anna brones

writer + artist + producer

Posts Tagged ‘traditional food

Quebec: A Near Death By Maple Syrup

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A year ago I came home to a package outside of my apartment door. In it was a can of maple syrup, marked in both English and French, indicating its bilingual Canadian roots. “This is liquid gold,” read the card from my friend Amy. On the phone later I was told not to mention the fact that she had sent me a valuable can from the family stash, “don’t tell my husband.”

I felt like I was stashing a tin can of valuable drugs in my pantry. Not daring to waste the stuff, the beautifully decorated can remained un-opened. Loaded with such valeur, I was afraid to use it, and instead it became a nice daily reminder of Amy’s generosity and the fact that eventually, I was going to have to experience this maple syrup madness for myself.

That time came last week, on a mother-daughter adventure to the northern woods of Maine and the farmland of Southeastern Quebec, in which I was assured I would get the ultimate “cabane à sucre” experience. Known as “sugar houses” or “sugar shacks” in English, these are cabins and buildings where sap collected from maple trees is boiled into maple syrup. Nowadays, not only do they produce maple syrup, but they have big dining halls which serve up a traditional menu, much of it made with or incorporating maple syrup.

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