Maple syrup is one of the most delicious things that you can eat, and much of the time we only use it to top waffles and pancakes. There is no doubt that maple syrup is perfect for pancakes, but it can be used for so much more and in Cooking with Quebec Maple Syrup, author Anne Fortin explores the many possibilities of maple.
The cookbook is packed with more than 60 recipes recipes that either feature maple or use it as a major component. It starts out with traditional recipes, both sweet and savory, that have been associated with maple syrup and the actual harvesting season for decades. This includes recipes like Maple Taffy on Snow, which is a long-time classic of the “sugaring shack”, and Baked Pork and Beans. Other chapters include Fruits & Vegetables, Meats, Poultry, Fish, Desserts and Drinks. You’ll see maple syrup used in familiar ways – such as glazing meats and sweetening up squash purees – and in ways that may be less familiar, adding sweetness and a depth of flavor to meat pies, salad dressing and all kinds of baked goods. If you start with one, it should probably be the Old Fashioned Maple Syrup Pie, which is a sweet pie where maple syrup is the star. The introduction to the book also gives a short history of maple syrup production and a look into how maple went from a barely-know local specialty to a world wide favorite.
The photos in the book are beautiful and all of the dishes look mouthwatering. There are a few extremely charming vintage photos that show scenes of the sugar harvest from earlier in the last century, as well. Quebec is the largest maple producing region in the world and maple is definitely well-loved by the residents, and this book really gives you a sense of why once you see how versatile (and how delicious) maple syrup can be.
The author of the book runs a fantastic bookshop, Librarie Gourmande at the Jean Talon Market in Montreal that specializes in cookbooks. You can pick up copies of this book online, but if you are in the neighborhood by any chance, you can also pick one up at the store and have Anne sign it for you before taking it home to cook with.