March and April is maple syrup time around this part of the world. You can read about previous visits to cabines a sucre (sugar shacks) here, here, here and here. If you take a look through these posts, you'll get a sense of the range of sugarshacks, from lame pancakes on a plastic plate to an all you can eat selection of food, sure to make you feel stuffed for the next 2 days.
My last, and probably most intense, sugar shack experience was at Sucrerie de la Montagne.
When you arrive, a horse-drawn carriage will take you the short ride from the parking lot:
You can explore the grounds, seeing several rustic buildings that house cottage-like accommodations, a bakery...
a general store, a building where maple syrup is processed (during the maple syrup season)
and, of course, the main halls where the food is served. Sucerie de la Montagne blows other sugar shacks (that we've been to) away in terms of food quantity and quality. Let's just pretend that everything you see in the rest of this post was stretched out over a week of consumption, rather than one sitting.
Soupe au pois du Montagnard (mountain dweller's pea soup)
Saucisses de campagne (country-style sausages) & Jambon fumé à l'érable (maple-smoked ham)
Tourtière de la beauceronne (meat pie from Québec’s Beauce region)
Traditional sugar pie
Pancakes with maple syrup
On this plate is Ragoût de boulettes (traditional meatball stew, Oreilles de crisse (crispy-fried pork rinds), Fèves au lard de chantier (wood-fired baked beans), Pommes de terre pilées à l'ancienne (old-style mashed potatoes) and the same omelette, meat pie and sausage that you see, above.
Homemade fruit ketchup and pickles.
Of course, the star of the show is the maple syrup.
The food is all you can eat and is served family-style.
Once you're done. If you're not in a coma, you can get up and dance to some traditional music. Or, at least listen to the music while you rest your head on the table, unbutton your pants and close your eyes. That's normal sugar shack behaviour, right?
Here's a video that gives you a good idea of what the place looks like. Skip to 1:47 if you want to see the food insanity!