Québec City at its Best
Fall Flavours Escapade Through Local Artisans
I love fall, it is my favourite season of the year. It’s when our land’s generosity is celebrated with all its glory, when producers take great pride in transforming and highlighting our terroir’s unique subtleties. It is also the time of the year when eating local is the easiest. Here is where I find the most colourful, pleasure-filled fall flavours of the Québec City region.
Apples, Pumpkins and Squash Picking
Fall is one of the most exciting times of the year to visit Île d’Orléans. From the last week of August until about mid-October, the apple trees are filled with juicy fruits waiting to be picked, whereas pumpkins and squashes are popping-out from the ground. I often go to Cidrerie Bilodeau in Saint-Pierre-de-l’Île-d’Orléans, where the Bilodeau family offers a dozen varieties of apples to pick on your own. Near the end of the season, they transform fruits into cider, wine, jellies and mustards. Their apple butter is decadent, especially poured onto fresh farm cheese, topped with maple syrup or sugar.
A few metres away, Ferme Roberge provides a wheel barrel to pick from their pumpkin patch. Can you already picture the family fun? It's a must! Before leaving the farm, ask for the Roberge family’s wholehearted Hubbard squash soup recipe that suggests topping with bacon bits before serving.
Grape Harvest and Local Wine Tasting
Credit: Domaine l'Ange-Gardien Zoom
When I visit Domaine L’Ange Gardien, I often feel as if I was in the midst of an old European vineyard. With its steep slope overlooking the St. Lawrence River, I can spend hours sitting on the terrace, glass of wine in hand, contemplating the autumnal splendour of the landscape. This beauty resonates in their produce through refreshing wines and enveloping liqueurs. Elaborated as ports would, their seductive strawberry liqueur La Griseraie is my favourite product of theirs. Plan a visit during the grape harvest when you will indulge in Québec’s unique wine culture.
Learning How to Can Fall Harvest
Credit: Ferme Langlois & fils Zoom
The Langlois et Fils farm in Neuville is the oldest in the greater Québec City area. 11 generations of passionate family members that have produced –and still do today- a wide variety of fruit and vegetables that many chefs crave for including like mesclun, Nordic melons and ancestral cucumbers. Come the end of summer, early fall I rush to the Langlois for Neuville’s renowned sweet corn-on-the-cob. In fact, it is at their canning Économusée that I have learned how to can and indulge in their corn all winter long. As if the corn alone wasn’t enough to seduce, head farmer Médé Langlois’ colourful personality makes this destination among the most appreciated in the area.
Enjoy your escapade!