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Île d’Orléans: Savor the flavors with a day trip from Québec City

Québec City is renowned for its cuisine. For another culinary adventure in the flavors of the province just go across the bridge to the agricultural island, Île d’Orléans. Restaurant menus, an audio guide in French or English, and maps of the tours and circuits are available at the island’s Saint-Pierre-del’Île-d’Orléans tourist information bureau. Follow the trails to meet the producers, sample their wares, and bring home some souvenirs to enjoy with friends and family.

There are cozy inns and historic manor houses, maple farms and sugar shacks, art galleries and craft shops. Savor sweet confections at the chocolaterie or bakeries, sip cider at the ciderie wine at the vineyard, or fruit liqueur at the source. Sample local cheese, ice cream, maple products, and jams.

migrating snow geese, Île d'Orleans, Quebec City
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migrating snow geese, Île d’Orléans

Depending on the season, pick your own strawberries, apples, or raspberries. You can fish for trout, with tackle and bait provided. Buy duck meat, pâtes, rillettes, confits, cracklings or poutine with liver pâte. Too much to take with you? Domaine Steinbach will ship your purchases home.

Looch, Confiturerie Tigidou, Île d'Orléans, Quebec
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Looch, Confiturerie Tigidou, Île d’Orléans, Quebec

This time, we began with a stop at Confiturerie Tigidou, owned by Catherine Trudel and Vincent Paris, two Île d’Orléans natives who traveled the world, met, and returned. They refer to themselves as native sorcerers, creative foodies, and garden apothecaries.

Tigidou proprietors, Île d’Orleans, Quebec City
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Tigidou proprietors, Catherine Trudel and Vincent Paris, Île d’Orléans

The couple bought a 200 year old house and named their enterprise for the expression “C’est tiguidou!” , meaning “It’s perfect!”

They began making unique jams exclusively from island berries, adding organic sugar, their garden herbs and spices from northern Quebec. and started “spreading the love, one jar at a time”. They also cater small events and offer lodging on the second floor.

We were off to sample the first kind of cheese made in North America, at Les Fromages de l’isle d’Orléans. The cheese is eaten hot, right from the frying pan where it is cooked for 2-3 minutes on each side.

fromagerie sign, Île d'Orléans
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fromagerie sign, Île d’Orléans

Le Paillasson cheese, Île d’Orleans, Île d'Orleans
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Le Paillasson de l’isle d’Orléans, Quebec

Co-proprietors Jocelyn Labbé, a retired teacher with a passion for history, and Diane Marcoux were in traditional costume inside a boutique packed with local food specialties.

The secret to replicating the original cheese recipe for their Le Paillasson de l’isle d’Orléans, which translates “the mat of the Island of Orleans” , they said, is in the microorganisms in the drying mat made of island reeds.

Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d'Orléans
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Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans

Our final stop was Cassis Monna & Filles. It is an économusée, a concept originating in Quebec to keep the cultural heritage alive through authentic local crafts and foods.

Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d'Orléans
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Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans

Interpretation centers provide information on the history and production processes of the product sold.

Bernard Monna and daughter Anne, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orleans, Quebec
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Bernard Monna and daughter Anne in the barn, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans, Quebec

Bernard Monna, originally from Southern France, is from a family that has been creating liqueurs for four generations. He and his two daughters, Catherine and Anne were the first in Quebec to grow blackcurrants, a berry long known for its medicinal qualities.

Catherine and Anne, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orleans, Quebec
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Bernard Monna’s daughters, Catherine and Anne, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans, Quebec

Their boutique is filled with an array of high-quailty products made from the berry, like The Capiteux, a Madeiran wine, and their award-winning crème de cassis, a ruby red fruit liqueur topped with white wine to make the French cocktail known as Kir or champagne for Kir Royale.

Kir Royale, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d'Orleans
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Kir Royale, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans

There are free tastings in the wine cellar. Specialties like chicken liver mousse with Capiteux and chocolat de Mathieu à la crème de cassis may be enjoyed at the gourmet snack bar and terrace.

Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d'Orleans
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Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans

Kir Royale, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d'Orleans
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Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans

Kir Royale, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d'Orleans
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Kir Royale, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d'Orléans, Quebec
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Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans

 

Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d'Orleans
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Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The boutique features an array of black currant delicacies, including mustards, wine jelly, onion jam and syrups, and vinaigrette.

Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d'Orléans
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Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nougat, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d'Orléans
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nougat, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans

biscuits, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d'Orléans
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biscuits, Cassis Monna & Filles, Île d’Orléans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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