Let your taste buds have a holiday at a traditional Québécois sugar shack.
No visit to the country that reveres the humble maple leaf so wholeheartedly is complete without a pilgrimage to a traditional “cabanes à sucre”, or sugar shack.
The onset of spring signals the moment maple sap begins to flow in earnest, which means the annual maple syrup harvest isn’t far behind.
A uniquely Québécois tradition, the 200 or so sugar shacks still in operation throw open their doors to visitors from all over the world eager to join in the fun.
Long tables are laid and vast platters are ordered for crêpes, tarts, ham, bacon, pies, veggies . . . It’s considered extremely poor form not to cover everything in delicious maple syrup.
Then, when you’re almost too full to move, head out into the chill and make your own maple taffy by dripping syrup directly onto the snow.
It’s a tradition that dates back centuries, and yet the window each year is tiny – the start of March to end of April and that’s it, so be sure you don’t miss out.
Scattered throughout rural Québec Province, surrounding Montréal and Québec City, you’ll find tiny family-owned sugar shacks, as well are larger more commercial operations, within a comfortable driving distance.