An apple a day...

Ever since the Middle Ages apples have been well-known for their beneficial effects. Apples contain traces of Bromine (Br), a helpful ally for insomniacs. In fact, boiled apple peelings are as good as a relaxing herbal tea in helping one get a good night’s sleep. When eaten at the beginning of a meal, an apple aids digestion by producing an abundance of salivary secretions. Apples also play a depurative role by giving a nice complexion to those who eat one each morning. In contrast, when eaten in the evening, apples can act as a laxative. Biting into an apple eliminates 86.7 % of bacteria present in the mouth. That is why apples are considered a “natural toothbrush.” Studies prove that, eaten regularly, apples can play a role in preventing specific diseases including cancer, asthma, Parkinson’s, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Goodies to discover...

Do you love fine produce and products? You will be delighted to know that “Le rendez-vous des papilles” will be back for its 7th year!  This gourmet event will be held at the Marché-Centre de Saint-Hyacinthe from September 24 to 26.  Many activities are on the agenda, including: tasting booths, big top entertainment, culinary demonstrations, and more... Your tastebuds (“papilles”) will be busy! This is an unparalleled opportunity for you to meet the producers, chefs and other agri-food innovators of the Montérégie. You will have a chance to discover the superb country produce from the area, and the cultural section will enable you to learn of our heritage and the artistic and historic wealth of the Montérégie.


In honour of the apple, in all its forms

Several varieties of apple are available throughout the year. An apple is perfect as a snack and recipes using apples are unlimited. So, what can we do with apples?

Here are some suggestions, but be careful, not all of them are eatable.

In fall, take advantage of the abundance of apples to make a potpourri that will add a pleasant fragrance to the entire house. Mix dried apple slices with cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and crushed rosemary; let it age for few weeks.

Make a wreath using dried apple slices. String them together on a curved copper wire and decorate with different kinds of raffia.

For romantic evenings, use apples to make unique candleholders. Cut off the top of an apple and then core it. Brush the inside with lemon juice. Insert a candle and decorate with small fruits.

Perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth, taffy apples are easy to make and will remind you of your childhood! During colder fall evenings, warm yourself with an apple grog. It’s easy to make. Simply boil unpasteurized apple juice and enjoy. For an alcoholic version, add a few drops of rum or, why not…cider!

Rougemont’s Red Passion

In fall, Rougemont, the “Apple Capital” of the world, has something to make you jump with joy. With the “Weekends Gourmands” spread over five weekends through September and October, Rougemont invites everyone to take part in a whole host of scheduled activities honouring the apple. Taste the culinary creations from the Montérégie’s talented chefs, or watch as they demonstrate their impressive skills, all in a festive and fun atmosphere. Take advantage of this opportunity to stock up on apples and great recipes for the year!


Rougemont, simply irresistible!

With almost 35% of Québec’s production, it is not surprising to learn that Rougemont is THE apple region of the province. The “Apple Capital” offers a wide range of apple varieties as well as numerous inviting activities. The region is among the most richly productive areas of Montérégie. It was around 1930 that the first roadside stands made their appearance in Rougemont. Since then, the region has continued to expand thanks to the know-how, expertise and determination of the many dedicated artisans.

Rougemont has close to 40 apple producers and four cideries. There are more than 500,000 apple trees in Rougemont that annually produce more than 18 million apples each fall. This is what satisfies Québecers who eat, on average, 12 kg of apples per year!


Cider is “in”

Thanks to the bold and innovative artisans of the area, cider is now a major product of Québec, becoming an icon among our regional products.

There’s no doubt that cider can easily seduce the finest gourmet palates when incorporated into their favorite recipes. Did you ever think about reinventing the traditional wine and cheese party? For your next get-together, why not treat your guests to a “cider and cheese” party? For a sangria sure to get people talking, be daring and add cider instead of wine... and to be even more bold, concoct a granité with ice cider. Cider also adds an excellent touch of flavour to dressings, terrines and jellies. Use cider to deglaze your sauces.


