Facing pandemic bankruptcy, Quebec's sugar shacks launch home dining to 'save the sugar tradition'

Facing possible bankruptcy, sugar shacks across the province are banding together to launch “gourmet boxes” of their classic Quebec cuisine.

Hit hard by the pandemic, 70 sugar shacks have banded together for the “Ma cabane à la maison” project, bringing a taste of maple to people’s homes this winter.

“The goal is to save the sugar tradition so that we can come together again in these festive places next year,” said Stéphanie Laurin, president of the Association des salles de réception et érablières du Québec and co-owner of Chalet des Érables.

According to him, 75 per cent of Quebec’s sugar shacks are at risk closing for good. Since March 2020, around 40 others have already had to close, he said.

Maple ham, baked beans, Oreilles de crisse, puffy omelets, maple syrup grandfathers and more; the menu highlights the classics, all available starting Monday.

Each box costs between $25 to $35 per person. Some are meant to be reheated, others are made for people to cook at home.

But the sugar shack tradition isn’t just about the food. What about music? The box will come with instructions to watch a “festive show captured in the woods” which brings together the duo 2Frères, Daniel Boucher, Yves Lambert and Guylaine Tanguay.

There are plenty of menu options, including vegetarian, vegan, pork and gluten-free meals using fully recyclable containers and packaging, also made in Quebec.

Customers can pick up their order at the sugar shack or in Metro grocery stores. Some cabins also offer home delivery.

-- This report form the Canadian Press was first published on Feb 22, 2021.  

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