Today, I'll be having a Cabane à Sucre (sugar shack feast) for lunch. Traditionally, this feast is partaken in on a maple sugar farm outside the city. I've been to several which range from simple intimate affairs to all out Disney style parties with horse rides, shows, dancing and entertainment. Today's, however, is sponsored by one of the companies where I give English classes. I'll get to the foodstuffs in a moment.
The sugar shack is a feast celebrating the harvesting of sugar from the sugar maple, a tree that thrives in this region. In fact, Québec is by far the world's leading producer of maple syrup. (What's that about Vermont? Please, don't make me laugh.) This can only be done during specific climatic conditions that occur, give or take, about 3 weeks per year. (It must be below freezing at night, and above freezing during the day for the sap to run.) The longer these climatic conditions persist, the better the harvest will be for the year. Thousands of Québec families are able to make a living from maple syrup and the Cabane à Sucre feast offered on most maple farms.
Because the feast is traditional, you are likely to have the same meal no matter where you go. You'll have pea soup to start, then you'll have a plain omelet, beans, and ham. You will pour maple syrup on these things. You will eat pickled onions, cornichons and Christ's ears (fried pork rinds). For dessert, you'll have sugar pie and Nun's farts (kind of like a doughnut). As an aside, I'd like to report that I am not making up the name of the doughnut thing. And nobody finds the name funny here, as I do.
You'll be stuffed beyond belief because it is "all you can eat". Finally, when you get up to walk around ouside, you'll remember the traditional "Tire" where hot maple syrup is poured over the snow, and you twirl a popsicle stick in it to make your own maple syrup lollipop. You'll have thought you couldn't eat anymore, but you'll eat the lollipop anyway.
And by the way, maple syrup tastes good on nearly everything.