Pancakes and cider, a perfect match!

The pancake is not a new invention... after a wide range of studies, historians have shown that the pancake originated as far back as 7,000 BC! At that time it was not called a pancake. It looked more like a big, thick biscuit. In fact, different types of biscuits or pancakes have been found in all civilizations from the Old World to the New World, being made from wheat, rice, corn and other cereal grains.

It was in Bretagne that buckwheat pancakes evolved into the pancake that we know today. Originally made with water, salt and eventually cider, we now add eggs, milk and melted butter to the batter to obtain a soft, thin pancake. These days, pancakes and crepes have entirely lost their ritual meaning, but several customs have shaped the history of the Breton countryside. Pancakes and crepes are very popular and are found in all pancake houses where they are served with the famous bowl of cider.

Inspired by this Breton tradition, the participating cideries in the Montérégie offer, during the “Days of Pancakes and Cider”, cider-tastings served with delicious pancakes. This event is scheduled in the month of May, when the apple trees are in blossom, giving visitors the opportunity to meet the cider producers who will be happy to introduce their products to their guests. In the meantime, the producers will be pleased to share with everyone the fruits of their passion: the apple, in all its forms!



Various apple varieties make for diverse ciders

Cider is an innovating product. In fact, there are unquestionably more cider flavour variations possible than there are producers/artisans to create them. We can, however, define the different types of ciders by the fermentation method employed, the alcohol content and the type of apples used.

A light cider is extracted from crushed apples allowed to ferment with yeast in a steel vat or barrel. The resulting cider is non-effervescent and can be dry or sweet.

It is called “light” if the alcohol content is lower than or equal to 7%.

As you can guess, a cider with an alcohol content of more than 7% qualifies as a strong cider.

Be careful, though!  A higher-alcohol content cider, from 13 to 20%, is an apéritif cider.

A sparkling cider is a light cider and differs by its effervescence. To make sparkling cider, a light cider is fermented a second time. Cider producers use two different methods to create the sparkling effect. It can be achieved in the bottle (traditional method) or in a closed vat (Charmat method).

Ice cider

Ice cider, a Québec invention, is uniquely specific to our region; only our climate permits its production. Québec is a pioneer in the manufacture of ice cider.

Apple mistelle is a juice or “apple must” infused with alcohol or cider brandy that stops the fermentation process. The finished product contains between 15 and 20% alcohol.

Source : Les cidriculteurs artisans du Québec

Cider and food pairing suggestions

There exists a wide variety of ciders. It’s easy to match a good cider from the Montérégie with a nice meal shared with friends and family.

  • A sparkling cider can easily replace the traditional champagne. Sparkling cider can accompany any brunch and is equally appreciated when served with pastries.

  • Light and strong ciders, served chilled, go well with pork, fish, poultry, seafood and game.

  • Ice cider, is delightful served with foie gras, mature cheeses as well as desserts. As an apéritif, it is exquisite! With its fruity and tangy taste, it is an ideal companion to several of our regional cheeses.

  • Apéritif or aromatic cider, served chilled or on the rocks, goes well with canapés and cheeses.

  • Cider also adds an excellent flavour to the composition of dressings, terrines and jellies. As well, it can be used in sauces or court-bouillon.

Source : Association des cidriculteurs artisans du Québec

A wonderful showcase for Montérégie cider producers

As a pioneer in the production of cider in Québec, the Montérégie annually produces approximately 60 innovative and distinctive ciders. Cider producers of the region have gained an exceptional expertise that can be seen in their distintive, quality products. Year to year, the Montérégie’s ciders are distinguished at the international level, giving cider producers from the area a fabulous showcase on the world stage.

Along the same line, the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) has been instrumental in giving Québec cider producers a helping hand with marketing their product. The growing popularity of cider with consumers contributed to the desire of suppliers to make cider more readily accessible. Last June, SAQ branches set up Cidres du Québec in-store placards permitting customers to easily find the Québec ciders.