New Thing #114: La Cabane A Sucre

Cabane_PierreWhen I was in Quebec I had food like croissants and poutine - typical fare. But the most authentic cuisine I think I had on our trip came on Saturday night - at La Cabane a Pierre...a log cabin-type building in the middle of the woods about an hour from our hotel.

I was only a bus passenger, but I got the impression it was in the middle of nowhere.

It's an establishment with long wooden picnic tables, lots of meat, and lots of maple syrup.

This is one of those two-fer New Things, though, because in addition to the food at La Cabane Pierre, I also got my first look at a Cabane a Sucre: A Sugar Shack.

I hate to say it, but the Sugar Shack was the first time in 2013 where I had an opportunity to try a New Thing and I passed on it.

Tree_SapSee - in the shack they boil the sap in a big vat to get maple syrup. (At right you can see buckets on trees to gather the sap.) At least, that's what I think - the guy who told us about it spoke only in French. So pardon me if it wasn't even a sugar shack at all. I don't know what he was talking about.

But at the end of our visit inside, he allowed everyone to stick a finger into the vat and taste the raw syrup. I'm sorry. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Who knows what can get into that vat. I wasn't going to put my finger in there and then in my mouth.

Afterwards, we went into the cabin for dinner. They had a guy on a violin playing songs throughout the dinner:


They sold maple syrup and maple butter (I got a little bit of each), and they served ham, sausages, a vegetable soup, and for dessert a pancake. (Maybe it was called something else. I don't know. It was essentially a pancake.)

The catch, though - you're encouraged to put the syrup on everything. It was like in "Elf". "Try some syrup in your soup!" "Put some syrup on your ham!" I did. And, I figured, what the heck - I put some syrup in my coffee. WWBTED? What would Buddy the Elf do?

It's a mild type of syrup. Not very sweet. So it wasn't gross when I put it in those things. You didn't quite notice the syrup. What you did notice - especially taking off my coat and clothes that night - was the smell of meat permeating your clothing.

It was a nice night. It ended with a long journey from the middle of nowhere back to the city and civilization.

Not unlike "Elf".