On the Maple Syrup Trail in Montreal
Maple Syrup is used in a variety of items in Montreal. There's a lot more to Quebec's maple syrup than a sugary treat. Maple syrup is proven to have more than fifty antioxidants. Of course, there's a difference between the cheap grocery store finds and the quality syrup produced in Montreal.
With most things in life, you get what you pay for. There's a reason Montreal maple syrup is pricey. It takes quite a long time to produce. How long? It takes four maple trees that are at least 40 years old to yield enough sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup.
But Montreal doesn't look at syrup as a money maker, exporting it to other countries and not consuming itself, much like I presume France exports its bad wine to the US. Quebec uses maple syrup in a variety of food and drink. Here are some examples:
Cocktails - It's difficult to visit a bar in Montreal in Montreal and not find at least one cocktail on the menu that uses
maple syrup. You may think they are sweet, but bartenders balance the sweet with the liquor quite nicely. Stop in the bar at the Marriott Château Champlain and have a Maple Old Fashioned. You'll see what I mean.
Slushies - While walking around Old Montreal, you'll come across lots of opportunities to purchase maple syrup. Some vendors even have a slushie machine cranking out delicious maple syrup slushies. It's the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day.
Ice Wine - A visit to the Italian Market in Little Italy leads to an abundance of treats featuring fresh seafood, all kinds of fruits and vegetables, pastas and even wine. While maple syrup would be too sweet for most wines, it is the perfect addition to a nice Ice Wine.
Salad Dressing - It's not uncommon to have a maple syrup dressing on a salad in restaurants. Maple Balsamic vinaigrettes or a creamier Dijon-based dressing may be the typical dressing.
Desserts - Ever heard of Pouding Chomeur? It's a bread pudding traditionally made with stale bread. The name literally means unemployment pudding as it was created during the Great Depression by factory workers. It is rich and indulgent, perfect while sipping on a cappuccino.
Chocolate - Nowadays chocolate has seen a variety of additions besides fruit and nuts. Maple syrup is a delightful addition to dark chocolate. If you are visiting Montreal, these make a super gifts to bring back since the real deal, maple syrup may be a bit more difficult to pack.