not be my last trip to this fabulous countryside in Quebec!

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