On saturday, we headed out into the rain and drove about 45 minutes outside of Montreal, to a sugar shack on an orchard in St-Benoit. Sugarshakin is a pretty common thing around here, we used to do it as a school activity in high school – rented out room turned dance floor and all. It was an occasion to gush over our crushes and more importantly, eat everything cooked and or covered in maple syrup. I was quite the carnivore and always had extra servings of bacon and ham fried in maple syrup.

Since I gave up meat many moons ago though, I had no more desire to go somewhere where ham, bacon and lets not forget deep-fried smoked pork jowls are the main attraction. But when I found out there were a few places who offered a vegetarian option, I made it my mission to get out to one of them this year before sugaring season was over.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when we got to Val des Rosacées, but I was immediately excited when we were greeted with a dish of brie covered in maple syrup. They really should just serve that alone, a giant piece of warm brie with maple syrup. I would have devoured it all.

Next came the creton (veg version for me) and bread, followed by homemade pea soup (no lard in mine) and then the dishes of meat and fake meats arrived with maple baked beans and eggs. Everything arrived in bowls at our table and we served ourselves till pant buttons needed to be undone. We really should have skipped breakfast that morning (what were we thinking?) because this was a lot of food. My veggie ham was delicious – but the sausages were just a tad too hot-doggy for me. Some pancakes would have been a good addition to the meal but who am i kidding, we had no place left in our stomachs. Everything was topped off with dessert which consisted of sugar pie or pouding chômeur – which literally translates to unemployment pudding or poor man’s pudding. Matt got one, I got the other and I ate them both!

After lunch, the dining room was invited outside for some some tire d’érable, which consists of maple sap boiled past the maple syrup point and then poured on snow.

More photos after the jump

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  • Ooo that all looks incredible. As a vegetarian I was never able to really partake when I was in school in MTL but now I want to go back and give this one a try (after skipping breakfast of course!)

    • I recommend it! It’s a fun experience and definitely better in a large group! There is another sugar shack a little further that is completely vegetarian – no meat options. I can’t remember the name at the moment but they sound interesting!