Does it ring a bell if I tell you: “No thanks for the table syrup … I only swear by our region’s REAL maple syrup”? Me too! On waffles, pancakes, French toasts, in coffee, as taffy and a maple leaf candy ... and oh so delicious when eaten in a sugar shack!

Needless to say that there are plenty of ways to enjoy maple – way more than you can imagine. I was fascinated when I discovered various and unusual products from the Outaouais, made with the sweet sap. And it’s with enthusiasm that I’m sharing my findings with you!

Gastronomic brunch at L’Orée du Bois

Sugar shack time is often synonymous with thematic cooking. But put aside your precious rolling pin used to bake your famous maple pies and treat your taste buds at L’Orée du Bois. (Don’t get me wrong, I have no doubts regarding your culinary skills, but for my part, I cannot hold a candle to Jean-Claude Chartrand, the restaurant Chef for over a decade.) Each Sunday in March and April, L’Orée du Bois invites you to enjoy the local flavours with a twist of maple during a gastronomic brunch. On the menu (among other tasty creations):

  • Yellow split pea soup with smoked duck
  • Fresh fruit ketchup
  • Maple glazed quails
  • Maple glazed roasted rutabaga with rosemary
  • “Beavertail” with ice cream, whipped cream and caramel, maple meringue and popcorn

We’re pretty far from the traditional “bacon and egg” type of meal. This is the perfect time to succumb to those reinvented delights (you can eat your pies on weekdays)!

A sweet snack at Parc Omega

How to describe Parc Omega in one word? A-W-E-S-O-M-E! Not only can you feed the deer while walking on trails and moose from your car windows, admire wolves and arctic foxes in their natural environment, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with a snack.

At the mid-point of your journey, gather around a table to enjoy delectable taffy boiled in an old-fashion way. Tradition on a stick! The sugary stop is accessible by car and from the walking trails. So there’s no logical reason to resist this break that will appeal to children ... and young at heart adults.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMvECdnHjCY

This activity is available on a daily basis until March 15, and every weekend until the end of maple season.

Maple Body Scrub at Fairmont Le Château Montebello

Did you know that maple sugar is excellent for your skin due to its richness in nutriments? The Fairmont Le Château Montebello’s spa offers a full body exfoliation completed with a moisturizing organic maple butter. This treatment improves circulation, while brightening the skin. The treatment will be followed by a scalp massage while you are wrapped in a comfy blanket. Lets face it; this treatment alone will give you enough reason to escape your daily routine at this picturesque spa.

Spa Fairmon Le Château Montebello_montage

An impressive range of homemade maple products at La Confiserie Wakefield

Upon your arrival at La Confiserie Wakefield, you will dive into a world of novel flavors where choosing and mixing the ingredients has been meticulously planned with the intention to blow you away.  The variety is even more impressive! Especially when it’s maple season. Glazed pecans, meringues, jelly, caramel and fudge - all maple flavored- have been crafted entirely by hand with pure local syrup. Did I mention the maple salad dressing, the cheese fillings made ​​with maple sugar, the chocolate bark with cranberries and maple syrup AND the famous maple pearls (which is a maple ganache coated with hazelnut, dipped into white chocolate and rolled in a mix of praline, maple syrup and almonds). To this exhaustive list I respond: one of each please!

Don’t worry. Although it’s homemade, there’s enough for everyone. You can even order the products in advance.

You see, our sweet heritage deserves to be discovered! So if you are more of a traditional type when it comes down to maple, the Outaouais region has many sugar shacks, all as succulent as each other. Enjoy!

The 2015 “People’s Choice Award” contest is now officially open, with more than $6,000 in prizes to be won! From now to April 10, VOTE for your favourite regional tourist attractions! And follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram … remember our hashtag, #outaouaisfun.

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