One of the most tantalizing experiences when visiting Quebec is the amazing assortment of culinary delights you’ll find in literally any village, city or town. Not only is the official language of this province French, but the cuisine has deep seated roots in the ‘mother land’ and if you take the time to scope out some of the most popular restaurants and cafés, you’ll get a taste of some amazing dishes that cannot be found anywhere but on the continent. Here is a sampling of some of the most popular items you are likely to find on the traditional menu in Quebec.
No trip to Quebec would be complete without sampling poutine. This traditional dish is perhaps the most famous of all things Quebec and has been described often as ‘a heart attack waiting to happen.’ This is a dish comprised of French fries and cheese (usually curds) and most often with a ton of gravy (of some sort) draped over the top. There are a number of varieties out there and all just as good as the one before, but again, you just can’t visit Quebec without at least one sampling of this delicious menu item.
When dining in the best restaurants in Laval and other cities throughout Quebec, you will notice that there will generally be some sort of smoked meat as a main entrée. This province is famous for the care in which they give their smoked menu items and the flavour is most likely unique because of the type of wood used in the process of smoking it. From barbeque dishes to smoked sandwiches, you won’t find smoked meat anywhere on the North American continent quite like you will in Quebec.
Maple Syrup, Maple Sugar, Maple Cakes & Maple Candy
When visiting Quebec in the autumn you will see the brilliant colours of the autumn leaves on the numerous maple trees that line the countryside. However, the beauty of autumn colours is nothing to match the absolutely mouth-watering taste of that maple syrup freshly tapped from trees throughout the province. Literally every restaurant in Quebec has some form of dessert or syrup consisting of real maple and if you are used to the artificial flavoured maple candies and frostings found elsewhere, you will be in for a real treat. There’s nothing to match the flavour of real maple syrup.
Although this particular Quebecois dish is literally translated as ‘Chinese Pie,’ it is actually the Quebecois version of what the rest of the world calls Shepherd’s Pie. Layers of meat, corn and mashed potatoes are baked to perfection and typically a main staple in many cafés and coffee shops. If you are wondering where this dish got its unusual name, the explanation is typically tied into the Chinese workers who laboured on the railways system in days gone by.
So, there you have a few of the ‘must-have’ menu items to try when visiting Quebec. It’s a journey you will enjoy but don’t expect to come home slim and trim. The food is delicious but never low-cal. Even so, enjoy whilst there and remember, there’s always time to diet when you get back home!