October 26, 2012 – Once an off-island jaunt to rural areas beyond, the beloved Quebecois tradition of the springtime cabane à sucre, or sugar shack, is now available on-island! Come February, urban sugar shacks spring up like tulips (actually before tulips as there is still snow on the ground in February, but you get the picture), flavouring Montréal’s kick-off to spring with the sweet, golden gooiness of maple syrup in all its splendour.
The fun begins in February, with Sugaring-Off Time at the Botanical Garden. Maple taffy tasting (where maple syrup is poured on clean snow and rolled up onto a popsicle stick for one delicious, sticky treat) and educational activities surrounding maple syrup production continue through till April.
Crêpes, scrambled eggs, ham, baked beans, split pea soup, sugar pie… such is a traditional sugar shack menu. And that’s just what you’ll find on the rooftop of the Hôtel Nelligan, renamed the Terrasse à sucre from March to April. Covered and heated, this urban sugar shack provides one sweet vantage point of the Old Port. Group reservations are available throughout the week.
La Cabane, located inside La Scena in the Quays of the Old Port, offers its own “reinvented” version of a sugar shack from March to April, with a different guest chef every year. Hip and happening, La Cabane serves up traditional maple fare with a modern, sophisticated twist in the authentic sugar shack communal dining style.
And finally, if you wish to really live the true sugar shack experience, the Maison Saint-Gabriel mounts a true on-site cabane à sucre in March, complete with maple taffy tasting, storytelling and traditional music.
Sugaring off – coming soon to an urban sugar shack near you!