The beautiful Île d’Orléans is an island in the St. Lawrence River located less than 15 km from Québec City. It is a center for agritourism and is often referred to as Québec City’s cornucopia or vegetable garden. Thousands of visitors enjoy it’s wide variety of food and drink offerings each year. In 2007, the island became the first region in Québec to certify it’s products. The seal “savoir-faire île d’orléans” guarantees quality products produced and grown on Île d’Orléans.
Let’s explore some of the offerings to be found in and around the island’s six villages.
Les Fromage de l’Îsle d’Orléans
Here you can find what is reported to be the first cheese ever produced in North America. Step back in history as you shop for cheese still made from the same original recipe and a wide variety of products from the island including pâtés, and all sorts of condiments and maple products. To add to the experience, the staff are dressed in period costume. www.fromagesdeliledorleans.com
Chocolaterie de l’Île d’Orléans
With two locations on opposite ends of the island, this institution has been producing quality chocolate with ingredients imported from Belgium since 1988. Sample a wide variety of individual chocolates and chocolate bars, some with no added sugar. Or stay for lunch and finish off with one or more of the 24 flavors of house made ice cream available during the summer season. The larger location is in Sainte-Pétronille, while the smaller version can be found in Saint-François. www.chocolaterieorleans.com
Cidrerie Verger Bilodeau
This cider house, the first on the island, boasts 3,500 apple trees with 15 types of apples. Featured products include ice cider, sparkling wine, apple mistel wine with maple syrup and maple cider. Shop for nearly anything that can be made from an apple and complete the experience by visiting the petting zoo. www.cidreriebilodeau.qc.ca
Cassis Monna & Filles
Located near the bridge to the mainland, Monna & Filles grows it’s own black currants to make it’s celebrated crème de cassis as well as outstanding aperitif wines and other black currant products. www.cassismonna.com
La Roulotte du “Coin” Ferme d’Oc
This fancy snack bar specializes in duck meat and other products from Île d’Orléans. If you are in need of poutine, they have a version topped with liver pâté. Try a pulled duck sandwich or maybe some fried duck feet and wash it down with one of the soft drinks made from local-grown fruit syrups.
Sugar Shack- Le Relais des Pins
March and April in Québec is maple sugar time. This sugar shack offers hot all you can eat specialties. Enjoy the folk music performed on accordion and guitar as you feast, and don’t forget to try the maple taffy cooled on snow which is included with your meal. Of course there is a shop where you can purchase all things maple. www.lerelaisdespins.com
That’s only the beginning. Visit www.tourisme.iledorleans.com/en for more information and things to do and eat.