We’ve recently posted some very hip ways to get a fresh take on maple syrup products, from a clubby cocktail hour to an elegant sit-down tasting menu, But sometimes it’s just as fun to take your maple to go. Sometimes a quick shop-stop for a maple-flavoured chocolate or sausage are all you need to get sugared off…
Jean-Talon: Sugar Central
A walk through Montreal’s largest farmer’s market is a great way to find a huge selection of maple products from cheese to meat, literally, including the maple-pecan sausage from William J Walter, a sausagemaker in the market, and the Cru des Érables, a Quebec-made cow’s milk cheese. The maple-tappers from operations around Montreal come into the markets at this time of year to sell their wares- like the maple syrup in the traditional cans (a great take-home present), which come with recipes for maple baking on top. You can also buy various maple butters and sugars, for baking or simply (in the case of maple butter) to spread on toast.
Jean-Talon is also a great place to try Tire (pronounced tear, meaning “pull”), otherwise known as a “sugar pop”, without leaving the city limits. The sweet syrup of the maple sap, poured on crushed ice or snow and twisted up with a tongue depressor, makes for a sweet mouthful of sticky goodness: it’s an oldie, but good. Another place to pick up tire is in front of the Mont-Royal metro stop; this is a popular gathering spot late at night for partiers who want to get their sugar on.
Sugar Pie, Sugarpie!
Bakeries such as local chain Premiere Moisson also draw inspiration from the plentitude of maple at this time of year to bake up ready-made treats: maple cake, maple squares, maple croissants. This amazing tarte au sucre (maple-sugar tart) from Pains et Saveurs is the most amazing maple dessert I’ve ever tasted, probably because it contains nothing but eggs, butter cream and maple sugar, and it’s not too sweet and a little salty.
Frozen maple treats: Beyond syrup on snowThe now-classic maple crème-brulee ice cream at Havre-aux-Glaces is a seasonal favourite. The secret lies, again, in its not-too-sweet taste— plus this ice-cream has cracked the secret to perfectly-balanced burnt maple caramel.
Guest Blogger: Melora Koepke