Two signs are synonymous with springtime in Québec: spring blossoms and sugar shacks! CTV YOUR MORNING’s meteorologist, Kelsey McEwen, travelled to Québec to partake in and observe the sweet Canadian tradition of “sugaring off.” Celebrated annually through various social events in early spring, “sugaring off” is the official kick-off for maple farmers to tap their trees and turn sap into sugar. As the top maple producer in the world, Québec produces almost three quarters of the world’s sweet liquid gold.
In celebration of the 2019 “sugaring off” season, YOUR MORNING debuts McEwen’s visit to the Sucrerie de la Montagne in Rigaud, Que., an authentic, year-round sugar shack that’s been operating for more than four decades, this Wednesday morning. The shack is located in the midst of a 120-acre forest of century-old maples atop Mont Rigaud and transports its visitors back in time, giving them a rare glimpse of life as it truly was for Québec and Canadian pioneers. In this sweet segment, McEwen breaks down the science of maple syrup, with a second segment set to air this Friday discussing the cultural experience of “sugaring off” and its relation to food.
(L-R): Pierre Faucher and YOUR MORNING’s Kelsey McEwen
“I had the best time taking in a truly French Canadian experience,” said McEwen. “It was fascinating to learn how the maple sap works. Did you know the sap actually flows upwards from the roots?”
McEwen also chats with Pierre Faucher, the owner of the Sucrerie de la Montagne, along with his son Stefan Faucher. The two show her how to tap a tree with a spigot and how the sap is collected in a pail and then transported to a traditional wood-fired evaporator, where it is then transformed into maple syrup. McEwen also tried her hand at making delicious maple taffy.
“The food at the shack is an integral part of the culture. Traditional meals are hearty, with split pea soup, baked beans, freshly baked bread from the fieldstone bread oven, soufflé-style omelettes, and sugar pie and pancakes for dessert!” said McEwen.
YOUR MORNING’s Kelsey McEwen
Join YOUR MORNING throughout the month to see the team’s adventures in Québec when they visit an ice cider farm (April 4), an enchanting Nordic spa (April 9), the Saint Benedict Abbey monastery (April 18), and a former historic church now turned fromagerie (April 25). CTV’s YOUR MORNING airs weekdays at 6 a.m. ET on CTV, CTV app, and CTV News Channel.